Tahar Ben Jelloun, Daniel Pennac, Billy Childish, Henry Williamson

De Marokkaanse romanschrijver, dichter en essayist Tahar Ben Jelloun werd geboren in Fez op 1 december 1944. Zie ook alle tags voor Tahar Ben Jelloun op dit blog.


Uit: Leaving Tangier (Vertaald door Linda Coverdale)

“Yes, she might appear, and reveal a few of her secrets. Conditions are favorable: a clear, almost white sky, reflected in a limpid sea transformed into a pool of light. Silence in the café; silence on all faces. Perhaps the precious moment has arrived . . . at last she will speak!

Occasionally the men do allude to her, especially when the sea has tossed up the bodies of a few drowned souls. She has acquired more riches, they say, and surely owes us a favor! They have nicknamed her Toutia, a word that means nothing, but to them she is a spider that can feast on human flesh yet will sometimes tell them, in the guise of a beneficent voice, that tonight is not the night, that they must put off their voyage for a while.

Like children, they believe in this story that comforts them and lulls them to sleep as they lean back against the rough wall. In the tall glasses of cold tea, the green mint has been tarnished black. The bees have all drowned at the bottom. The men no longer sip this tea now steeped into bitterness. With a spoon they fish the bees out one by one, laying them on the table and exclaiming, “Poor little drowned things, victims of their own greediness!”

As in an absurd and persistent dream, Azel sees his naked body among other naked bodies swollen by seawater, his face distorted by salt and longing, his skin burnt by the sun, split open across the chest as if there had been fighting before the boat went down. Azel sees his body more and more clearly, in a blue and white fishing boat heading ever so slowly to the center of the sea, for Azel has decided that this sea has a center and that this center is a green circle, a cemetery where the current catches hold of corpses, taking them to the bottom to place them on a bank of seaweed. He knows that there, in this specific circle, a fluid boundary exists, a kind of separation between the sea and the ocean, the calm, smooth waters of the Mediterranean and the fierce surge of the Atlantic.”


Tahar Ben Jelloun (Fez, 1 december 1944)


De Franse schrijver Daniel Pennac werd geboren in Casablanca op 1 december 1944. Zie ook alle tags voor Daniel Pennac op dit blog.


Uit: Chagrin d’école

Commençons par l’épilogue: Maman, quasi centenaire, regardant un film sur un auteur qu’elle connaît bien. On voit l’auteur chez lui, à Paris, entouré de ses livres, dans sa bibliothèque qui est aussi son bureau. La fenêtre ouvre sur une cour d’école. Raffut de récré. On apprend que pendant un quart de siècle l’auteur exerça le métier de professeur et que s’il a choisi cet appartement donnant sur deux cours de récréation, c’est à la façon d’un cheminot qui prendrait sa retraite au-dessus d’une gare de triage. Puis on voit l’auteur en Espagne, en Italie, discutant avec ses traducteurs, blaguant avec ses amis vénitiens, et sur le plateau du Vercors, marchant, solitaire, dans la brume des altitudes, parlant métier, langue, style, structure romanesque, personnages… Nouveau bureau, ouvert sur la splendeur alpine, cette fois. Ces scènes sont ponctuées par des interviews d’artistes que l’auteur admire, et qui parlent eux-mêmes de leur propre travail: le cinéaste et romancier Dai Sijie, le dessinateur Sempé, le chanteur Thomas Fersen, le peintre Jürg Kreienbühl.

Retour à Paris: l’auteur derrière son ordinateur, parmi ses dictionnaires cette fois. Il en a la passion, dit-il. On apprend d’ailleurs, et c’est la conclusion du film, qu’il y est entré, dans le dictionnaire, le Robert, à la lettre P, sous le nom de Pennac, de son vrai nom Pennacchioni.

Maman, donc, regarde ce film, en compagnie de mon frère Bernard, qui l’a enregistré pour elle. Elle le regarde d’un bout à l’autre, immobile dans son fauteuil, l’oeil fixe, sans piper mot, dans le soir qui tombe.”


Daniel Pennac (Casablanca, 1 december 1944)


De Britse dichter, schrijver, schilder, zanger en producer Billy Childish (echte naam William Charlie Mand) werd geboren op 1 december 1959 in Chatham, Kent. Zie ook alle tags voor Billy Childish op dit blog.


the strangest thing

today dolli isn’t hard and arrogant
she isn’t puffed up and bitter
i can hear tiredness and a tremour
in her voice

she wants to know
if she can
come and visit me
things aren’t working out between her and her
new boyfriend

-ive been in margate
visiting my mum
it reminds me of when we were together
you were the first great love
of my life
now theres M
youre the same in lots of ways
hes fucking these stupid little art sluts
theyre fucking nobodys!
i tell him
theyre fucking
nothing compared to me!
but he still does it
i need to talk to you
if it tell my friends in
that I want to kill myself
theyre not interested
they don’t want to know about that part of me
its really doing my fucking head in!
you know
my mum said the strangest thing to me last night
she said that it doesn’t matter if things don’t work out
between me and M
because you can get back together again with billy
i said –
but mum what about kyra? He’s still with kyra mum
and she said that that dint matter
we arrange a tiome to meet and I replace the receiver

this girl isn’t hard and arrogant
she is lost and alone
and somehow
i wish I could have been kinder to her

Billy Childish (Kent, 1 december 1959)


De Britse schrijver Henry Williamson werd geboren op 1 december 1895 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Henry Williamson op dit blog.


Uit: A Test to Destruction

“Plymouth Hoe. Broad parade whereon walked or sat seemingly thousands of young officers, of all shapes, sizes and classes; one-third of them intent on trying to get to know the few score of girls in the summer weather. A boring, arid place, until an afternoon in Genoni’s Café when a young junior subaltern across the table offered him [Phillip] a cigarette from a gold case. He explained that he was at Durnford Street hospital, that the case was a twenty-first birthday present from his mother. Thenceforward they met every afternoon outside the Theatre Royal.

It was a gay summer friendship by the sea, with nothing to check mutual liking. ‘Gibbo’, from Eastbourne, and ‘Maddo’, from south-east London, ate oysters and drank stout in Jones’s Oyster Bar; they walked miles up and down Union Street, seeking interest and pleasure; joined the promenaders upon the broad asphalt of the Hoe, laughing and talking; visited Williams’ and Goodbody’s for tea, saw flicks at the Savoy, Gaiety, the Palladium, drawn by Charlie Chaplin or William Hart; they called, as time of return within walls drew near, at Nicholson’s sawdust bar for crab sandwiches, the long bar of the Royal for sherry, the Poseda for Pimm’s No. 1 stout, the Athenaeum where many midshipmen were to be seen; or descending to shadier, more attractive places, drank beer in the Golden Lion, the Post Office, the Corn Exchange, the Old Chapel, where port and madeira came from the wood at sixpence a dock glass. In one sailor’s pub they were shown the skeleton of a baby in an ebony coffin over the counter – not a place to revisit, they agreed.

Gibbo sometimes stuck on a Charlie Chaplin moustache, while wearing an eyeglass with his usual languid manner. They were photographed together, Phillip with cap on one side of his head, a lieutenant’s stars on his shoulder-straps, but no ribands on his left breast – thus keeping faith with the undistinguished dead.”


Henry Williamson (1 december 1895 – 13 augustus 1977)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 1e december ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.