Roberto Bolaño, Harper Lee, Karl Kraus, Nezahualcóyotl, Auguste Barbier, Ğabdulla Tuqay, Charles Cotton, Bruno Apitz

De Chileense schrijver Roberto Bolaño werd geboren op 28 april 1953 in Santiago de Chile. Zie ook mijn blog van 28 april 2009.


Uit: 2666 (Vertaald door Natasha Wimmer)


“The first time that Jean-Claude Pelletier read Benno von Archimboldi was Christmas 1980, in Paris, when he was nineteen years old and studying German literature. The book in question was D’Arsonval. The young Pelletier didn’t realize at the time that the novel was part of a trilogy (made up of the English-themed The Garden and the Polish-themed The Leather Mask, together with the clearly French-themed D’Arsonval), but this ignorance or lapse or bibliographical lacuna, attributable only to his extreme youth, did nothing to diminish the wonder and admiration that the novel stirred in him.

From that day on (or from the early morning hours when he concluded his maiden reading) he became an enthusiastic Archimboldian and set out on a quest to find more works by the author. This was no easy task. Getting hold of books by Benno von Archimboldi in the 1980s, even in Paris, was an effort not lacking in all kinds of difficulties. Almost no reference to Archimboldi could be found in the university’s German department. Pelletier’s professors had never heard of him. One said he thought he recognized the name. Ten minutes later, to Pelletier’s outrage (and horror), he realized that the person his professor had in mind was the Italian painter, regarding whom he soon revealed himself to be equally ignorant.

Pelletier wrote to the Hamburg publishing house that had published D’Arsonval and received no response. He also scoured the few German bookstores he could find in Paris. The name Archimboldi appeared in a dictionary of German literature and in a Belgian magazine devoted — whether as a joke or seriously, he never knew — to the literature of Prussia. In 1981, he made a trip to Bavaria with three friends from the German department, and there, in a little bookstore in Munich, on Voralmstrasse, he found two other books: the slim volume titled Mitzi’s Treasure, less than one hundred pages long, and the aforementioned English novel, The Garden.”



Roberto Bolaño (28 april 1953 – 15 juli 2003)


De Amerikaans schrijfster Nelle Harper Lee werd geboren in Monroeville op 28 april 1926. Zie ook mijn blog van 28 april 2009.


Uit: To Kill a Mockingbird


Mindful of John Wesley’s strictures on the use of many words in buying and selling, Simon made a pile practicing medicine, but
in this pursuit he was unhappy lest he be tempted into doing what he knew was not for the glory of God, as the putting on of gold and costly apparel. So Simon, having forgotten his teacher’s dictum on the possession of human chattels, bought three slaves and with their aid established a homestead on the banks of the Alabama River some forty miles above Saint Stephens. He returned to Saint Stephens only once, to find a wife, and with her established a line that ran high to daughters. Simon lived to an impressive age and died rich.

It was customary for the men in the family to remain on Simon’s homestead, Finch’s Landing, and make their living from cotton. The place was self-sufficient: modest in comparison with the empires around it, the Landing nevertheless produced everything required to sustain life except ice, wheat flour, and articles of clothing, supplied by river-boats from Mobile.

Simon would have regarded with impotent fury the disturbance between the North and the South, as it left his descendants stripped of everything but their land, yet the tradition of living on the land remained unbroken until well into the twentieth century, when my father, Atticus Finch, went to Montgomery to read law, and his younger brother went to Boston to study medicine. Their sister Alexandra was the Finch who remained at the Landing: she married a taciturn man who spent most of his time lying in a hammock by the river wondering if his trot-lines were full.“



Harper Lee (Monroeville, 28 april 1926)


De Joods-Oostenrijkse dichter, schrijver en journalist Karl Kraus werd geboren in Jičin, Bohemen, Oostenrijk-Hongarije (thans Tsjechië) op 28 april 1874. Zie ook mijn blog van 28 april 2007 en ook mijn blog van 28 april 2008 en ook mijn blog van 28 april 2009.


Wiese im Park


(Schloß Janowitz)


Wie wird mir zeitlos. Rückwärts hingebannt

weil’ ich und stehe fest im Wiesenplan,

wie in dem grünen Spiegel hier der Schwan.

Und dieses war mein Land.


Die vielen Glockenblumen! Horch
und schau!

Wie lange steht er schon auf diesem Stein,

der Admiral. Es muß ein Sonntag sein

und alles läutet blau.


Nicht weiter will ich. Eitler Fuß, mach Halt!

Vor diesem Wunder ende deinen Lauf.

Ein toter Tag schlägt seine Augen auf.

Und alles bleibt so alt.





Nun weiß ich doch, ’s ist Frühling wieder.

Ich sah es nicht vor so viel Nacht

und lange hatt’ ich’s nicht gedacht.

Nun merk’ ich erst, schon blüht der Flieder.


Wie fand ich das Geheimnis wieder?

Man hatte mich darum gebracht.

Was hat die Welt aus uns gemacht!

Ich dreh’ mich um, da blüht der Flieder.


Und danke Gott, er schuf mich wieder,

indem er wiederschuf die Pracht.

Sie anzuschauen aufgewacht,

so bleib’ ich stehn. Noch blüht der Flieder





Es war einmal.

Ich leb’ am Tage vom Gedanken,

nachts von der Qual;

oft träum’ ich nur vom Traum.

Du gehst dahin und bist dir selbst es kaum.

In meinem Wahn jedoch, dem fieberkranken,

sind deine Wesen ohne Zahl.



Karl Kraus (28 april 1874 – 12 juni 1936)


De Azteekse dichter en filosoof Nezahualcóyotl werd geboren in Texcoco op 28 april 1402.




Our drums are ready; already I inspire the eagles and jaguars to

dance. Already you are on your feet, song flower. I search for

songs, our adornments. Ayyo.


Toward the end of it all I, Nezahualcoyotl, go weeping. Why must I

go lose myself in the land of the dead? Already I leave you, by

whom all live, you command me to lose myself in the land of the

dead. Ayyo.


How will things continue on Earth, in Acolhuacan? In time will

you disperse all your dependents, spirit of all I leave behind?


Only songs are our adornments. Already He destroys our painted

books, the princes. Be joyful here, no one has his house on earth;

we must leave the fragrant flowers. Ayyo.


Drums: Quititi quititi quiti quiti tocoto tocoti tocototocoti. Just

thus it will come back in.


Let there be flower songs. Let my younger brothers sing. I drink

intoxicating flowers; already they have arrived, the flowers that

make us dizzy, they come to glorify. Ayyo.


Let there be flowers. Bouquets of flowers have already arrived here;

flowers of pleasure are scattered, many-colored flowers rain

entwined. The drum resounds: let the dance begin. Ayyo.



Nezahualcóyotl (28 april 1402 – 4 juni 1472)


De Franse dichter Auguste Barbier werd geboren op 28 april 1805 in Parijs.


La curée


Oh ! lorsqu’un lourd soleil chauffait les grandes dalles

Des ponts et de nos quais déserts,

Que les cloches hurlaient, que la grêle des balles

Sifflait et pleuvait par les airs ;

Que dans Paris entier, comme la mer qui monte,

Le peuple soulevé grondait,

Et qu’au lugubre accent des vieux canons de fonte

La Marseillaise répondait,

Certe, on ne voyait pas, comme au jour où nous sommes,

Tant d’uniformes à la fois ;

C’était sous des haillons que battaient les coeurs d’homme

C’étaient alors de sales doigts

Qui chargeaient les mousquets et renvoyaient la foudre ;

C’était la bouche aux vils jurons

Qui mâchait la cartouche, et qui, noire de poudre,

Criait aux citoyens : Mourons !


Auguste Barbier (28 april 1805 – 14 februari 1882)


Zie voor de twee bovenstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 28 april 2008 en ook mijn blog van 28 april 2009.



De Tataarse dichter Ğabdulla Tuqay werd geboren op 28 april 1886 in Qoşlawıç in Kazan, Rusland (tegenwoordig Tatarstan). Zie ook mijn blog van 28 april 2007 en ook mijn blog van 28 april 2008 en ook mijn blog van 28 april 2009.


Ô, ma langue maternelle! (Fragment)


Ô, langue chérie de mon enfance

Ô, langue enchanteresse de ma mère !

C’est toi qui m’a permis de chercher à connaître

Le monde, depuis mes jeunes années


Quand tout enfant je n’arrivais pas à dormir

Ma mère me chantait des berceuses

Et grand-maman me racontait des histoires

À travers l’obscurité pour me fermer les yeux


Ô, ma langue! Tu as toujours été

Mon soutien dans la douleur et dans la joie

Je te comprends et je te chéris tendrement

Depuis l’âge où j’étais un petit garçon


Dans ma langue, j’ai appris avec patience

À exprimer ma foi et à dire :

« Ô, Créateur! Bénis mes parents

Allah, emporte mes péchés! »



Ğabdulla Tuqay (28 april 1886 – 15 april 1913)


De Engelse dichter en vertaler Charles Cotton werd geboren op 28 april 1630 in Beresford in Staffordshire. Zie ook ook mijn blog van 28 april 2009.


The Noon Quatrains 


THE Day grows hot, and darts his rays

From such a sure and killing place,

That half this World are fain to fly

The danger of his burning eye.

His early glories were benign,

Warm to be felt, bright to be seen,

And all was comfort, but who can

Endure him when Meridian?

Of him we as of kings complain,

Who mildly do begin to reign,

But to the Zenith got of pow’r,

Those whom they should protect devour.

Has not another Phaeton

Mounted the chariot of the Sun,

And, wanting art to guide his horse,

Is hurri’d from the Sun’s due course.

If this hold on, our fertile lands

Will soon be turn’d to parched sands,

And not an onion that will grow

Without a Nile to overflow.

The grazing herds now droop and pant,

E’en without labour fit to faint,

And willingly forsook their meat

To seek out cover from the heat.

The lagging ox is no unbound,

From larding

the new turn’d up ground, [pressing down]

Whilst Hobbinal alike o’er-laid

Takes his coarse dinner to the shade.

Cellars and grottos now are best

To eat and drink in, or to rest,

And not a soul above is found

Can find a refuge under ground.

When pagan tyranny grew hot,

Thus persecuted Christians got

Into the dark but friendly womb

Of unknown subterranean Rome

. [the Roman catacombs]

And as that heat did cool at last,

So a few scorching hours o’er-pass’d,

In a more mild and temp’rate ray

We may again enjoy the Day.



Charles Cotton (28 april 1630 – 16 februari 1687)


Zie voor onderstaande schrijver ook mijn blog van 28 april 2007.

De Duitse schrijver Bruno Apitz werd geboren in Leipzig op 29 april 1900.