De Engelse schrijver William Somerset Maugham werd geboren in Parijs op 25 januari 1874. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 25 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 25 januiari 2010.
Uit: The Trembling Of A Leaf (The Pacific)
„He splashed about for a few minutes in the sea; it was too shallow to swim in and for fear of sharks he could not go out of his depth; then he got out and went into the bath-house for a shower. The coldness of the fresh water was grateful after the heavy stickiness of the salt Pacific, so warm, though it was only just after seven, that to bathe in it did not brace you but rather increased your languor; and when he had dried himself, slipping into a bath-gown, he called out to the Chinese cook that he would be ready for breakfast in five minutes. He walked barefoot across the patch of coarse grass which Walker, the administrator, proudly thought was a lawn, to his own quarters and dressed. This did not take long, for he put on nothing but a shirt and a pair of duck trousers and then went over to his chief’s house on the other side of the compound. The two men had their meals together, but the Chinese cook told him that Walker had set out on horseback at five and would not be back for another hour.
Mackintosh had slept badly and he looked with distaste at the paw-paw and the eggs and bacon which were set before him. The mosquitoes had been maddening that night; they flew about the net under which he slept in such numbers that their humming, pitiless and menacing, had the effect of a note, infinitely drawn out, played on a distant organ, and whenever he dozed off he awoke with a start in the belief that one had found its way inside his curtains. It was so hot that he lay naked.
He turned from side to side. And gradually the dull roar of the breakers on the reef, so unceasing and so regular that generally you did not hear it, grew distinct on his consciousness, its rhythm hammered on his tired nerves and he held himself with clenched hands in the effort to bear it.
The thought that nothing could stop that sound, for it would continue to all eternity, was almost impossible to bear, and, as though his strength were a match for the ruthless forces of nature, he had an insane impulse to do some violent thing. He felt he must cling to his self-control or he would go mad.“
William Somerset Maugham (25 januari 1874 – 16 december 1965)
De Engelse schrijfster Virginia Woolf werd geboren op 25 januari 1882 te Londen. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 25 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 25 januiari 2010.
Uit: The Voyage Out
„As the streets that lead from the Strand to the Embankment are very narrow, it is better not to walk down them arm-in-arm. If you persist, lawyers’ clerks will have to make flying leaps into the mud; young lady typists will have to fidget behind you. In the streets of London where beauty goes unregarded, eccentricity must pay the penalty, and it is better not to be very tall, to wear a long blue cloak, or to beat the air with your left hand.
One afternoon in the beginning of October when the traffic was becoming brisk a tall man strode along the edge of the pavement with a lady on his arm. Angry glances struck upon their backs. The small, agitated figures—for in comparison with this couple most people looked small—decorated with fountain pens, and burdened with despatch-boxes, had appointments to keep, and drew a weekly salary, so that there was some reason for the unfriendly stare which was bestowed upon Mr. Ambrose’s height and upon Mrs. Ambrose’s cloak. But some enchantment had put both man and woman beyond the reach of malice. In his case one might guess from the moving lips that it was thought; and in hers from the eyes fixed stonily straight in front of her at a level above the eyes of most that it was sorrow. It was only by scorning all she met that she kept herself from tears, and the friction of people brushing past her was evidently painful. After watching the traffic on the Embankment for a minute or two with a stoical gaze she twitched her husband’s sleeve, and they crossed between the swift discharge of motor cars. When they were safe on the further side, she gently withdrew her arm from his, allowing her mouth at the same time to relax, to tremble; then tears rolled down, and, leaning her elbows on the balustrade, she shielded her face from the curious. Mr. Ambrose attempted consolation; he patted her shoulder; but she showed no signs of admitting him, and feeling it awkward to stand beside a grief that was greater than his, he crossed his arms behind him, and took a turn along the pavement.“
Virginia Woolf (25 januari 1882 – 28 maart 1941)
Portret door Franki Brotzler
De Nederlandse schrijfster Renate Dorrestein werd geboren in Amsterdam op 25 januari 1954. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 25 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 25 januiari 2010.
Uit: Verborgen gebreken
„Agnes ziet de zwarte oogjes uitpuilen van schrik. Haar mond wordt kurkdroog. Ze hoort in de verte, in een ander tijdperk, iemand roepen: ‘Pas op!’Robert, het was Robert die dat riep, tegen haar andere broers. Robert die zijn hele spaarvarken had omgekeerd om een pop met echte haren voor haar te kopen toen ze uit het ziekenhuis was ontslagen. Haar kapotte oog was genezen, de wereld was weer wijd en diep en groots. Bij haar thuiskomst had Justus haar onder het slaken van vreugdekreten in de tuin in de lucht gegooid en weer opgevangen. ‘Pas op!’Frank die zijn fiets in het grind had neergesmeten om haar tegemoet te rennen. Benjamin die over het voorwiel struikelde in zijn haast deel uit te maken van de feestvreugde. ‘Er is taart, Aggie,’ riep hij terwijl hij in zijn val tegen Justus aan smakte. ‘Pas op!’ schreeuwde Robert toen Justus eveneens omviel. En Agnes kraaide van plezier toen ze voelde hoe Robert haar uit de lucht greep, en toen ze samen omver rolden lachte ze nog steeds. Robert stortte, haar tegen zich aanklemmend, met zijn volle gewicht boven op haar, en met een gekraak alsof haar hele schedel werd versplinterd, boorde het handvat van Franks fietsstuur in haar oogkas.“
Renate Dorrestein (Amsterdam, 25 januari 1954)
Uit: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
„We then went to eat french fries at McDonald’s and he taught me how to play pinball. He even made a joke that because of me he got to skip an afternoon of school and asked me if I wanted to help him work on his Camaro. I guess I was pretty messy because he never let me work on his Camaro before.
At the guidance counselor sessions, they asked the few of us who actually liked Michael to say a few words. I think they were afraid that some of us would try to kill ourselves or something because they looked very tense and one of them kept touching his beard.
Bridget who is crazy said that sometimes she thought about suicide when commercials come on during TV. She was sincere and this puzzled the guidance counselors. Carl who is nice to everyone said that he felt very sad, but could never kill himself because it is a sin.
This one guidance counselor went through the whole group and finally came to me.
“What do you think, Charlie?”
What was so strange about this was the fact that I had never met this man because he wasa “specialist” and he knew my name even though I wasn’t wearing a name tag like they do in open house.
“Well, I think that Michael was a nice guy and I don’t understand why he did it. As much as I feel sad, I think that not knowing is what really bothers me.”
I just reread that and it doesn’t sound like how I talk. Especially in that office because I was crying still. I never did stop crying.“
Stephen Chbosky (Pittsburgh, 25 januari 1970)
„In the summer of 1919, not long before the great Victory Parade marched up Whitehall, the Major left hospital and went to Ireland to claim his bride, Angela Spencer. At least he fancied that the claiming of her as a bride might come into it. But nothing definite had been settled.
Home on leave in 1916 the Major had met Angela in Brighton where she had been staying with relations. He now only retained a dim recollection of that time, dazed as he was by the incessant, titanic thunder of artillery that cushioned it thickly, before and after. They had been somewhat hysterical – Angela perhaps feeling amid all the patriotism that she too should have something personal to lose, the Major that he should have at least one reason for surviving. He remembered declaring that he would come back to her, but not very much else. Indeed, the only other thing he recalled quite distinctly was saying goodbye to her at an afternoon thé dansant in a Brighton hotel. They had kissed behind a screen of leaves and, reaching out to steady himself, he had put his hand down firmly on a cactus, which had rendered many of his parting words insincere. The strain had been so great that he had been glad to get away from her. Perhaps, however, this suppressed agony had given the wrong impression of his feelings.
Although he was sure that he had never actually proposed to Angela during the few days of their acquaintance, it was beyond doubt that they were engaged: a certainty fostered by the fact that from the very beginning she had signed her letters ‘Your loving fiancée, Angela’. This had surprised him at first. But, with the odour of death drifting into the dug-out in which he scratched out his replies by the light of a candle, it would have been trivial and discourteous beyond words to split hairs about such purely social distinctions.”
J. G. Farrell (25 januari 1935 – 11 augustus 1979)