Mitten am Tag eine Furcht
Ich weiß nicht wovor
Vor mir das Kottbusser Tor
Hinter mir leises Rufen und Flüstern
Jeder Schritt wird mir schwer
Wer tut mir was Keiner ist hier
Aber alle sind hinter mir her
Dann ist es in der Straße still
Ich bin ausgedacht
Welches Feuer ich will
Habe ich angefacht
Thomas Brasch (19 februari 1945 – 3 november 2001)
Uit: The Czar’s Madman
“Until that time, I had only spent a few hours at Voisiku, on that day in the autumn of 1813 when Eeva and I were sent off in a coach, on our way to our new life.
I knew that the estate did not rank among the most splendid in Livonia, but it was one of the more prominent estates in the northern part of Viljandi province, if not by virtue of the splendour of its manor, then by the number of its buildings, the age of its park, the size of the orchard, and, above all, by the size of its holdings which extended all the way to the valleys of the Pedja and Ema rivers.
The so-called new manor, already a century old, was a stone building with a main floor and an attic. Even though my peasant standards had already been elevated by our sojourn at Masing’s two parsonages, the luxuriousness of the place stunned me at first. Now I understood: if I had had to move there four years ago, I would have felt timid and awkward, just like any other young peasant. Now I found the luxury disturbing, and the more I thought about it, the more I had to admit that it evoked a feeling of impatience in me…
On the main floor there were sixteen rooms and a kitchen. The attic floor had four rooms for servants and visitors of minor importance. I asked Eeva for one of these, even though it had been her original intention to let me occupy two rooms on the ground floor. I liked it better up there under the roof, and I would have the place to myself. So it was agreed for me to move into the garret facing the orchard in the left wing of the manor. By the way: although Timo had two studies at his disposal on the ground floor, he also chose one of the garret rooms in the right wing as yet another study to read and write in. For the same reason: greater privacy. I didn’t even have to use the main entrance and make my way past all the von Bocks and von Rautenfeldts staring down into the great hall from their gilt picture frames in their wigs and once fashionable coiffures.
The staircase to the upper floor could be reached from the door on the orchard side, and I used it from the very first day I spent here. Timo and Eeva insisted that I take at least dinner with them every day. I didn’t object to that, since no one appeared at their dinner table except for themselves and Dr Robst. Timo’s younger brothers, Georg and Karl, were both away, and his sister Elisabeth (I think I mentioned this before), who got married four years ago, now lived in Estonia. Elisabeth did not make any efforts to visit her favourite brother and his young wife, something I would have thought the normal thing to do. But we were not a normal case, and we found that out soon enough, in a number of ways. As soon as Eeva and Timo had arrived at Voisiku, they sent out the customary invitations to their neighbours – at least to those neighbours of whom it might be assumed that they weren’t busy denouncing this marriage as Jacobinical swinishness or canine rutting.”
Jaan Kross (19 februari 1920 – 27 december 2007)
Uit: What I Loved
‘Art is mysterious, but selling art may be even more mysterious. The object itself if bought and sold, handed from one person to another, and yet countless factors are at work within the transaction. In order to grow in value, a work of art requires a particular psychological climate. At that moment, SoHo provided exactly the right amount of mental heat for art to thrive and for prices to soar. Expensive work from every period must be impregnated by the intangible-an idea of worth. This idea has the paradoxical effect of detaching the name of the artist from the thing, and the name becomes the commodity that is bought and sold. The object merely trails after the name as its solid proof. Of course, the artist himself or herself has little to do with any of it. But in those years, whenever I went for groceries or stood in line at the post office, I heard the names. Schnabel, Salle, Fischl, Sherman were magic words then, like the ones in the fairy tales I read to Matt every night. They opened sealed doors and filled empty pouches with gold. The name Wechsler wasn’t fated for full-blown enchantment then, but after Bernie’s show, it was whispered here and there, and I sensed that slowly Bill too might lose his name to the strange weather that hung over SoHo for a number of years before it stopped, suddenly, on another October day in 1987.”
Siri Hustvedt (Northfield, 19 februari 1955)
Uit: The Last Sleep of Reason (vertaald door Dmitri Priven)
“That night Volodya’s legs got frozen over like a river in winter, and he was already grateful to his wife for bandaging his sore thighs with angora wool. A forgiving woman, she was stroking her husband’s hair till the morning; he was crying bitterly, bidding farewell to his hopes for international recognition and generalship. Of all his fantasies only one remained: that Zubov would give him some of his pumpkin seeds, but then only if Major Pogosian commanded so.
The following morning Anna Karlovna found her husband’s legs absolutely recovered, at least exactly the same as they were before the relapse – just slightly swollen at thighs. Tenderly she rubbed grandma’s live cell ointment into them and helped her husband into the boots.
The police department welcomed Sinichkin back with mixed feelings. Major Pogosian patted him on the shoulder, but then lifted up his hands with typical Armenian sadness and talked at length that fame can spoil you and it is all good that the record did not happen.
Karapetian was scratching his sideburns without saying a word, but thought deep down that Captain Sinichkin was a complete nobody, wearing on his shoulder-straps the star that was rightfully Karapetian’s.
As usual, the Armenian lunch was served at two; poor Zubov again was getting bashed. The topic chewed over was Russian woman’s influence on Armenian man’s psyche. One of the officers even suggested that a relationship with a fair-haired people causes the Caucasus man to lose hair five times as fast, and not only on the head but also chest and back.
Sergeant-major Zubov tried to elucidate what the connection was between the psyche and baldness, but was commanded to shut up; however, swallowing a piece of roast lamb, Zubov-Zubian expressed protest in the form of unbuttoning his uniform. A perfect silence reigned over the table when the dining audience had beheld a stupendous sight, which Sinichkin named to himself “A Sheep Before Shearing”. The sergeant-major’s chest was a darker shade of black so dense was the hair on it. His skin was not showing one bit under the brunette vegetation, and the seasoned Armenians sulked in view of such hormonal assets of their colleague.
Zubov offered to model his back and behind, hinting vulgarly that the degree of shagginess on those body parts is no less than on his chest, but the officers waved him off, and Major Pogosian warned that he would shoot the moron if he took his pants off at the dinner table.
Such was Sergeant-major Zubov’s little victory over his fellow countrymen, and he was flashing a conceited smirk from under his multi-tiered nose all afternoon.”
Dmitri Lipskerov (Moskou, 19 februari 1964)
Uit: Saving Fish From Drowning
„It was not my fault. If only the group had followed my original itinerary without changing it hither, thither, and yon, this debacle would never have happened. But such was not the case, and there you have it, I regret to say.
“Following the Buddha’s Footsteps” is what I named the expedition. It was to have begun in the southwestern corner of China, in Yunnan Province, with vistas of the Himalayas and perpetual spring flowers, and then to have continued south on the famed Burma Road. This would allow us to trace the marvelous influence of various religious cultures on Buddhist art over a thousand years and a thousand miles—a fabulous journey into the past. As if that were not enough appeal, I would be both tour leader and personal docent, making the expedition a truly value-added opportunity. But in the wee hours of December 2nd, and just fourteen days before we were to leave on our expedition, a hideous thing happened . . . I died. There. I’ve finally said it, as unbelievable as it sounds. I can still see the tragic headline: “Socialite Butchered in Cult Slaying.”
The article was quite long: two columns on the left-hand side of the front page, with a color photo of me covered with an antique textile, an exquisite one utterly ruined for future sale.”
Amy Tan (Oakland, 19 februari 1952)
Uit: Religion mit der Faust
“Aber jetzt komme ich zur eigentlichen Problematik der Sache. Das anfängliche Würstchen und der nunmehrige Siegerheld ist nicht nur, im höheren (oder tieferen?) Boxsport nicht
ungewöhnlich, ein Neger, sofern erlaubt ist, dieses Wort noch zu gebrauchen, sondern auch, einer offenbaren Mode unter Boxnegern seit einiger Zeit folgend, Muselmane. Das heißt, er hat zu Allah gefleht. Gewinnt damit dieser Boxkampf religiöse, theologische Dimensionen? Ist damit entschieden, welche Religion die richtige ist? Also der Islam! Sollte nicht angesichts dieses offenkundigen Gottesbeweises das Kardinalskollegium den Purpur ablegen und grüne Turbane aufsetzen sowie sich vier Frauen anschaffen? Aber man zögert, scheint’s noch. Jedenfalls lese ich von keiner Reaktion von christlicher Seite. Vielleicht wird in aller Heimlichkeit ein Boxkampf vorbereitet, bei dem der eine Kontrahent Allah, der andere jene hl. Halbgöttin oder den als nicht zimperlich bekannten Erzengel Michael anruft,”
Herbert Rosendorfer (Gries, 19 februari 1934)
Zie voor onderstaande schrijvers ookmijn blog van 19 februari 2007.
De Amerikaanse schrijfster Carson McCullers werd geboren als Lula Carson Smith 19 februari 1917 in Columbus, Georgia.
De Nederlandse schrijver Mark Prager Lindo, beter bekend als Den Ouden Heer Smits werd geboren in Londen op 19 februari 1819.