Trevor Joyce, Pat Conroy, Ulrich Plenzdorf, Sorley MacLean, Andrej Bely

De Ierse dichter Trevor Joyce werd geboren op 26 oktober 1947 in Dublin. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 26 oktober 2009 en ook mijn blog van 26 oktober 2010

Fast Rivers

for Michael Smith

right at the very

instant of delivery

the messengers

begin to fail

and are already


when we see the moment so



reckoning surely we regard

time not yet come


let not the fool delude himself

that which he foresees

will last

no longer than the bygone show

and all things thus

shall pass

our lives are fast rivers soon

delivered to the sea

of death

whereto go all dominions down

exhausted and

are quenched

there must find the slightest rill

with tributary stream

and flood

all then levelled utterly


and lord

this world is but a road to one

wherein is no abiding


he needs due bearing who would not

from that true path

fall off

the setting out is at our birth

we travel as we live


at last complete the course

and in that death

lie down


Trevor Joyce (Dublin, 26 oktober 1947)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Pat Conroy werd geboren op 26 oktober 1945 in Atlanta, Georgia. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 26 oktober 2009 en ook mijn blog van 26 oktober 2010

Uit: South of Broad

„In the secrecy of its gardens you can discover jasmine and camellias and hundreds of other plants that look embroidered and stolen from the Garden of Eden for the sheer love of richness and the joy of stealing from the gods. In its kitchens, the stoves are lit up in happiness as the lamb is marinating in red wine sauce, vinaigrette is prepared for the salad, crabmeat is anointed with sherry, custards are baked in the oven, and buttermilk biscuits cool on the counter.
Because of its devotional, graceful attraction to food and gardens and architecture, Charleston stands for all the principles that make living well both a civic virtue and a standard. It is a rapturous, defining place to grow up. Everything I reveal to you now will be Charleston-shaped and Charleston-governed, and sometimes even Charleston-ruined. But it is my fault and not the city’s that it came close to destroying me. Not everyone responds to beauty in the same way. Though Charleston can do much, it can’t always improve on the strangeness of human behavior. But Charleston has a high tolerance for eccentricity and bemusement. There is a tastefulness in its gentility that comes from the knowledge that Charleston is a permanent dimple in the understated skyline, while the rest of us are only visitors.
My father was an immensely gifted science teacher who could make the beach at Sullivan’s Island seem like a laboratory created for his own pleasures and devices. He could pick up a starfish, or describe the last excruciating moments of an oyster’s life on a flat a hundred yards from where we stood. He made Christmas ornaments out of the braceletlike egg casings of whelks. In my mother’s gardens he would show me where the ladybug disguised her eggs beneath the leaves of basil and arugula. In the Congaree Swamp, he discovered a new species of salamander that was named in his honor. There was no butterfly that drifted into our life he could not identify by sight. At night, he would take my brother, Steve, and I out into the boat to the middle of Charleston Harbor and make us memorize the constellations.“


Pat Conroy (Atlanta, 26 oktober 1945)


De Duitse schrijver
Ulrich Plenzdorf werd geboren op 26 oktober 1934 in Berlijn. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 26 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 26 oktober 2010


Uit: Die neuen Leiden des jungen W.

»Und deswegen ging Edgar weg, glauben Sie?«

»Ich weiß nicht… Jedenfalls, was die meisten denken, Ed ging weg wegen dieser Sache mit Flemming, das ist Quatsch. Warum er das gemacht hat, versteh ich zwar auch nicht. Ed hatte nichts auszustehen. Er war Chef in allen Fächern, ohne zu pauken.

Und er hielt sich sonst immer aus allem raus. Ärger gab es bei uns öfter. Viele sagten: Muttersöhnchen. Natürlich nicht öffentlich. Ed war ein kleiner Stier. Oder er hätte es überhört. Beispielsweise das mit den Miniröcken. Die Weiber, ich meine: die Mädchen aus unserer Klasse, sie konnten es nicht bleibenlassen, in diesen Miniröcken in der Werkstatt aufzukreuzen, zur Arbeit. Um den Ausbildern was zu zeigen. X-mal hatten sie das schon verboten. Das stank uns dann so an, daß wir mal, alle Jungs, eines Morgens in Miniröcken zur Arbeit antraten. Das war eine ziemliche Superschau. Ed hielt sich da raus. Das war ihm wohl auch zu albern.«

Leider hatte ich nichts gegen kurze Röcke. Man kommt morgens völlig vertrieft aus dem ollen Bett, sieht die erste Frau am Fenster, schon lebt man etwas. Ansonsten kann sich von mir aus jeder anziehen, wie er will. Trotzdem war die Sache ein echter Jux.

Hätte von mir sein können, die Idee. Rausgehalten hab ich mich einfach, weil ich Muttern keinen Ärger machen wollte. Das war wirklich ein großer Fehler von mir: Ich wollte ihr nie Ärger machen. Ich war überhaupt daran gewöhnt, nie jemand Ärger zu machen. Auf die Art muß man sich dann jeden Spaß verkneifen. Das konnte einen langsam anstinken. Ich weiß nicht, ob mich einer versteht. Damit sind wir beim Thema, weshalb ich zu Hause kündigte. Ich hatte einfach genug davon, als lebender Beweis dafür rumzulaufen, daß man einen Jungen auch sehr gut ohne Vater erziehen kann. Das sollte es doch sein. An einem Tag war ich mal auf den blöden Gedanken gekommen, was gewesen wäre, wenn ich plötzlich abkratzen müßte, schwarze Pocken oder was. Ich meine, was ich dann vom Leben gehabt hätte. Den Gedanken wurde ich einfach nicht mehr los.“


Ulrich Plenzdorf (26 oktober 1934 – 9 augustus 2007)

Scene uit de televisiefilm uit 1976 met Klaus Hoffmann als Edgar Wibeau


De Schotse dichter Sorley MacLean (Schots Gaelic: Somhairle MacGill-Eain) werd geboren op 26 oktober 1911 Osgaig op het eiland Raasay. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 26 oktober 2010


Death Valley

Some Nazi or other has said that the Fuehrer
had restored to German manhood the
‘right and joy of dying in battle’.

Sitting dead in ‘Death Valley’
below the Ruweisat Ridge,
a boy with his forelock down about his cheek
and his face slate-grey;

I thought of the right and the joy
that he got from his Fuehrer,
of falling in the field of slaughter
to rise no more;

of the pomp and the fame
that he had, not alone,
though he was the most piteous to see
in a valley gone to seed

with flies about grey corpses
on a dun sand
dirty yellow and full of the rubbish
and fragments of battle.

Was the boy of the band
who abused the Jews
and Communists, or of the greater
band of those

led, from the beginning of generations,
unwillingly to the trial
and mad delirium of every war
for the sake of rulers?

Whatever his desire or mishap,
his innocence or malignity,
he showed no pleasure in his death
below the Ruweisat Ridge.


Sorley MacLean (26 october 1911 – 24 november 1996)

Portret doorDonald MacKenzie


De Russische schrijver en theoreticus van het symbolisme Andrej Bely werd geboren op 26 oktober 1880 in Moskou. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 26 oktober 2010


Uit: Petersburg (Vertaald door Robert A. Maguire en John E. Malmstad)

“He had a fear of space.
The landscape of the country actually frightened him. Beyond the snows, beyond the ice, and beyond the jagged line of the forest the blizzard would come up. Out there, by a stupid accident, he had nearly frozen to death.
That had happened some fifty years ago.
While he had been freezing to death, someone’s cold fingers, forcing their way into his breast, had harshly stroked his heart, and an icy hand had led him along. He had climbed the rungs of his career with that same incredible expanse always before his eyes. There, from there an icy hand beckoned. Measureless immensity flew on: the Empire of Russia.
Apollon Apollonovich Ableukhov ensconced himself behind city walls for many years, hating the orphaned distances of the provinces, the wisps of smoke from tiny villages, and the jackdaw. Only once had he risked transecting these distances by express train: on an official mission from Petersburg to Tokyo.
Apollon Apollonovich did not discuss his stay in Japan with anyone. He used to say to the Minister:
‘Russia is an icy plain. It is roamed by wolves!’
And the Minister would look at him, stroking his well-groomed gray mustache with a white hand. And he said nothing, and sighed. On the completion of his official duties he had been intending to…
But he died.
And Apollon Apollonovich was utterly alone. Behind him the ages stretched into immeasurable expanses. Ahead of him an icy hand revealed immeasurable expanses.
Immeasurable expanses flew to meet him.
Oh Rus, Rus!
Is it you who have set the winds, storms, and snows howling across the steppe? It seemed to the senator that from a mound a voice was calling him. Only hungry wolves gather in packs out there.
Undoubtedly the senator had been developing a fear of space.”


Andrej Bely (26 oktober 1880 – 8 januari 1934)