Sawako Ariyoshi, Axel Hacke, Robert Olen Butler Jr, Qurratulain Hyder, Raymond Roussel, Michiel de Swaen, Edeltraud Eckert

De Japanse schrijfster Sawako Ariyoshi werd geboren op 20 januari 1931 in Wakayama. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 20 januari 2009.


Uit: The Doctor’s Wife (Vertaald door Wakako Hironaka)


Otsugi’s kimono was probably part of her dowry and therefore was far better than the costumes of the tenant farmers and other villagers. Made of rough hand-woven silk, it suited her position. However, in view of the fact that the Hanaokas were socially inferior to the Matsumotos, Otsugi’s parents had not provided her with a formal kimono of soft shiny silk, wisely deciding she would not have a chance to wear it.

Nevertheless, it was a vibrant, rich black, with an elegant degree of looseness at the back of the neck, a neat V-shape opening in the front, and a tightly fitted sash. Otsugi approached the altar and bowed low, revealing a pale green ribbon around the bun of her hair. Kae watched her pick up some incense. As her slender fingers gently rubbed the beads, the young girl could not help thinking that beautiful people were just born beautiful–from head to toe. She also thought that Otsugi’s dignity was a manifestation of her superior intelligence. Otsugi bowed toward the coffin in the main house in homage to Grandfather and silently nodded to each Imose close by. Kae had been standing somewhat apart from her relatives and did not expect to be noticed. But when Otsugi, her face shadowed in sympathy, turned in her direction, Kae felt as if the tip of a sword had been pointed at her forehead. The woman bowed to her, not suspecting her feelings, and moved to the gate. As she disappeared from sight, the center seam of her kimono below the sash was still absolutely straight.“



Sawako Ariyoshi (20 januari 1931 – 30 augustus 1984)


De Duitse schrijver en journalist Axel Hacke werd geboren op 20 januari 1956 in Braunschweig. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 januari 2009.


Uit: Wortstoffhof


„Dank eines weit gespannten Leserkorrespondentennetzes bin ich seit einiger Zeit in der Lage, über kulinarische Entwicklungen in aller Welt zu berichten, von denen man anderswo nicht mal etwas ahnt (Drahthuhn, Fischtageszeitung, Huhntorte). In diesem Kapitel möchte ich auf ungewöhnliche gastronomische Ideen rund um den Globus hinweisen. Bitte bedenken Sie: Jedes Küchengenie hat namenlos begonnen, und was heute noch ohne Aufsehen in Quedlinburg oder der Bretagne aufgetischt wird, kann morgen schon in berühmten Restaurants Münchens, Hamburgs oder Berlins auf dem Teller liegen.

Ich habe mir erlaubt, die Zuschriften nach Länderküchen zu gliedern.

Deutsche Küche. Hier ist von einer erstaunlichen Entwicklung zu berichten, zuerst von Familie B. bei einem Ausflug in Quedlinburg entdeckt, auf dem Weg zum Burgberg. Dort wurde neben Schweinebraten auch »Bauernmädchen mit Rotkraut und Klösse« angeboten. Kein Einzelfall! Denn in Kulmbach, im Bistro einer dortigen Metzgerei (Frau F. schickte mir das Inserat), gibt es: »Omas Saures Fleisch mit Baumwollnem Kloß«. Und Frau E. berichtet aus der Kantine ihrer Firma in München, dort habe eines Montags »Fenchel- Organsuppe« auf dem Speiseplan gestanden.

Ist es zu fassen? Nach der nouvelle cuisine ein nouveau cannibalisme. Das kann jeden treffen, wie ich selbst von Leser K. erfahren musste, der in der Münchner Giselastraße vor einem Lokal ein Schild fotografierte, auf dem es hieß: »Heute: Gebacken Hackefleisch mit Kartoffelen In tomaten Soß u. Basmati Reis«. So schnell kann es gehen.“



Axel Hacke (Braunschweig, 20 januari 1956)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Robert Olen Butler Jr. Werd geboren op 20 januari 1945 in Granite City, Illinois. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 januari 2009.


Uit: Fairy Tale


I like the way fairy tales start in America. When I learn English for real, I buy books for children and I read, “Once upon a time”. I recognize this word “upon” from some GI who buys me Saigon teas and spends some time with me and he is a cowboy from the great state of Texas. He tells me he gets up on the back of a bull and he rides it. I tell him he is joking with Miss Noi (that’s my Vietnam name), but he says no, he really gets up on a bull. I make him explain that “up on” so I know I am hearing right. I want to know for true so I can tell this story to all my friends so that they understand, no lie, what this man who stays with me can do. After that, a few years later, I come to America and I read some fairy tales to help me learn more English and I see this word and I ask a man in the place I work on Bourbon Street in New Orleans if this is the same. Up on and upon. He is a nice man who comes late in the evening to clean up after the men who see the show. He says this is a good question and he thinks about it and he says that yes, they are the same. I think this is very nice, how you get up on the back of time and ride and you don’t know where it will go or how it will try to throw you off.
Once upon a time I was a dumb Saigon bargirl. If you want to know how dumb some Vietnam bargirl can be, I can give you one example. A man brought me to America in 1974. He says he loves me and I say I love that man. When I meet him in Saigon, he works in the embassy of America. He can bring me to this country even before he marries me. He says that he wants to marry me and maybe I think that this idea scares me one little bit. But I say, what the hell. I love him. Then boom. I’m in America and this man is different from in Vietnam, and I guess he thinks I am different too. How dumb is a Saigon bargirl is this. I hear him talk to a big crowd of important people in Vietnam, businessman, politician, big people like that. I am there too and I wear my best ao dai, red like an apple and my quan, my silk trousers, are white. He speaks in English to these Vietnam people because they are big, so they know English. Also my boyfriend does not speak Vietnam. But at the end of his speech he says something in my language and it is very important to me.“



Robert Olen Butler Jr. (Granite City, 20 januari 1945)


De Indiaase schrijfster Qurratulain Hyder werd geboren op 20 januari 1927 in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 januari 2009.

 Uit: River of Fire

 „Now he was tired. Gautam Nilambar, final year student of the Forest University of Shravasti, had walked all the way from Shravasti to Saket in pursuit of more knowledge. He had been attending a centenarian sage’s lectures on cosmology till he felt that his head was overflowing with stars. The new term was about to begin in his own gurukul and he was trudging back to Shravasti, his hometown. It rained frequently and he had to stop now and then under the trees.
The journey was arduous. As a student he was not allowed to use boats or vehicles or umbrellas. Nor was he supposed to carry any money. He had to beg his food from respectful villagers and sleep under the trees. Such a life of extreme hardship could match that of any Jain ascetic, except that Gautam was neither a Jain sadhu nor a Buddhist bhikshu. His head was not shaved and he let his long Brahmanical top-knot mingle with his glossy ringlets. He was rather proud of his good looks. Gautam, in fact, was quite vain and had certainly not conquered his ego-he saw no reason why he should.
Once his friend, Aklesh, a townsman, had said that he was like the proverbial peacock that danced in the jungle, but there was nobody to admire him. Surrounded by hoary gurus, erudite shastris and pedantic students, poor Gautam had become a loner. He liked to dance and paint and make terracotta figurines. Once he had travelled on foot all the way to Kashi to learn Shiva’s nritya. He had had no intention of becoming a priest like his father. He wanted to gain some insight into Saraswati’s bhed as a creative artist. He wanted to partake in the mysteries of the universe as the beerbahutis did in their own tiny, weary manner-surely they must have their own perception of the cosmos! As he was the only son of the High Priest of Shravasti, he had been sent to the gurukul as a young boy. He had lived there all these years, devoting himself exclusively to the goddess of learning.
The month of Bhadon had arrived and it rained frequently. He reached the outskirts of Saket and sat down on the grassy bank of the Saryu river.
While he was piously reciting his shlokas and cleaning his muddy feet in the water, something soft touched his toes. He heard the jingle of anklets and glass bangles. A woman laughed. Giggly females jingling their bangles, he thought loftily. Then he noticed thick jasmine garlands floating past his toes. Magnolia blossoms followed. Are they sending me floral messages, he thought vainly, and stole a glance in the direction the flowers had come from. It was a bathing ghat, hidden behind a bamboo screen. Gautam peeped through the lattice and held his breath.“



Qurratulain Hyder (20 januari 1927 – 21 augustus 2007)


De Franse dichter en schrijver Raymond Roussel werd geboren op 20 januari 1877 in Parijs. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 januari 2009.


Uit: Locus Solus


Ce jeudi de commençant avril, mon savant ami le maître Martial Canterel m’avait convié, avec quelques autres de ses intimes, à visiter l’immense parc environnant sa belle villa de Montmorency.

Locus Solus—la propriété se nomme ainsi—est une calme retraite où Canterel aime poursuivre en toute tranquillité d’esprit ses multiples et féconds travaux. En ce lieu solitaire il est suffisamment à l’abri des agitations de Paris—et peut cependant gagner la capitale en un quart d’heure quand ses recherches nécessitent quelque station dans telle bibliothèque spéciale ou quand arrive l’instant de faire au monde scientifique, dans une conférence prodigieusement courue, telle communication sensationnelle.

C’est à Locus Solus que Canterel passe presque toute l’année, entouré de disciples qui, pleins d’une admiration passionnée pour ses continuelles découvertes, le secondent avec fanatisme dans l’accomplissement de son œuvre. La villa contient plusieurs pièces luxueusement aménagées en laboratoires modèles qu’entretiennent de nombreux aides, et le maître consacre sa vie entière à la science, aplanissant d’emblée, avec sa grande fortune de célibataire exempt de charges, toutes difficultés matérielles suscitées au cours de son labeur acharné par les divers buts qu’il s’assigne.

Trois heures venaient de sonner. Il faisait bon, et le soleil étincelait dans un ciel presque uniformément pur. Canterel nous avait reçus non loin de sa villa, en plein air, sous de vieux arbres dont l’ombrage enveloppait une confortable installation comprenant différents sièges d’osier.

Après l’arrivée du dernier convoqué, le maître se mit en marche, guidant notre groupe, qui l’accompagnait docilement. Grand, brun, la physionomie ouverte, les traits réguliers, Canterel, avec sa fine moustache et ses yeux vifs où brillait sa merveilleuse intelligence, accusait à peine ses quarante-quatre ans. Sa voix chaude et persuasive donnait beaucoup d’attrait à son élocution prenante, dont la séduction et la clarté faisaient de lui un des cham
pions de la parole.

Nous cheminions depuis peu dans une allée en pente ascendante fort raide.

À mi-côte nous vîmes au bord du chemin, debout dans une niche de pierre assez profonde, une statue étrangement vieille qui, paraissant formée de terre noirâtre, sèche et solidifiée, représentait, non sans charme, un souriant enfant nu. Les bras se tendaient en avant dans un geste d’offrande—les deux mains s’ouvrant vers le plafond de la niche. Une petite plante morte, d’une extrême vétusté, s’élevait au milieu de la dextre, où jadis elle avait pris racine.“



Raymond Roussel (20 januari 1877 – 14 juli 1933)


De Vlaamse dichter, rederijker en heelmeester Michiel de Swaen werd geboren in Duinkerke op 20 januari 1654. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 januari 2009.




bij gedachten op den tijdt,
gepast op het beginnende jaer


Ziele, die gewaerschouwt syt
Om met ’t nieuwe jaer te leeren,
Hoe gy uwen weerden tydt
Moet opwegen en waerdeeren,
Wilt gy deze les verstaen?
Merkt den oogenblik van heden
Voor den alderbesten aen,
Die gy sult op aerd besteden.
Waerom eenen stont verwacht,
Die is buyten uwe macht?



Michiel de Swaen (20 januari 1654 – 3 mei 1707)


Zie voor onderstaande schrijver ook mijn blog van 20 januari 2009.


De Duitse dichteres en schrijfster Edeltraud Eckert werd geboren op 20 januari 1930 in Hindenburg.