Tatamkhulu Afrika, Johann Nestroy, Gabriel Marcel, Noam Chomsky, Willa Cather

De Zuid-Afrikaanse dichter en schrijver Tatamkhulu Afrika werd geboren op 7 december 1920 in Egypte. Zie ook mijn blog van 7 december 2006 en ook mijn blog van 7 december 2008.


The leopard lay,
long and dappled, under the leaves.
He saw me when
I still saw only the leaves.
His eyes, alerted, flamed
with more of wonderment than rage.
He had sheathed his claws and, once,
he swiped a paw across his nose.

‘I know you’, he said,
looking at me through the mask of shadows round his eyes.
I saw him wholly, then
his languid grace and power, yet
was not afraid, his voice being mild
as any mewing kitten’s, which meant
that I could love him if not yet trust,
and I dared to tremblingly scratch an ear.

He closed his eyes and roaringly purred,
frightening my hand, then grinned
a little, baring the black
slobber of his gums, the fangs
whiter than the white bones of the hill,
then again looked at me, a daze
of pleasure drawing back from his eyes, and thanked
me with a leathern tonguing of my skin.

‘Yes’, he said, ‘it was a long time ago.
This hill was then a living thing.
You, shaman, danced on it till you dropped
as one dead and a leopard leapt
from your ruin and ran,
slavering, under the holy moon.
What has become of you, brother man?
Does the magic herb no longer grow among these stones?’

I wept, then, huddled on
the rigid hinges of my knees,
hearing only silence thrum
through the shattered pipelines of my bones.
Below the alien city threshed
and howled and he looked
at me as at a wounded beast and slid
out the filial pity of his claws.

‘No!’ I shouted. ‘No!’
stammering like a frightened child.
‘You exceed your station; it is I
that flow and flower under a moon.’
He looked at me with sorrowing eyes.
‘But it is leopards that die
as shamans should,’ he said and crashed
out of the leaves as out of an ice of time.


Tatamkhulu Afrika (7 december 1920 – 23 december 2002)


De Oostenrijkse schrijver Johann Nepomuk Eduard Ambrosius Nestroy werd geboren in Wenen op 7 december 1801. Zie ook mijn blog van 7 december 2006 en ook mijn blog van 7 december 2008.

Uit: Das Mädl aus der Vorstadt
„Erste Szene

Mehrere Krämer und Kommis. Mehrere Putzmacherinnen. Dominik.

Dominik(steht an einem Stuhl und zahlt den Anwesenden ihre Kontos aus). Nicht wahr, so eine Kundschaft ist was Seltenes, a Braut, die vor der Hochzeit schon alles bezahlt.

Alle. No, i glaub’s.

Dominik. Jetzt bleiben s’ die Ausstaffierung oft bis nach der Scheidung schuldig.

Krämer. Lass’ uns der Herr Dominik nur wieder rekommandiert sein, wenn die gnädige Frau was braucht.

Dominik. Sie haben mir dasmal allerseits einen honetten Rabatt gegeben, und wenn Sie ein andersmal ebenso –

Krämer. Das versteht sich von selbst, wir wissen schon, was sich g’hört! Daß uns der Herr Dominik immer dran erinnert, is etwas schmutzig.

Dominik. Konträr, das is sehr reinlich, denn ich halt’ drauf, daß eine Hand die andere wascht! jetzt b’hüt’ Ihnen Gott allerseits!

Alle. Adieu, Herr Dominik! (Mitteltüre links ab.)

Zweite Szene

Dominik. Dann Frau von Erbsenstein und Nannette.

Dominik(allein). Ja, die Frau von Erbsenstein, da muß man Respekt haben. Ich kann mir auch schmeicheln, ihr ganzes Vertrauen –

Frau von Erbsenstein(mit Nannette aus der Seitentüre rechts kommend). Entweder die Uhr geht zu früh oder mein Bräutigam geht zu spät, wenn er bei mir erscheinen soll! – Dominik!

Dominik. Befehl’n?

Frau von Erbsenstein. Pack’ Er sich hinaus!

Dominik. Euer Gnaden wollen vielleicht -?

Frau von Erbsenstein. Von einem neugierigen Tölpel nicht inkommodiert sein, ja, das will ich.

Dominik(für sich im Abgehen). Sonderbare Laune, die sie fast täglich kriegt! (Mitteltüre rechts ab.)”


Johann Nestroy (7 december 1801 – 25 mei 1862)
Buste in Bad Ischl


De Franse filosoof en toneelauteur Gabriel Marcel werd geboren op 7 december 1889 in Parijs. Zie ook mijn blog van 7 december 2006 en ook mijn blog van 7 december 2008.


Uit: La primauté de l’acte


« Sans doute est-ce avant tout à partir d’une réflexion sur l’acte considéré comme irréductible à un contenu de pensée que j’ai été d’abord amené à m’inscrire en faux contre l’idée d’une totalité intelligible qui serait à la fois le principe moteur et la fin de la dialectique. Est-ce à dire que j’aie été avant tout sensible à ce qui dans l’acte présente un caractère ou une valeur de rupture, à ce qu’on appellerait aujourd’hui son caractère révolutionnaire? Je n’en suis pas sûr, et même je ne le crois pas. Bien qu’il n’y ait là qu’une nuance, je dirais plus volontiers que l’acte m’a toujours retenu avant tout par son irréductible originalité, ou même par la singularité de perspective qui le commande inévitablement. Là est la raison pour laquelle le monadisme a pu me séduire quelque temps ; et sans doute m’y serais-je rallié durablement si la thèse de l’incommunicabilité des monades ne m’était apparue comme un défi à l’expérience et au sens commun, si l’harmonie préétablie ne m’avait fait l’effet d’une pure invention de l’esprit dont l’ingéniosité même souligne l’artifice. Agir, me semblait-il, c’est avant tout prendre position ; et ce ne sera jamais que par une fiction arbitraire qu’on pourra tenter d’intégrer au réel l’acte par lequel je me situe en face de lui. Je vois distinctement aujourd’hui que je tendais ainsi à substituer un type de rapport concret et dramatique aux relations encore tout abstraites d’inhérence ou d’extériorité entre lesquelles la philosophie traditionnelle prétendait me contraindre à opter. »



Gabriel Marcel (7 december 1889 – 8 oktober 1973)
Vierde van links, in El Cuzeo, 1951, temidden van collega’s


De Amerikaanse taalkundige, mediacriticus en anarchistisch denker Noam Chomsky werd geboren in Philadelphia op 7 december 1928. Zie ook mijn blog van 7 december 2007 en ook mijn blog van 7 december 2008.


Uit: The Zapatista Uprising


There are many factors driving global society towards a low-wage, low-growth, high-profit future, with increasing polarization and social disintegration. Another consequence is the fading of meaningful democratic processes as decision making is vested in private institutions and the quasi-governmental structures that are coalescing around them, what the Financial Times calls a “de facto world government” that operates in secret and without accountability.

These developments have little to do with economic liberalism, a concept of limited significance in a world in which a vast component of “trade” consists of centrally-managed intra-firm transactions (half of U.S. exports to Mexico pre-NAFTA, for example- “exports” that never enter the Mexican market). Meanwhile private power demands and receives protection from market forces, as in the past.

“The Zapatistas really struck a chord with a large segment of the Mexican populace,” Mexican political scientist Eduardo Gallardo commented shortly after the rebellion, predicting that the effects would be wide-ranging, including steps toward breaking down the long-standing electoral dictatorship. Polls in Mexico backed that conclusion, reporting majority support for the reasons given by the Zapatistas for their rebellion. A similar chord was struck worldwide, including the rich industrial societies, where many people recognized the concerns of the Zapatistas to be not unlike their own, despite their very different circumstances. Support was further stimulated by imaginative Zapatista initiatives to reach out to wider sectors and to engage them in common or parallel efforts to take control of their lives and fate. The domestic and international solidarity was doub
tless a major factor in deterring the anticipated brutal military repression, and has had a dramatic energizing effect on organizing and activism worldwide.

The protest of Indian peasants in Chiapas gives only a bare glimpse of “time bombs” waiting to explode, not only in Mexico.“



Noam Chomsky (Philadelphia, 7 december 1928)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Willa Cather werd geboren op 7 december 1873 in de buurt van Winchester, Virginia. Zie ook mijn blog van 7 december 2006..

Uit: My Antonia


“I first heard of Antonia on what seemed to me an interminable journey across the great midland plain of North America. I was ten years old then; I had lost both my father and mother within a year, and my Virginia relatives were sending me out to my grandparents, who lived in Nebraska. I travelled in the care of a mountain boy, Jake Marpole, one of the “hands” on my father’s old farm under the Blue Ridge, who was now going West to work for my grandfather. Jake’s experience of the world was not much wider than mine. He had never been in a railway train until the morning when we set out together to try our fortunes in a new world.

We went all the way in day-coaches, becoming more sticky and grimy with each stage of the journey. Jake bought everything the newsboys offered him: candy, oranges, brass collar buttons, a watchcharm, and for me a Life of Jesse James, which I remember as one of the most satisfactory books I have ever read. Beyond Chicago we were under the protection of a friendly passenger conductor, who knew all about the country to which we were going and gave us a great deal of advice in exchange for our confidence. He seemed to us an experienced and worldly man who had been almost everywhere; in his conversation he threw out lightly the names of distant states and cities. He wore the rings and pins and badges of different fraternal orders to which he belonged. Even his cuff-buttons were engraved with hieroglyphics, and he was more inscribed than an Egyptian obelisk.

Once when he sat down to chat, he told us that in the immigrant car ahead there was a family from “across the water” whose destination was the same as ours.

“They can’t any of them speak English, except one little girl, and all she can say is ‘We go Black Hawk, Nebraska.’ She’s not much older than you, twelve or thirteen, maybe, and she’s as bright as a new dollar. Don’t you want to go ahead and see her, Jimmy? She’s got the pretty brown eyes, too!”

This last remark made me bashful, and I shook my head and settled down to Jesse James. Jake nodded at me approvingly and said you were likely to get diseases from foreigners.”



Willa Cather (7 december 1873 – 24 april 1947)