Wen Yiduo, Laurence Sterne, Cissy van Marxveldt, Arundhati Roy, Carlo Collodi, Ludwig Bechstein, Gerhard Bengsch

De Chinese dichter en schrijver Wen Yiduo werd geboren op 24 november 1899 in Xishui, Hubei. Zie ook alle tags voor Wen Yiduo op dit blog.

Red Candle
                Tears will dry only when the candle burns out. — Li Shangyin

Oh, red candle!
So red a candle!
Oh, poet!
Show your heart to compare
Are they of the same color?

Oh, red candle!
Who is it that made the wax — gave you a body?
Who is it that lighted it — kindled your soul?
Why should the wax be burnt
To give out the light?
One wrong after another;
To contradict! To conflict!

Oh, red candle!
No wrong, no wrong!
Your light should be “burned” out —
This is just a natural way.

Oh, red candle!
Once made, just burn it!
Burn, just burn!
Break the dream of the world,
Boil the blood of the world —
To save their souls,
To destroy their hell!

Oh, red candle!
The time when your heart is kindled
Is the day your tears begin to run.

Oh, red candle!
The craftsman made you
Just for burning.
Why are you hurt and tearful?
Aha! I know it!
It is the remaining wind that disturbs your light,
You are reduced to tears
When your light sways!

Oh, red candle!
Just let your tears run! How can you hold them back?
Please let your essence
Ceaselessly run into the human world,
To bring about the consulate flowers
And to produce happy fruit!

Oh, red candle!
Each tear you drop, each fraction of heart you will break.
Heartbreak and tears are your result,
But creating light is your cause.

Oh, red candle!
“Ask not for gains, but for pains.”

Wen Yiduo (24 november 1899 – 15 juli 1946)


De Engels-Ierse schrijver Laurence Sterne werd geboren op 24 november 1713 in Clonmel, Tipperary, Ierland. Zie ook alle tags voor Laurence Sterne op dit blog.

Uit: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

“—De gustibus non est disputandum;—that is, there is no disputing against Hobby-Horses; and for my part, I seldom do; nor could I with any sort of grace, had I been an enemy to them at the bottom; for happening, at certain intervals and changes of the moon, to be both fidler and painter, according as the fly stings:—Be it known to you, that I keep a couple of pads myself, upon which, in their turns, (nor do I care who knows it) I frequently ride out and take the air;—though sometimes, to my shame be it spoken, I take somewhat longer journies than what a wise man would think altogether right.—But the truth is,—I am not a wise man;—and besides am a mortal of so little consequence in the world, it is not much matter what I do: so I seldom fret or fume at all about it: Nor does it much disturb my rest, when I see such great Lords and tall Personages as hereafter follow;—such, for instance, as my Lord A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, and so on, all of a row, mounted upon their several horses,—some with large stirrups, getting on in a more grave and sober pace;—others on the contrary, tucked up to their very chins, with whips across their mouths, scouring and scampering it away like so many little party-coloured devils astride a mortgage,—and as if some of them were resolved to break their necks.—So much the better—say I to myself;—for in case the worst should happen, the world will make a shift to do excellently well without them; and for the rest,—why—God speed them—e’en let them ride on without opposition from me; for were their lordships unhorsed this very night—’tis ten to one but that many of them would be worse mounted by one half before tomorrow morning.
Not one of these instances therefore can be said to break in upon my rest.—But there is an instance, which I own puts me off my guard, and that is, when I see one born for great actions, and what is still more for his honour, whose nature ever inclines him to good ones;—when I behold such a one, my Lord, like yourself, whose principles and conduct are as generous and noble as his blood, and whom, for that reason, a corrupt world cannot spare one moment;—when I see such a one, my Lord, mounted, though it is but for a minute beyond the time which my love to my country has prescribed to him, and my zeal for his glory wishes,—then, my Lord, I cease to be a philosopher, and in the first transport of an honest impatience, I wish the Hobby-Horse, with all his fraternity, at the Devil.
‘My Lord, I maintain this to be a dedication, notwithstanding its singularity in the three great essentials of matter, form and place: I beg, therefore, you will accept it as such, and that you will permit me to lay it, with the most respectful humility, at your Lordship’s feet—when you are upon them,—which you can be when you please;—and that is, my Lord, whenever there is occasion for it, and I will add, to the best purposes too. I have the honour to be,
My Lord,
            Your Lordship’s most obedient,
            and most devoted,
            and most humble servant,
            Tristram Shandy.’

Laurence Sterne (24 november 1713 – 18 maart 1768)


De Nederlandse schrijfster Cissy van Marxveldt werd geboren in Oranjewoud op 24 november 1889. Zie ook alle tags voor Cissy van Marxveldt op dit blog.

Uit: Joop en haar jongen

“Schoonpapa van Dil zei: „Nee maar, nu geloof ik zeker, dat hij in zijn slaap gelachen heeft.”
Leo zei. „Papa, als U dat lachen noemt, dan heeft hij tegen mij verleden week wakker al gelachen.”
Grietje zei uit de veiligheid van haar keuken sottovoce : „Hij lachte al, toen hij veertien dagen was.”
En ik boog me over het roode knuistje van Hans van Dil, oud vijf weken, en kuste het.
„Kom Papa,” zei Leo, en hij nam Schoonpapa onder zijn arm, „gaat U weer mee achter in de tuin zitten? Of wilt U liever een stoel vlak naast de wagen van Uw kleinzoon hebben?”
‘,pat mag hij niet eens,” zei ik en stak een hand door Schoonpapa’s nog vrije arm. „Zoo’n kleine schat moet rust hebben. En als jullie aldoor over die wagen hangt — de lieve dot kan wel onder hypnose raken.” Schoonpapa schaterde het uit. Hij heeft zoo’n volle lach, die uit zijn buik schijnt te komen. Hij klapte me op mijn hand. „Je neemt me niet kwalijk, he Jopie? Maar die nieuwe waardigheid van jou wind ik zoo verdraaid aardig.”
„Hoe zou U het vinden,” informeerde ik, „wanneer Tante Suzanna aldoor over Uw aanschijn hing, als U slaap hadt? En dan als maar lofliederen tong op Uw neus en Uw lach en Uw haar?”
Schoonpapa streek over zijn gansch kale schedel.
„Over dit laatste zou anders weinig te zingen zijn. Maar ik geef je toe, dat ik het toch criant vervelend vinden zou.”
„O zoo,” zei ik, „nu zoo denkt Uw naamgenoot er precies over.”
Leo trachtte achter Schoonpapa’s rug om aan mijn oor to trekken. ,
„Joost, je bent verschrikkelijk.”
Ik knipoogde tegen hem, en plofte met een zucht van verrukking neer in een van onze witte tuinstoelen.”

Cissy van Marxveldt (24 november 1889 – 31 oktober 1948)


De Indiase schrijfster Arundhati Roy werd geboren op 24 november 1961 in Shillong. Zie ook alle tags voor Arundhati Roy op dit blog.

Uit: The God of Small Things

“And these are only the small things.
Anyway, now she thinks of Estha and Rahel as Them, because, separately, the two of them are no longer what They were or ever thought They’d be.
Their lives have a size and a shape now. Estha has his and Rahel hers.
Edges, Borders, Boundaries, Brinks and Limits have appeared like a team under their eyes and they are as old as Ammu was when she died. Thirty-one.
Not old.
Not young.
But a viable die-able age.
They were nearly born on a bus, Estha and Rahel. The car in which Baba, their father, was taking Ammu, their mother, to hospital in Shillong to have them, broke down on the winding tea-estate road in Assam. They abandoned the car and flagged down a crowded State Transport bus. With the queer compassion of the very poor for the comparatively well off, or perhaps only because they saw how hugely pregnant Ammu was, seated passengers made room for the couple, and for the rest of the journey Estha and Rahel’s father had to hold their mother’s stomach (with them in it) to prevent it from wobbling. That was before they were divorced and Ammu came back to live in Kerala.
According to Estha, if they’d been born on the bus, they’d have got free bus rides for the rest of their lives. It wasn’t clear where he’d got this information from, or how he knew these things, but for years the twins harbored a faint resentment against their parents for having diddled them out of a lifetime of free bus rides.
They also believed that if they were killed on a zebra crossing, the Government would pay for their funerals. They had the definite impression that that was what zebra crossings were meant for. Free funerals. Of course, there were no zebra crossings to get killed on in Ayemenem, or, for that matter, even in Kottayam, which was the nearest town, but they’d seen some from the car window when they went to Cochin, which was a two-hour drive away.”
of trolls on their separate horizons. Short creatures with long shadows, patrolling the Blurry End. Gentle half-moons have gathered

Arundhati Roy (Shillong, 24 november 1961)


De Italiaanse schrijver Carlo Collodi werd als Carlo Lorenzi op 24 november 1826 in Florence geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor Carlo Corrodi op dit blog.

Uit: Pinocchio (Vertaald door Carol Della Chiesa)

“Mastro Cherry grew dumb, his eyes popped out of his head, his mouth opened wide, and his tongue hung down on his chin.
As soon as he regained the use of his senses, he said, trembling and stuttering from fright:
“Where did that voice come from, when there is no one around? Might it be that this piece of wood has learned to weep and cry like a child? I can hardly believe it. Here it is–a piece of common firewood, good only to burn in the stove, the same as any other. Yet– might someone be hidden in it? If so, the worse for him. I’ll fix him!”
With these words, he grabbed the log with both hands and started to knock it about unmercifully. He threw it to the floor, against the walls of the room, and even up to the ceiling.
He listened for the tiny voice to moan and cry. He waited two minutes–nothing; five minutes–nothing; ten minutes–nothing.
“Oh, I see,” he said, trying bravely to laugh and ruffling up his wig with his hand. “It can easily be seen I only imagined I heard the tiny voice! Well, well–to work once more!”
The poor fellow was scared half to death, so he tried to sing a gay song in order to gain courage.
He set aside the hatchet and picked up the plane to make the wood smooth and even, but as he drew it to and fro, he heard the same tiny voice. This time it giggled as it spoke:
“Stop it! Oh, stop it! Ha, ha, ha! You tickle my stomach.”
This time poor Mastro Cherry fell as if shot. When he opened his eyes, he found himself sitting on the floor.
His face had changed; fright had turned even the tip of his nose from red to deepest purple.”

Carlo Collodi (24 november 1826 – 26 oktober 1890)


De Duitse schrijver Gerhard Bengsch werd geboren op 24 november 1928 in Berlijn. Zie ook alle tags voor Gerhard Bengsch op dit blog.

Uit: Der Colonel von Cattenberg

“Deine Ironie zieht bei mir nicht”, gab Jutta zurück. “Tatsache ist, dass uns Karl Ernst Hasselbach in der ersten Zeit alle Wege geebnet hat. Der kennt ja Gott und die Welt. Regierungsräte, Staatssekretäre, alles, was Einfluss hat auf dem Wirtschaftssektor.”
Während Jutta noch ihr Loblied auf Hasselbach sang, trat der Gelobte selber vor uns hin, und Bruno machte uns bekannt. Hasselbach war ein Mann in mittleren Jahren mit merkwürdig fahler Gesichtsfarbe und nikotingelben Fingern. Man sah ihm auf den ersten Blick den starken Raucher an, und tatsächlich, kaum saß er, zündete er sich schon die erste Zigarette an. Essen wollte er nichts, nur was trinken. Er verfluchte die Hitze, tupfte sich Schweiß von der Stirn und fragte, ob der Vorschlag erlaubt sei, sich ins Haus zu setzen, dort sei es voraussichtlich kühler.
Hasselbachs Wunsch war den Gastgebern Befehl. Sollte das kaufmännische Wissen, das er in die Firma eingebracht hatte, tatsächlich soviel wert sein, dass ihm diese Aufmerksamkeit zustand?
Wir saßen noch nicht lange im Wohnzimmer, einem fünf mal zehn Meter großen Raum mit wuchtigen Korbsesseln und einem breiten Fenster mit Blick zum See, da zog Hasselbach das Gespräch an sich. Bier war sein Thema, Bier aller Sorten und Brauarten. Untergäriges und obergäriges Bier. Einfach-, Schank-, Voll- und Starkbier. Lager-, Export-, Märzen-, Nähr-, Malz- und Diätbier. Und das Reinheitsgebot. Und die Verletzung dieses Gebots durch die Brüsseler Bestimmungen, die für ihn ein liberaler Schwachsinn waren, ein Verbrechen am Bier. Überhaupt Brüssel. Hasselbachs fahles Gesicht wurde rot vor Zorn. Die deutschen Interessen kämen in der EU entschieden zu kurz, auch in der Plastikbranche.“

Gerhard Bengsch (24 november 1928 – 11 maart 2004)


De Duitse dichter, schrijver, bibliothecaris en archibaris Ludwig Bechstein werd geboren op 24 november 1801 in Weimar. Zie ook alle tags voor Ludwig Bechstein op dit blog.

Alter Mann

“Mein Frühling ist verblüht,
Mein Sommer ist verglüht,
Mein Herbst ging schon zur Ruh,
Mein Winter ruft mir zu:
Nun schlafe!”

“Mein zitternd Haupt ist kahl,
Mein Lebenswein ist schaal,
Die Neige leert’ ich aus,
Und schleiche still nach Haus,
Und schlafe.”

„Ich suchte Glück und fand
Nur Jammer oder Tand.
Komm her, mein Wanderstab,
Nun such’ ich mir ein Grab,
Und schlafe.”

“Es hat recht tief geschneit,
Es ist nun Schlafenszeit,
Der morsche Stamm zerfallt,
Gut’ Nacht, gut’ Nacht o Welt!
Ich schlafe!” —


Mein Geburtstag

Ja, heut” ist mein Geburtstag,
Heut’ zähl’ ich dreissig Jahr.
Schon dreissig, und ein Mann schon!
Es dünkt mir wunderbar.

Meine Träume waren kindisch,
War knabenhaft, was ich sann;
Mein Herz fühlt Jünglingswärme,
Mein Leib — ist schon ein Mann.

Ich sitze traurig und trübe
Einsam im Stübchen hier,
Und niemand will sich zeigen
Und will Glück wünschen mir.

Will auch nichts hören von Wünschen,
Will auch nichts wissen vom Glück,
Meine hingemordete Jugend
Gibt mir kein Wunsch zurück.

Nur eine heiße Zähre
Mir über die Wange rinnt,
Das ist zu meinem Geburtstag
Mein einziges Angebind.

Ludwig Bechstein (24 november 1801 – 14 mei 1860)
Naar een lithografie van G. Bach, ca. 1840

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