David Vann, Philip Pullman, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Fannie Hurst, Leigh Hunt, Nardo Aluman, Andrew Vachss, John le Carré, Adam Lindsay Gordon

De Amerikaanse schrijver David Vann werd geboren op 19 oktober 1966 op Adak Island, Alaska. Zie ook alle tags voor David Vann op dit blog.

Uit: Legend of a Suicide

“My mother gave birth on Adak Island, a small hunk of rock and snow far out on the Aleutian chain, at the edge of the Bering Sea. My father was serving two years as a dentist in the Navy; he had wanted Alaska because he liked hunting and fishing, but he obviously had not known about Adak at the time of his request. Had my mother known, she would have scratched out the request herself. Given enough information, my mother has never made the wrong choice.
So it was that she refused to have her sweltering, jaundiced baby yanked out of Adak’s underground naval hospital and thrown into the jet that sat waiting on the runway for more than six hours. Because my temperature was 105 degrees and still climbing, the doctors and my father recommended I be flown to the mainland, to a real hospital (no one on Adak survived even a mild heart attack while we were there — no one), but my mother refused. She was certain, with what my father always described as an animal, instinctive fear, that the moment I was borne aloft, I would perish. She placed me in an ordinary white bathtub filled with cold water, and there I survived. Flourished, even. My orange, blotchy skin gradually calmed to a healthy baby pink, my limbs unlocked, and I flailed my legs in the waters until she lifted me out and we both slept.
When my father had finished his sentence with the Navy, we moved to Ketchikan, an island in southeastern Alaska, where he bought a dental practice and, three years later, a fishing boat. The boat was a new twenty-three-foot Uniflite fiberglass cabin cruiser. Still wearing his dental smock beneath his jacket, he launched the boat late on a Friday afternoon as we cheered from shore. He slipped it into its stall in the docks, and the next morning he stood on the edge of those docks looking down thirty feet through clear, icy Alaskan water to where the Snow Goose sat like a white mirage on the rounded gray stones. My father had named it the Snow Goose because he had been filled with dreams of its white hull flying over the waves, but he had forgotten to put in the drain plugs the afternoon of the launching. Unlike my mother, he had neither eyes nor ears for matters below the surface.
That summer, as we flew back over the waves from a day of fishing (my father had had the Snow Goose raised and cleaned, proof that persistence sometimes can make up for a lack of vision), I would be on the open but high-sided back deck with the day’s catch of halibut, flopping into the air with them each time my father sailed over one wave and smashed into the next. The halibut themselves lay flat, like gray-green dogs on the white deck of the boat, their large brown eyes looking up at me hopefully until I whacked them with a hammer.”


David Vann (Adak Island, 19 oktober 1966)


De Britse schrijver Philip Pullman werd geboren op 19 oktober 1946 in Norwich als zoon van een luchtmachtofficier. Zie ook alle tags voor Philip Pullman op dit blog.

Uit: Daemon Voices. On Stories and Storytelling

“The first responsibility to talk about is a social and financial one: the sort of responsibility we share with many other citizens—the need to look after our families and those who depend on us. People of my age will probably remember that wonderfully terrifying advertisement they used to have for Pearl Assurance. It told a little story which I used to read all the way through every time I saw it. When many years later I learned the meaning of the word catharsis, I realised what it was that I’d been feeling as I read that little story: I had been purged by pity and terror.
The advertisement consisted of five drawings of a man’s face. The first was labelled “At age 25,” and it showed a bright-eyed, healthy, optimistic young fellow, full of pep and vigour, with a speech balloon saying “They tell me the job doesn’t carry a pension.”
Each succeeding drawing showed him ten years older, and the speech balloons changed with each one. At forty-five, for example, he was looking sombre and lined and heavy with responsibility, and saying “Unfortunately, the job is not pensionable.” It ended with him at sixty-five: wrinkled, haggard, wild-eyed, a broken-down old man staring into the very abyss of poverty and decrepitude, and saying, “Without a pension I really don’t know what I shall do!”
Well, I’m not going to sell you a pension. I’m just going to say that we should all insist that we’re properly paid for what we do. We should sell our work for as much as we can decently get for it, and we shouldn’t be embarrassed about it. Some tender and sentimental people—especially young people—are rather shocked when I tell them that I write books to make money, and I want to make a lot, if I can.
When we start writing books we’re all poor; we all have to do another job in the daytime and write at night; and, frankly, it’s not as romantic as it seems to those who aren’t doing it. Worry—constant low-level unremitting anxiety about bank statements and mortgages and bills—is not a good state of mind to write in. I’ve done it. It drains your energy; it distracts you; it weakens your concentration. The only good thing about being poor and obscure is the obscurity—just as the only trouble with being rich and famous is the fame.


Philip Pullman (Norwich, 19 oktober 1946)


De Guatemalteekse dichter en schrijver Miguel Ángel Asturias werd geboren op 19 oktober 1899 in Guatemala-Stad. Zie ook alle tags voor Miguel Ángel Asturias op dit blog.


In the Light of the Goldthinking-Stars (Fragment)

The rain scorched the whites of his eyes,
the quicklime corneas,
in the presence of those who bejewel the earth
with water tattoos,
tattoos in motion, navigable tattoos,
Fluvial Tattooers;
before those who pearl the fields with tearful dust,
Tattooers of the Dew;
before those who set out to tattoo the beaches
with snails, sponges and sargassos,
the raucous skeleton of the sea,
Oceanic Tattooers;
before those who steal from serpentariums
tattoos that shorten distance
and move away the near,
Tattooers of Roads;
before the Tattooers of the Dusk,
their hands with handfuls of sunset clouds…
Before the Tattooers of the Night,
their hands with amulets of fire…

The Night, Nothingness and Life,
those Immense Widows
in the light of the Goldthinking-stars,
Emissaries who lost their way in the nickel sky,
without revealing their message,
and the Twohanded Tattooer
with his hollow pupils,
craters of extinct volcanoes
in the cemetery of his corneas,
on the move – Blinded by Fresh Rain,
those Blinded by Fresh Rain see what they dream –
in all the white shadow his steps provided,
his countless feet moving beneath the tunic woven
with amnesia of silkworms,
the silver-dust cloak in the wind at his shoulders,
to keep from losing the thread of the tattoo
when crossing the shadowy world
where touch is demagnetized
and one must dodge, transformed into dream,
jaguars forged of fire,
blue turkeys forged of sky,
corals of coral vipers,
breathless jades,
women cut into islands,
masks pockmarked with rubies,
skulls with teeth encrusted with jadeites,
horoscopes of breeze
and cities of white copal ,
until one emerges at respiration,
at respirations,
at scent,
at pollen,
at the calendar of ashes,
at the hailstorm of hieroglyphics…


Vertaald door Robert W. Lebling


Miguel Ángel Asturias (19 oktober 1899 – 9 juni 1974)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Fannie Hurst werd geboren op 19 oktober 1889 in Hamilton, Ohio. Zie ook alle tags voor Fanny Hurst op dit blog.

Uit: Back Street

“One evening in one of those Over-­the-­Rhine cafés which were plentiful along Vine Street of the Cincinnati of the nineties, a traveling salesman leaned across his stein of Moerlein’s Extra Light and openly accused Ray Schmidt of being innocent.
“I know! You’re one of those cheating girls who act fly but aren’t. You’ll lead a man on, but you won’t go all the way.”
At the implication and all that went with it, Ray’s hand flew to her tippet, color ran beneath her tan pallor, and as usual when under stress, she rolled her eyes and became flippant.
“Try me,” was what she said, with little sense of the outrageousness of such a remark.
“That’s exactly what I have been trying to do all evening,” said the traveling salesman who, having exhibited what was for him an unprecedented astuteness in his summary of Ray Schmidt, now leaned to pinch her knee softly underneath the table.
Ray was forever being pinched underneath tables. As far back as she could remember, as a child and then as a girl growing up on Baymiller Street, boys had been fond of pinching and pulling her toward them for kisses.
“Spooning” was not unpleasant, particularly in the evening, when somehow the boys’ faces receded out of a pimply reality into the velvet tunnels of Cincinnati’s low kind of darkness. With the boys whose faces persisted in jutting lumpily, even out of cover of nighttime, Ray simply had not the heart to follow the slightly disgusted impulse to push them away.
One “spooned” to be kind. It gave you the reputation of being “fly,” no doubt of that, particularly if, like Ray, you were endowed with that subtle womanish dimension known as “style.” Ray had that. When she even so much as walked past the Stag Hotel, skirts held up off the sidewalk with that ineffable turn of wrist which again denoted “style,” there was that in her demeanor which caused each male head and eye to turn.
Sometimes they made kissing sounds with their lips, past which she sailed with her head high.”


Fannie Hurst (19 oktober 1889 – 23 februari 1968)


De Engelse dichter, schrijver en essayist James Leigh Hunt werd geboren op 19 oktober 1784 in Southgate, Middlesex. Zie ook alle tags voor Leigh Hunt op dit blog.


The Olive Of Peace

Now sheath’d is the Sword that was wild as the blast:
The Tempest of Slaughter and Terror is past;
Old ALBION her Neighbour all smilingly hails—
For the OLIVE of PEACE blooms again in our Vales!
Beam on the day,
Thou Olive gay:
‘Matchless is he
Who planted thee;
And mayst thou like him immortal be!’

Divinest of Olives, O, never was seen
A bloom so enchanting, a verdure so green!
Sweet, sweet do thy Beauties entwiningly smile
In the Vine-tree of France and the Oak of our Isle!
Beam on the day,
Thou Olive gay, &c.

Long, long did thy envied Exotic delay,
‘Till the voice of HUMANITY charm’d thee away;
And here, ever here mayst thou bloom in repose,
As firm as our Oak-tree, and gay as the Rose!
Bloom on the day,
Thou Olive gay, &c.

Let ALCIDES his Poplar of Majesty prize,
And VENUS her Myrtle exalt to the skies:
FRANCE and ALBION excell all the Gods of old Greece—
For they crown their wise heads with the OLIVE of PEACE!
Bloom on the day,
Thou Olive gay, &c.

The delicate Lily may gracefully mount,
And the Pink all her charms with the Rainbow recount;
Green, green is the Olive on ALBION’S brow,
And the Lily and Pink to the Olive must bow!
Bloom on the day,
Thou Olive gay, &c.

Thou Olive divine, may Eternity’s Sun
Beam warm where thy roots thro’ the ages shall run;
The Dew of Affection ‘light soft where they twine,
And the Love of an Universe stamp thee divine!
Bloom on the day,
Thou Olive gay:
‘Matchless was he
Who planted thee;
And mayst thou like him immortal be!’


Leigh Hunt (19 oktober 1784 – 28 augustus 1859) 
Portret door Margaret Gillies in de National Portrait Gallery, Londen, 1838-1846


De Surinaamse schrijver Nardo Aluman (eig. Ronald Renardo Aloema) werd geboren in Christiaankondre op 19 oktober 1946. Zie ook alle tags voor Nardo Aluman op dit blog.

Uit: Julawai / De strijd tussen goed en kwaad

“Bij het water aangekomen had hij toch wel spijt dat hij geen lamp had meegenomen, want het was pikdonker. Toen hij enkele ogenblikken genoot van de stilte van de nacht en aanstalten maakte om zijn lange blauwe kamisa (lendendoek) uit te trekken, kreeg hij het gevoel dat hij door iemand benaderd werd. Hij kreeg kippevel. Op korte afstand klonk ineens een mannenstem. De stem zei dat hij een goede vriend was. Julawai zag hoe in het donker een mannelijke figuur hem naderde. De stem vroeg of Julawai geen zin had om bij hem thuis te komen.
‘Er is voldoende eten en drinken thuis’, zei de onbekende. Julawai kon niet antwoorden, hij voelde zich lamgeslagen. Zijn oren begonnen te suizen. De omgeving werd donkerder voor hem. In zijn lichaam voelde hij geen botten meer. Ineens pakte de onbekende man hem bij zijn schouders en zette een hoofdtooi op zijn hoofd. Toen pas realiseerde Julawai zich dat er iets onheilspellends gebeurde, dat hij in de handen van een kwaadwillige gevallen was. Hij begon om hulp te schreeuwen. Zijn vrouw werd hierdoor wakker. Zij herkende de stem van haar man. Samen met andere dorpelingen holde zij naar de plaats des onheils. Ondertussen werd Julawai door de onbekende man bij zijn arm gepakt en gedwongen om mee te gaan. Vanaf het moment dat hij de hoofdtooi op zijn hoofd kreeg, kon hij alles weer helder zien. Hij zag dat de man die hem bij zijn arm vastpakte niet alleen was, maar dat er nog twee anderen bij waren. De drie mannen zagen er vriendelijk uit. Maar nog steeds vertrouwde Julawai de zaak niet en hij begon harder te roepen.
De Byjai, de vrouw van Julawai en enkele anderen waren inmiddels aan de waterkant aangekomen. Ze zagen Julawai niet, maar hoorden hem om hulp roepen. Met een olielamp op het hoofd zette het groepje koers in de richting van het geschreeuw. Julawai riep dat hij meegenomen werd door onbekenden. Sneller en sneller zetten ze de achtervolging in. Ze hadden al een behoorlijke afstand gelopen, toen ze het geroep van Julawai net enkele meters van hen vandaan hoorden. Julawai zag zijn vrouw aankomen, maar zijn vrouw en de anderen konden hem niet zien. Hij begreep toen dat hij onzichtbaar was gemaakt door zijn ontvoerders. De Byjai en zijn vrouw vroegen hem om terug te keren naar huis. Hij zei dat hij dat graag wilde, maar dat hij werd vastgehouden door drie mannen. De Byjai begreep dat Julawai door ewarumyn (boze geesten) onzichtbaar was gemaakt en dat hij nu in de ban was van de slechte geestelijke krachten van het oerwoud. Julawai sprak nog een laatste woord tot zijn vrouw. Hij zei dat alleen de hoofdtooi hem belemmerde om zichtbaar te zijn. De Byjai wist dat het zinloos was Julawai verder te volgen en dat ze beter naar het dorp konden terugkeren.”


Nardo Aluman (Christiaankondre, 19 oktober 1946)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Andrew Vachss werd geboren op 19 oktober 1942 in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Andrew Vachss op dit blog.

Uit: Blue Belle

“Spring comes hard down here. The switchman was in the lo-tus position—serenely posed on an army blanket he had neatly folded into quarters before he assembled his tools and took up his post for the day. A black man with glowing bronze skin, hair falling straight and glossy down either side of his head like a helmet, framing a face that was mostly skull. He held a thick pad of graph paper open on his lap, carefully filling a page with finely shaded symbols—a covert calligraphy all his own. He didn’t bother to hide his work from passing citizens. His half-smile said it all—the simple slugs thought him insane; they could never understand the difference between the messenger and the message. A pale-blue quilt covered his shoulders. He placed three identical blue china bowls on the blanket around him. To his right, the bowl sported a generous supply of fine-point felt-tip pens in different colors. The bowl on his left held a heavy Zippo cigarette lighter and some loose cigarettes—various brands. Directly in front was a bowl with some coins, encouraging the passing citizens to make a contribution to his mystical cause.
He had long tapering fingers, clean and smooth, the nails man-icured and covered with clear polish. I got a good look at his hands yesterday when I stopped to look over his shoulder and watch him work. He filled a quarter of the page with symbols, never using the same one twice, working in five separate colors, not acknowledging my presence. I helped myself to one of his cigarettes, lit it with his lighter. He never moved. I tossed some coins into his china bowl and moved on, smoking his cigarette. It tasted like it was about my age. I didn’t need the polished nails to tell me he was the switchman. The neighborhood is full of halfway houses for discharged mental patients—they disgorge their cargo into the streets each morning, but this guy wasn’t part of that herd. He wasn’t talking to himself and he hadn’t tried to tell me his story. And he didn’t look afraid. The little piece of winter chill still hanging around in April didn’t seem to bother him. He worked the same post every day—starting around eleven in the morning and staying on the job until about three. The switchman had a choice spot, always setting up his shop at the edge of a tiny triangle of dirt on West Broadway, between Reade and Chambers. The slab of dirt had a couple of broken backless benches and a runty tree that had been bonsai’ed by years of attention from pigeons, dogs, squirrels, and winos. An alley without walls. Down in this part of the city, they call it a park. At eleven, he would still be in shadow, but the sun would make its move from the East River over to the Hudson past noon, and things would warm up.”


Andrew Vachss (New York, 19 oktober 1942)


De Britse schrijver John le Carré werd geboren op 19 oktober 1931 in Poole, Dorset, Engeland. Zie ook alle tags voor John le Carré op dit blog.

Uit: The Constant Gardener

“The news hit the British High Commission in Nairobi at nine-thirty on a Monday morning. Sandy Woodrow took it like a bullet, jaw rigid, chest out, smack through his divided English heart. He was standing. That much he afterwards remembered. He was standing and the internal phone was piping. He was reaching for something, he heard the piping so he checked himself in order to stretch down and fish the receiver off the desk and say, “Woodrow.” Or maybe, “Woodrow here.” And he certainly barked his name a bit, he had that memory for sure, of his voice sounding like someone else’s, and sounding stroppy: “Woodrow here,” his own perfectly decent name, but without the softening of his nickname Sandy, and snapped out as if he hated it, because the High Commissioner’s usual prayer meeting was slated to start in thirty minutes prompt, with Woodrow, as Head of Chancery, playing in-house moderator to a bunch of special-interest prima donnas, each of whom wanted sole possession of the High Commissioner’s heart and mind.
In short, just another bloody Monday in late January, the hottest time in the Nairobi year, a time of dust and water shortages and brown grass and sore eyes and heat ripping off the city pavements; and the jacarandas, like everybody else, waiting for the long rains.
Exactly why he was standing was a question he never resolved. By rights he should have been crouched behind his desk, fingering his keyboard, anxiously reviewing guidance material from London and incomings from neighboring African missions. Instead of which he was standing in front of his desk and performing some unidentified vital act — such as straightening the photograph of his wife Gloria and two small sons, perhaps, taken last summer while the family was on home leave. The High Commission stood on a slope, and its continuing subsidence was enough to tilt pictures out of true after a weekend on their own.
Or perhaps he had been squirting mosquito spray at some Kenyan insect from which even diplomats are not immune. There had been a plague of “Nairobi eye” a few months back, flies that when squidged and rubbed accidentally on the skin could give you boils and blisters, and even send you blind.”


John le Carré (Poole, 19 oktober 1931)


De Australische dichter Adam Lindsay Gordon werd geboren op 19 oktober 1833 op de Azoren. Zie ook alle tags voor Adam Lindsay Gordon op dit blog.


Hippodromania; or, Whiffs from the Pipe

Part I: Visions In The Smoke (Fragment)

Rest, and be thankful ! On the verge
Of the tall cliff rugged and grey,
But whose granite base the breakers surge,
And shiver their frothy spray,
Outstretched, I gaze on the eddying wreath
That gathers and flits away,
With the surf beneath, and between my teeth
The stem of the ‘ancient clay’.

With the anodyne cloud on my listless eyes,
With its spell on my dreamy brain,
As I watch the circling vapours rise
From the brown bowl up to the sullen skies.
My vision becomes more plain,
Till a dim kaleidoscope succeeds
Through the smoke-rack drifting and veering,
Like ghostly riders on phantom steeds
To a shadowy goal careering.

In their own generation the wise may sneer,
They hold our sports in derision ;
Perchance to sophist, or sage, or seer,
Were allotted a graver vision.
Yet if man, of all the Creator plann’d,
His noblest work is reckoned,
Of the works of His hand, by sea or by land,
The horse may at least rank second.

Did they quail, those steeds of the squadrons light,
Did they flinch from the battle’s roar,
When they burst on the guns of the Muscovite,
By the echoing Black Sea shore ?
On ! on ! to the cannon’s mouth they stride,
With never a swerve nor a shy,
Oh ! the minutes of yonder maddening ride,
Long years of pleasure outvie !


Adam Lindsay Gordon (19 oktober 1833 – 24 juni 1870)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 19e oktober ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2011 deel 1 en eveneens deel 2.

David Vann, Philip Pullman, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Fannie Hurst, Leigh Hunt, Nardo Aluman, Andrew Vachss, John le Carré, Adam Lindsay Gordon

De Amerikaanse schrijver David Vann werd geboren op 19 oktober 1966 op Adak Island, Alaska. Zie ook alle tags voor David Vann op dit blog.

Uit: Klare lucht zwart (Vertaald door Arjaan en Thijs van Nimwegen)

“Haar vader een gouden gelaat in duister. In fakkellicht verschenen boven het water en weer vervaagd. Gelaat van de zon, afstammeling van de zon. Verraad en woede. Vier pluimen langs zijn masker, uiteenspattend licht, als manen.
Zijn schild van vele huiden een uitgeholde duisternis. Essenhouten speer een dunne lijn en dan verdwenen. Het zeil boven hem opgebold als een ossenbuik, gezwollen als een god, hoeven geluidloos in het water beneden.
Niets zal hem weerhouden, zo weet Medea. Hij heeft te veel verloren. Ze kan hem alleen ophouden. Ze bukt zich om een stuk van haar broer te grijpen, een onderarm, sterk en nu vreemd zacht, al afkoelend, en werpt die in zee, bijna zonder geluid, gedempt door het plassen van de roeiriemen.
Ze heeft dit voor Jason gedaan, en ze zal meer doen, dat weet ze. Haar broer uiteengereten aan haar voeten. Zo begint de wereld.
Donker hout in donkerder water, een zee van inkt, een gevoelde maar ongeziene regelmaat, enkel glimpen van brekende golven. Dik hout onder hen, krakend touwwerk.
Dikke touwen van de roerstanders achter haar rug, kreunend onder de druk van de roeren. Ze stijgt en daalt en wentelt bij elke lichte golf, en een ogenblik later herhalen Jason en zijn mannen elke beweging. Allemaal als één samengesmeed, barbaren en haar Minyers. Elke scheepsromp een thuis.
Vlees dat zou moeten zinken maar niet zinkt, een onderarm te klein om op te vallen in fakkellicht in dat duister, maar niettemin gezien. Haar vader die beveelt het zeil te strijken, de riemen in te halen. De grote ossenbuik loopt leeg, houdt geen licht meer vast, verduistert en verschrompelt, de bovenra zakt. Riembladen in een rij hoog boven het water, vangen licht en wijken weer uit, het schip keert.
De romp donker, ongezien, en haar vader daarboven. Nu gebukt, reikend naar zijn zoon.”


David Vann (Adak Island, 19 oktober 1966)

Lees verder “David Vann, Philip Pullman, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Fannie Hurst, Leigh Hunt, Nardo Aluman, Andrew Vachss, John le Carré, Adam Lindsay Gordon”

Nardo Aluman, Andrew Vachss, John le Carré, Adam Lindsay Gordon

De Surinaamse schrijver Nardo Aluman (eig. Ronald Renardo Aloema) werd geboren in Christiaankondre op 19 oktober 1946. Zie ook alle tags voor Nardo Aluman op dit blog en eveneens mijn blog van 19 oktober 2010


Uit: Epakano Jakonombo/Tijdens de opstanding


“Heel, heel lang voor de witte man kwam, bestond er een welvarend en vreugdevol dorpje aan de bovenloop van de Amana-rivier in het huidige Frans-Guyana. De naam Amana (Mana) is ontleend aan een soort klei. Het is een roodgele klei en komt veel voor aan de oevers van deze rivier. Van deze klei vervaardigen de Caraïbische vrouwen van de dorpen Awara en Galibi nog altijd hun aardewerk. Het dorp was gevestigd bij een grote Ulemari-boom en heette daarom Ulemari-undy (de stam van de Ulemari).

De rivier Amana leverde tal van middelen van bestaan. Aan vis en vlees had men in het dorp dan ook nooit gebrek. De bevolking van Ulemari-undy deed ook aan landbouw en het dorp was volbeplant met allerlei soorten vruchtbomen. De bewoners vormden een grote familie die onder leiding stond van een pyjai. Deze man was één van de grootste pyjai’s in de Guyana’s. Iedereen in de Guyana’s kende hem en men had veel eerbied voor hem. Zijn onderdanen durfden hem niet bij zijn naam te noemen en daarom wist niemand hoe hij heette. Zijn aanspreektitel was ‘Byjai’, dat betekent leermeester. Zoals het overal in de wereld toegaat, had deze Byjai ook tegenstanders in de andere dorpen; mensen die niet van hem hielden, omdat zij jaloers op hem waren. Maar waarom was men eigenlijk jaloers op hem? Wel, deze man bezat een aantal bijzondere gaven. Zo kon hij zich op bepaalde momenten één maken met de natuur. De vogels en andere dieren, dus ook de wilde poema, gehoorzaamden hem. Hij kon met ze spelen en hun opdrachten geven. Hij alleen kon met de totale natuur communiceren, zelfs met het kleinste levende wezen, zoals de krekel. Soms, als hij zin had, ging hij met de vogels op pad. Geen wonder dat deze man nooit problemen had met het vergaren van voedsel voor zijn gezin. Natuurlijk waren er mannen in het dorp die erachter wilden komen hoe hij dat allemaal deed.”



Nardo Aluman (Christiaankondre, 19 oktober 1946)

Lees verder “Nardo Aluman, Andrew Vachss, John le Carré, Adam Lindsay Gordon”

Miguel Ángel Asturias, Leigh Hunt, Adam Lindsay Gordon, Nardo Aluman

De Guatemalteekse schrijver Miguel Ángel Asturias werd geboren op 19 oktober 1899 in Guatemala-Stad. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Miguel Ángel Asturias op dit blog.


Navels of Sun and Precious Copals

The little bones of the echo
on the tongue of the Forgetful Emissary.

On the tongue of the Forgetful Emissary,
the message of the Goldthinking-star-gods.

“May the mist rise early,
fragrant with tamarind, poplar, suquinay ,
may it spread its cloths over the words
and may the Four Magicians of the Sky be created
with navels of sun and precious copals.

“May they be of black maize,
maize coiled with sexes and snakes,
their hair, their pupils and their dreams.

“May they be of white maize,
maize coiled with sperm and the moon,
their teeth, the quicklime of their corneas,
their bones and their nails.

“And may their flesh be of yellow maize,
moistened in water sweet
with the night of the star
and skinned with quicklime
in blind boil,
the lime of the eyes
of the Twohanded Tattooer,
the one who was destroyed
along with his raisers of worlds of dream
by the man of mud
who in his turn was annihilated
by fire, the laughter of the stones.”

And so was created
the Man-of-Four-Magics,
the one who wears bluegreen feathers
of quetzals and flowers covered with dew,
who illuminates and burns like resinous pine,
who sets things alight
in my country forged of honey.

All was visible, except for the moment
of healing the navels
with webs of tobacco smoke
and placing in their folds,
along with the copals of splendor
and dust of worn-out words,
the magic of the three halves.

By the magic of the three halves,
the half which holds things within
becomes magnetized by the sole presence
of the Man-of-the-Four-Magics,
issues from things and penetrates
the interior of that which completes it,
before restoring it, with an unknown half.

By the magic of the three halves,
there is a half that remains in things,
another that leaves and returns to things
and the unknown half, the one that magic adds.


Vertaald door Robert W. Lebling

Miguel Ángel Asturias (19 oktober 1899 – 9 juni 1974)

Lees verder “Miguel Ángel Asturias, Leigh Hunt, Adam Lindsay Gordon, Nardo Aluman”

Leigh Hunt, Adam Lindsay Gordon, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Nardo Aluman, Philip Pullman, Andrew Vachss, Fannie Hurst, John le Carré

De Engelse dichter, schrijver en essayist James Leigh Hunt werd geboren op 19 oktober 1784 in Southgate, Middlesex. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 oktober 2009.

Jenny Kissed Me

Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I’m growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.


A Night-Rain in Summer

Open the window, and let the air
Freshly blow upon face and hair,
And fill the room, as it fills the night,
With the breath of the rain’s sweet might.
Hark! the burthen, swift and prone!
And how the odorous limes are blown!
Stormy Love’s abroad, and keeps
Hopeful coil for gentle sleeps.

Not a blink shall burn to-night
In my chamber, of sordid light;
Nought will I have, not a window-pane,
‘Twixt me and the air and the great good rain,
Which ever shall sing me sharp lullabies;
And God’s own darkness shall close mine eyes;
And I will sleep, with all things blest,
In the pure earth-shadow of natural rest.


Leigh Hunt (19 oktober 1784 – 28 augustus 1859)


De Australische dichter Adam Lindsay Gordon werd geboren op 19 oktober 1833 op de Azoren. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 oktober 2009.

Whisperings in Wattle-Boughs

Oh, gaily sings the bird, and the wattle-boughs are stirr’d
And rustled by the scented breath of spring ;
Oh, the dreary, wistful longing ! Oh, the faces that are thronging !
Oh, the voices that are vaguely whispering !

Oh, tell me, father mine, ere the good ship cross’d the brine,
On the gangway one mute hand-grip we exchanged,
Do you, past the grave, employ, for your stubborn reckless boy,
Those petitions that in life were ne’er estranged ?

Oh, tell me, sister dear, parting word and parting tear
Never pass’d between us ;—let me bear the blame.
Are you living, girl, or dead ? bitter tears since then I’ve shed
For the lips that lisp’d with mine a mother’s name.

Oh, tell me, ancient friend, ever ready to defend,
In our boyhood, at the base of life’s long hill,
Are you waking yet, or sleeping ? have you left this vale of weeping?
Or do you, like our comrade, linger still ?

Oh, whisper, buried love, is there rest and peace above ?—
There is little hope or comfort here below ;—
On your sweet face lies the mould, and your bed is strait and cold—
Near the harbour where the sea-tides ebb and flow.
. . . . . . .

All silent—they are dumb—and the breezes go and come
With an apathy that mocks at man’s distress ;
Laugh, scoffer, while you may ! I could bow me down and pray
For an answer that might stay my bitterness.

Oh, harshly screams the bird ! and the wattle-bloom is stirr’d !
There’s a sullen weird-like whisper in the bough :
‘Aye, kneel, and pray, and weep, but His beloved sleep
Can never be disturb’d by such as thou !!’


Adam Lindsay Gordon (19 oktober 1833 – 24 juni 1870)
Buste in een park in Penola


De Guatemalteekse schrijver Miguel Ángel Asturias werd geboren op 19 oktober 1899 in Guatemala-Stad. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2006. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 oktober 2009.

Uit: Der grüne Papst (El papa verde, Vertaald door Lene Klein)

Er steckte den Kopf hinaus — wer würde Geo Maker Thompson erkennen — von unten leuchtete ihn feuchtes Glühwürmchenlicht an — wer würde ihn, verrußt bis zum Kehlkopf, erkennen? Auf der mit Maschinenfett beschmierten Stirn stand der Schweiß wie dicke gläserne Pocken, die großen Knorpel der Ohren brieten in Öl. Der schwache Schein der Lampe, die zu seinen Füßen stand, kletterte durch die Bartstoppeln hinauf, ohne über die Wimpern, die Augen in schwarzen Höhlen, die in Schatten getauchte Stirn und die spitze Nase hinauszugelangen.

Er steckte den Kopf hinaus, und sein Haar war nur Rauch, rötlicher Rauch, Kohlenrauch mit Funken darin, die durch die schwarze, heiße Nacht glühten. Er sah nichts, aber er war mit der Nase draußen, heraus aus dem engen Kesselraum, in dem es nach vermoderten Planken, rostigem, vom Salz zerfressenen Eisen und stickigem Wasserdampf roch. Atmen… Atmen, die Nase in die Lungen des Windes halten, der die Wellen, die schaumgeschwänzten Tiere, tosend antrieb.

Als er sich mit schmerzendem Kreuz aufrichtete, begierig zu atmen, zu sehen, den Kopf hinauszustecken, fiel ihm der Schraubenschlüssel, mit dem er eben nach dem Defekt an der Maschine gesucht hatte, vor die Füße. Von dem Aufprall flackerte die kleine Lampe, die sein Gesicht von unten anleuchtete, ein kaltblütiges Gesicht, das jetzt auch von den tränenbenetzten, überrieselten, gischtübersprühten Steuerbordlichtern beschienen wurde.

Er streckte den Kopf hinaus, einige Sekunden, bevor der kleine Dampfer sich wieder aufrichtete, der, vom Regen gekämmt, Stunde um Stunde gegen den Wind gekämpft hatte, Stunden, die die Uhren der Passagiere nicht anzeigten, denn als die Nacht den zornigen Lack des Karibischen Meeres zu schwärzen begann, war die Zeit stehengeblieben, wartend, daß etwas geschehe, das nur einen Herzschlag lang dauern und das nicht mehr ihr, sondern der Ewigkeit angehören würde, und dieser Stillstand war solcherart gewesen, daß niemand mehr glaubte, das Morgenlicht den Himmel röten zu sehen. Die Helligkeit brach plötzlich, überraschend, wie ein Wunder herein, als der kleine Dampfer die donnernden Wogen an der Landzunge von Manabique hinter sich gelassen hatte — Schaumberge, in denen sie sich wie im Schweif eines Kometen verloren hatten –, und sich das Halbrund dunstiger Wälder an der schlafenden Küste vor ihm auftat.“


Miguel Ángel Asturias (19 oktober 1899 – 9 juni 1974)
Standbeeld in Guatemala Stad


De Surinaamse schrijver Nardo Aluman (eig. Ronald Renardo Aloema) werd geboren in Christiaankondre op 19 oktober 1946. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 oktober 2009.

Uit: Pairandipo, de menseneter

Pairandïpo … door Pairandïpo waren lang geleden alle Indianen opgemaakt, kleinkind. Hij had over alle rivieren gezworven. Hij had over zee gezworven. Op deze plaats is hij buiten om over zee aangekomen. Vervolgens is hij in de Suriname-rivier aangekomen. Op die plaats heeft hij Indianen ontmoet, Indianen. Hij had Indianen ontmoet. Vervolgens heeft hij ze allemaal opgegeten, allemaal. De mensen sloegen hem dood, onmiddellijk veranderde zijn bloed in velen van zijn soort. Ha, hoe probeerden de Indianen hem te doden! Zijn doden maakte hem steeds bozer. De Indianen zijn door hem uitgeroeid. Maar hij komt, zijn Indianen-eten brengt hem hierheen. Op deze plaats komt hij, buitenom. In de Cottica al, in de Wanekreek komt hij. Ach, op die plaats eet hij ook Indianen op. De Indianen zijn door hem, opgegeten. Hij at nu eenmaal Indianen, zo was hij nu eenmaal. De Indianen denken na. ‘Wat zullen we beginnen’, zeiden ze. ‘Hoe zullen we het aanpakken’. ‘Degeen die ons opeet. ‘We zullen ons voor hem verstoppen’ zeiden ze. ‘Laten we het water heet maken’, zeiden ze. Veel water, een grote samaku, in een enorme pot maken zij water heet. Daarmee baden ze zijn bloed, opdat hij verandert. Dat helpt een beetje.

Op die plaats in de Cottica, zijn voormalige ijzeren vijzel, daarin stampte hij de botten [van de Indianen]. Nadat hij ze op die plaats had uitgeroeid was er voor hem geen vlees meer. Vervolgens stampte hij hun botten. Hij komt, hij komt! Hij was hier aangekomen, naar de Marowijne. He, de Indianen denken na. ‘Laten we [een kuil] in het zand graven’, zeiden ze, ‘om ons te verbergen’. Ze hadden een grote kuil in het zand gegraven, een grote .. een enorme kuil in het zand om zich erin te verstoppen. Vervolgens maken zij er een rooster boven, er ligt zand op. Ze leggen er zand op, ze sluiten zich op, ginds zijn ze, ze planten er kolo [kalebas] op, degenen die zich verbergen, om zich te camoufleren. Zo had iemand zich verborgen.“


Nardo Aluman (Christiaankondre, 19 oktober 1946)


De Britse schrijver Philip Pullman werd geboren op 19 oktober 1946 in Norwich als zoon van een luchtmachtofficier. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 oktober 2009.

Uit: The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

‘But I’m an old man!’ said Joseph. ‘And I have sons older than the girl. I shall be a laughing-stock.’

‘Do as you are commanded,’ said Zacharias, ‘or face the anger of the Lord. Remember what happened to Korah.’

Korah was a Levite who had challenged the authority of Moses. As a punishment the earth opened under him and swallowed him up, together with all his household.

Joseph was afraid, and reluctantly agreed to take the girl in marriage. He took her back to his house.

‘You must stay here while I go about my work,’ he told her. ‘I’ll come back to you in good time. The Lord will watch over you.’

In Joseph’s household Mary worked so hard and behaved so modestly that no one had a word of criticism for her. She spun wool, she made bread, she drew water from the well, and as she grew and became a young woman there were many who wondered at this strange marriage, and at Joseph’s absence. There were others, too, young men in particular, who would try to speak to her and smile engagingly, but she said little in reply and kept her eyes on the ground. It was easy to see how simple and good she was.

And time went past.“


Philip Pullman (Norwich, 19 oktober 1946)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Fannie Hurst werd geboren op 19 oktober 1889 in Hamilton, Ohio. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 oktober 2009.

Uit: Gaslight Sonatas

When the two sides of every story are told, Henry VIII. may establish an alibi or two, Shylock and the public-school system meet over and melt that too, too solid pound of flesh, and Xantippe, herself the sturdier man than Socrates, give ready lie to what is called the shrew in her. Landladies, whole black-bombazine generations of them?oh, so long unheard ?may rise in one Indictment of the Boarder: The scarred bureau-front and match- scratched wall-paper; the empty trunk nailed to the floor in security for the unpaid bill; cigarette-burnt sheets and the terror of sudden fire; the silent newcomer in the third floor back hustled out one night in handcuffs; the day-long sobs of the blond girl so suddenly terrified of life-about-to-be and wringing her ringless hands in the fourth-floor hall-room; the smell of escaping gas and the tightly packed keyhole; the unsuspected flutes that lurk in boarders’ trunks; towels, that querulous and endless pssan of the lodger; the high cost of liver and dried peaches, of canned corn and round steak Tired bombazine procession, wrapped in the greasy odors of years of carpet-sweeping and emptying slops,airing the gassy slit of room after the coroner; and padding from floor to floor on a mission of towels and towels and towels Sometimes climbing from floor to floor, a still warm supply of them looped over one arm, Mrs. Kaufman, who wore bombazine, but unspotted and with crisp net frills at the throat, and upon whose soft-looking face the years had written their chirog- raphy in invisible ink, would sit suddenly, there in the narrow gloom of her halls, head against the balustrade. Oftener than not the Katz boy from the third floor front would come lickety-clapping down the stairs and past her, jumping the last four steps …“


Fannie Hurst (19 oktober 1889 – 23 februari 1968)
Eleanor Roosevelt en Fannie Hurst (1962)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Andrew Vachss werd geboren op 19 oktober 1942 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 oktober 2009.

Uit: Another Life

Flower came from inside Immaculata’s body; Michelle had taken Terry’s shivering little body into her arms and never let him go. That happened in the backseat of my car, as I was driving away from what I’d left of the pus-sack who’d been renting the kid out. Come from, come to–no difference. They’re both ours. Our blood. How you look at it doesn’t matter to us. Citizens think a trial verdict depends on the evidence; we know all that counts is who’s on the jury. Some of you get to visit our world, but none of you really see it. Some of you try too hard, stick your nose in too deep. Then you don’t get to leave.

Only thing that’s true is what you do.” I live that. That’s how I found the one place I rightfully belong. My heart and my life. Your life doesn’t mean any more to me than I ever meant to any of you. Trespassers should bring their own body bags.

I don’t walk the mean streets, I live below them. I’m not an ex-cop with friends on the force; I’m an ex-con who knows the cops for what they are. I’m not a war hero; I’m a man for hire.

Humans who could flat-line a polygraph wouldn’t get past the first round with me. All it takes is a few minutes of conversation, and I know you. Not because I have X-ray eyes. Not because I have powers. Because, whoever you are, I’ve met you before.`


Andrew Vachss (New York, 19 oktober 1942)


De Britse schrijver John le Carré werd geboren op 19 oktober 1931 in Poole, Dorset, Engeland. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 18 oktober 2009.

Uit: A Most Wanted Man

A Turkish heavyweight boxing champion sauntering down a Hamburg street with his mother on his arm can scarcely be blamed for failing to notice that he is being shadowed by a skinny boy in a black coat.

Big Melik, as he was known to his admiring neighborhood, was a giant of a fellow, shaggy, unkempt and genial, with a broad natural grin and black hair bound back in a ponytail and a rolling, free-and-easy gait that, even without his mother, took up half the pavement. At the age of twenty he was in his own small world a celebrity, and not only for his prowess in the boxing ring: elected youth representative of his Islamic sports club, three times runner-up in the North German Championship hundred-meter butterfly stroke and, as if all that weren’t enough, star goalkeeper of his Saturday soccer team.

Like most very large people, he was also more accustomed to being looked at than looking, which is another reason why the skinny boy got away with shadowing him for three successive days and nights.

The two men first made eye contact as Melik and his mother, Leyla, emerged from the al-Umma Travel Shop, fresh from buying air tickets for Melik’s sister’s wedding in their home village outside Ankara. Melik felt someone’s gaze fixed on him, glanced round and came face-to-face with a tall, desperately thin boy of his own height with a straggly beard, eyes reddened and deep-set, and a long black coat that could have held three magicians. He had a black-and-white kaffiyeh round his neck and a tourist’s camel-skin saddlebag slung over his shoulder. He stared at Melik, then at Leyla. Then he came back to Melik, never blinking, but appealing to him with his fiery,sunken eyes.“


 John le Carré (Poole, 19 oktober 1931)

Leigh Hunt, Adam Lindsay Gordon, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Nardo Aluman, Philip Pullman, Andrew Vachss, Fannie Hurst, John le Carré

De Engelse dichter, schrijver en essayist James Leigh Hunt werd geboren op 19 oktober 1784 in Southgate, Middlesex. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.


An Angel in the House 


How sweet it were, if without feeble fright,

Or dying of the dreadful beauteous sight,

An angel came to us, and we could bear

To see him issue from the silent air

At evening in our room, and bend on ours

His divine eyes, and bring us from his bowers

News of dear friends, and children who have never

Been dead indeed,–as we shall know forever.

Alas! we think not what we daily see

About our hearths,–angels that are to be,

Or may be if they will, and we prepare

Their souls and ours to meet in happy air;–

A child, a friend, a wife whose soft heart sings

In unison with ours, breeding its future wings.




The Nile 


It flows through old hushed Egypt and its sands,

Like some grave mighty thought threading a dream,

And times and things, as in that vision, seem

Keeping along it their eternal stands,–

Caves, pillars, pyramids, the shepherd bands

That roamed through the young world, the glory extreme

Of high Sesostris, and that southern beam,

The laughing queen that caught the world’s great hands.

Then comes a mightier silence, stern and strong,

As of a world left empty of its throng,

And the void weighs on us; and then we wake,

And hear the fruitful stream lapsing along

‘Twixt villages, and think how we shall take

Our own calm journey on for human sake.



Leigh Hunt (19 oktober 1784 – 28 augustus 1859)




De Australische dichter Adam Lindsay Gordon werd geboren op 19 oktober 1833 op de Azoren. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.


The Swimmer


With short, sharp violent lights made vivid,

To the southward far as the sight can roam,

Only the swirl of the surges livid,

The seas that climb and the surfs that comb,

Only the crag and the cliff to nor’ward,

And rocks receding, and reefs flung forward,

And waifs wreck’d seaward and wasted shoreward

On shallows sheeted with flaming foam.


A grim grey coast and a seaboard ghastly,

And shores trod seldom by feet of men —

Where the batter’d hull and the broken mast lie

They have lain embedded these long years ten.

Love! when we wander’d here together,

Hand in hand through the sparkling weather,

From the heights and hollows of fern and heather,

God surely loved us a little then.


Then skies were fairer and shores were firmer —

The blue sea over the bright sand roll’d;

Babble and prattle, and ripple and murmur,

Sheen of silver and glamour of gold —

And the sunset bath’d in the gulf to lend her

A garland of pinks and of purples tender,

A tinge of the sun-god’s rosy splendour,

A tithe of his glories manifold.


Man’s works are craven, cunning, and skillful

On earth where his tabernacles are;

But the sea is wanton, the sea is wilful,

And who shall mend her and who shall mar?

Shall we carve success or record disaster

On her bosom of heaving alabaster?

Will her purple pulse beat fainter or faster

For fallen sparrow or fallen star?


I would that with sleepy soft embraces

The sea would fold me — would find me rest

In luminous shades of her secret places,

In depths where her marvels are manifest,

So the earth beneath her should not discover

My hidden couch — nor the heaven above her —

As a strong love shielding a weary lover,

I would have her shield me with shining breast.


When light in the realms of space lay hidden,

When life was yet in the womb of time,

Ere flesh was fettered to fruits forbidden,

souls were wedded to care and crime,

Was the course foreshaped for the future spirit —

A burden of folly, a void of merit —

That would fain the wisdom of stars inherit,

And cannot fathom the seas sublime?


Under the sea or the soil (what matter?

The sea and the soil are under the sun),

As in the former days in the latter

The sleeping or waking is known of none,

Surely the sleeper shall not awaken

To griefs forgotten or joys forsaken,

For the price of all things given and taken,

The sum of all things done and undone.


Shall we count offences or coin excuses,

Or weigh with scales the soul of a man,

Whom a strong hand binds and a sure hand looses,

Whose light is a spark and his life a span?

The seed he sowed or the soil he cumber’d,

The time he served or the space he slumber’d,

Will it profit a man when his days are number’d,

Or his deeds since the days of his life began?


One, glad because of the light, saith, “Shall not

The righteous judges of all the earth do right,

For behold the sparrows on the house-tops fall not

Save as seemeth to Him good in His sight?”

And this man’s joy shall have no abiding

Through lights departing and lives dividing,

He is soon as one in the darkness hiding,

One loving darkness rather than light.


A little season of love and laughter,

Of light and life, and pleasure and pain,

And a horror of outer darkness after,

And dust returneth to dust again;

Then the lesser life shall be as the greater,

And the lover of light shall join the hater,

And the one thing cometh sooner or later,

And no one knoweth the loss or gain.


Love of my life! we had lights in season —

Hard to part with, harder to keep —

We had strength to labour and souls to reason,

And seed to scatter and fruits to reap.

Though time estranges and fate disperses,

We have had our loves and loving mercies.

Though the gifts of the light in the end are curses,

Yet bides the gift of darkness — sleep!


See! girt with tempest and wing’d with thunder,

And clad with lightning and shod with sleet,

The strong winds treading the swift waves sunder

The flying rollers with frothy feet.

One gleam like a bloodshot swordblade swims on

The skyline, staining the green gulf crimson

A death stroke fiercely dealt by a dim sun

That strikes through his stormy winding sheet.


Oh, brave white horses! you gather and gallop,

The storm sprite loosens the gusty reins;

Now the stoutest ship were the frailest shallop

In your hollow backs, or your high arch’d manes.

I would ride as never a man has ridden

In your sleepy swirling surges hidden,

To gulfs foreshadow’d, through straits forbidden,

Where no light wearies and no love wanes.



Adam Lindsay Gordon (19 oktober 1833 – 24 juni 1870)



De Guatemalteekse schrijver Miguel Ángel Asturias werd geboren op 19 oktober 1899 in Guatemala-Stad. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2006. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.



Punishment of Profundities (fragment)


Woodlands and abandoned cities burned
on the bank of rivers that roasted
stones and embankments,
bleeding gums
and teeth of buttery ash
like the distance that the golden-smoke azuacan
brings on its wings from southern lands.
Butterflies of turpentine
flew from the trunks of the pines.
Cataracts of orchid sweat
rained from the arms of the ceiba trees.
Fire dust fell from the dry oaks,
boiling balsam from the liquidambars
and to the perfume of tamarinds ablaze
was joined that of the cacao groves, a scent of chocolate,
amid the little bone cracks of the sapodillas ,
the rubber trees twisted in elastic columns,
the chicle trees dripping with milky hairs,
and the crackling conocastes ,
red blood of uprooted foliage,
and the sleeping white oaks ,
almost mineral,
and the fleshy mahoganies,
already butter from the touch of a constellation
that lost a foot in the conflagration of the sky
and now walked its leg of fire
in the conflagration of the land.

Whales gone astray in tropical seas,
phosphorescent, torrid flying seas,
playing vaqueros, they hurled jets of water
to lasso the tiger of the conflagration,
the tiger of squeaking rubies,
who recovered his comet-gone-mad ferocity
as he fell on the crystal hoop straps
of the blue vaqueros,
liquid lariats that held him,
paralyzed with surprise,
long enough to slow his escape,
his flight from the water-made-steam,
while the corsairs, floating islands with tiny eyes,
managed to rope him with new and more powerful
jets of water, slip-knot rings,
whose loops the tiger of squeaking rubies
pulled up among flames and stars,
toward the constellation of the mirage,
the one that lost its foot, the constellation of distance,
and toward the army of blue lakes
parapeted in the mouths of the higher volcanoes,
lakes that before falling into fragments –
conquered, evaporated –
and, coiled on the tiger of rubies, galloped with him,
transformed into serpents of turquoise flames.

The earth was subjected
to a punishment of profundities.
After the conflagration, the invisible rains,
the soil overturned, the hurricane of mud,
the razors of the sun,
the chichicaste nettle in the living flesh…
a punishment of profundities
for having made room
for the first barbarian, not the last,
for the first human beast,
for the first executioner
in my country forged of honey.



Vertaald door Robert W. Lebling



Miguel Ángel Asturias (19 oktober 1899 – 9 juni 1974)


De Surinaamse schrijver Nardo Aluman (eig. Ronald Renardo Aloema werd geboren in Christiaankondre op 19 oktober 1946. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.


Uit: De hond en de papegaai


“Het verhaal van de hond en de papegaai [kulewago] is een voorbeeld van een categorie van verhalen waarvan er talloze zijn. Ze worden vooral verteld vanwege het amusement – voor de luisteraar, maar ook voor de vertelster. In dit geval was dat wijlen La’imo (geboren ca 1893, in Langamankondre), de echtgenote van Yanumesi, die gedurende vele jaren kapitein was van Christiaankondre. La’imo overleed in 1968. Het verhaal vertelde zij, zittend temidden van een groot aantal van haar kleinkinderen.


… mohkaron amïkon tïwaiyeman, parï, penaro, isenurupiriyako, pïitono, ohko tïwaiye mandon …


…. er waren eens, kleinkind, lang geleden, in de fabeltijd, twee jonge mannen. Broers, ze waren broers van elkaar. Vervolgens zijn ze misschien wel gaan jagen. Twee, één hond was er, hij was hun huisdier, en één papegaai. De papegaai zat op een balk van het huis. De hond lag op de grond. Ze waren gaan jagen. Eerst wisten ze van niets. Dan gaan ze weg [om te gaan jagen]. Ze gaan ver weg. Eerst gaan ze heel ver weg. Ze komen weer thuis. Hé, er was kasiri gemaakt [een van cassave gemaakte, licht alcoholische drank]. In een grote kom misschien, in een samaku [een pot van 70-80 cm hoog]. Lang geleden hadden de Indianen zulke grote potten. Ze komen weer thuis. Hé, er was kasiri gemaakt, [het stond] onder de dakrand van het huis. Dan praten ze met elkaar. ‘Wie heeft die kasiri gemaakt’; zegt hij tegen zijn oudere broer. ‘Dat vraag ik me ook af’, zegt hij. De papegaai zit nog steeds op de balk. Hij draait z’n kop heen en weer. Hij ziet z’n baas komen. De hond kwispelt met z’n staart, uit blijdschap om z’n baas. Door hen is de kasiri gemaakt.

Ze waren weer weggegaan. Nadat hun baas is weggegaan trekt de hond z’n huid uit. De papegaai legt z’n veren af. Ze gaan snel kasiri maken. De kasiri wordt door hun gemaakt. Hun kasiri is rood, dan drinken zij [de mannen] het als kasiri, het is drank. ‘Welk wezen heeft deze kasiri gemaakt’, zeggen ze. Ze denken na. Zo gebeurde het misschien driemaal. Ze gaan weer ver weg. Daarna wordt het [de drank] door hen [de mannen] opgemaakt. Ze [de huisdieren] maakten misschien maar een beetje. Dan gaan ze [de mannen] weer weg. Dan is er weer kasiri gemaakt. Ze komen thuis. ‘Welk wezen toch heeft het gemaakt, vraag ik me af’, zeggen ze. ‘Wie toch, vrouwen zijn er niet, geen enkele’, zeggen ze. De hond is er, en de papegaai, het zijn hun huisdieren. Ze kijken, de papegaai praat niet en zit op de balk. De hond ligt daar op de grond. Vanaf dat moment doen ze alsof ze weggaan. Ze gaan zich verbergen achter de stam van een grote boom. Ze willen zien of het een Indiaan is [die de kasiri maakt]. Vervolgens gaan ze weer weg.”



Nardo Aluman (Christiaankondre, 19 oktober 1946)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Andrew Vachss werd geboren op 19 oktober 1942 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.


Uit: Mask Market


“I’m not the client,” the ferret seated across from me said. He was as thin as a garrote, with a library-paste complexion, the facial skin surrounding his veined-quartz eyes as papery as dried flowers. He was always room temperature. “You know me, Burke. I only work the middle.”

“I don’t know you,” I lied. “You knew—you say you knew—my brother. But if you did—”

“Yeah, I know he’s gone,” the ferret said, meeting my eyes, the way you do when you’ve got nothing to hide. With him, it was an invitation to search an empty room. “But you’ve got the same name, right? He never had any first name that I knew; so what would I call you, I meet you for the first time?”

It’s impossible to actually look into my eyes, because you have to do it one at a time. One eye is a lot lighter than the other, and they don’t track together anymore.

A few years ago, I was tricked into an ambush. The crossfire cost me my looks, and my partner her life. I mourn her every day—the hollow blue heart tattooed between the last two knuckles of my right hand is Pansy’s tombstone—but I don’t miss my face. True, it was a lot more anonymous than the one I’ve got now. Back then, I was a walking John Doe: average height, average weight — generic lineup filler. But a lot of different people had seen that face in a lot of different places. And the State had a lot of photographs of it, too—they don’t throw out old mug shots.

I’d come into the ER without a trace of ID, dropped at the door by the Prof and Clarence—they knew I was way past risking the do-it-yourself kit we kept around for gunshot wounds.

Since the government doesn’t pay the freight for cosmetic surgery on derelicts, the hospital went into financial triage, no extras. So the neat, round keloid scar on my right cheek is still there, and the top of my left ear is still as flat as if it had been snipped off. And when the student surgeons repaired the cheekbone on the right side of my face, they pulled the skin so tight that it looked like one of the bullets I took had been loaded with Botox. My once-black hair is steel-gray now—it turned that shade while I was in a coma from the slugs, and never went back.”



Andrew Vachss (New York, 19 oktober 1942)


De Britse schrijver Philip Pullman werd geboren op 19 oktober 1946 in Norwich als zoon van een luchtmachtofficier. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.


Uit: The Golden Compass

“Lyra and her daemon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen. The three great tables that ran the length of the hall were laid already, the silver and the glass catching what little light there was, and the long benches were pulled out ready for the guests. Portraits of former Masters hung high up in the gloom along the walls. Lyra reached the dais and looked back at the open kitchen door, and, seeing no one, stepped up beside the high table. The places here were laid with gold, not silver, and the fourteen seats were not oak benches but mahogany chairs with velvet cushions.

Lyra stopped beside the Master’s chair and flicked the biggest glass gently with a fingernail. The sound rang clearly through the hall.

“You’re not taking this seriously,” whispered her daemon. “Behave yourself.”

Her daemon’s name was Pantalaimon, and he was currently in the form of a moth, a dark brown one so as not to show up in the darkness of the hall.

“They’re making too much noise to hear from the kitchen,” Lyra whispered back. “And the Steward doesn’t come in till the first bell. Stop fussing.”

But she put her palm over the ringing crystal anyway, and Pantalaimon fluttered ahead and through the slightly open door of the Retiring Room at the other end of the dais. After a moment he appeared again.

“There’s no one there,” he whispered. “But we must be quick.”

Crouching behind the high table, Lyra darted along and through the door into the Retiring Room, where she stood up and looked around. The only light in here came from the fireplace, where a bright blaze of logs settled slightly as she looked, sending a fountain of sparks up into the chimney. She had lived most of her life in the College, but had never seen the Retiring Room before: only Scholars and their guests were allowed in here, and never females. Even the maid-servants didn’t clean in here. That was the Butler’s job alone.”


philip pullman

Philip Pullman (Norwich, 19 oktober 1946)



De Amerikaanse schrijfster Fannie Hurst werd geboren op 19 oktober 1889 in Hamilton, Ohio. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.


Uit: Fannie: The Talent for Success of Writer Fannie Hurst  (Biografie door Brooke Kroeger)

“What I lack is rhythm”
The first known published work of Fannie Hurst appeared in her high school newspaper at Christmastime 1904, the month before she graduated. “An Episode,” a nine-paragraph story, sketches a few moments in
the life of a wealthy, powerful, but godless man alone with his conscience in a cathedral. Overcome by the haunting majesty of his surroundings, he watched his misdeeds pass before him. Pain and remorse engulfed him. He sat crouched alone on a pew until the last echoes of “Ave Maria” died away.
Then he rose, and went out, and as he went he said, “I have knowledge, I have power–what I lack is rhythm.”
Then he threw back his head and laughed, long and loud and bitterly, and went off into the dusk.
Fannie Hurst, the daughter of now quite comfortable, assimilated German Jews with deadening middle-class aspirations, wanted to be a writer. She liked to claim that the Saturday Evening Post mailed back her manuscripts as if by boomerang from the time she was fourteen. This did not deter her. Nor did her mother’s dire prediction that she would end up “an old-maid schoolteacher like Tillie Strauss,” the sad and lonely spinster daughter of one of her mother’s friends. Fannie defied this well-meant but suffocating opposition and compromised only enough to go to college in St. Louis, her hometown. She entered Washington University in the fall of 1905, a month before she turned twenty.
Fannie and her classmates watched much ground break. The handsome new Gothic-style “Quad” had been a site for the most defining seven months of the century for St. Louis, the “Universal Exposition,” more commonly known as the 1904 World’s Fair. The trees thatlined the campus drives were only saplings in those days, reminding Fannie of “the knees of newborn calves.”



Fannie Hurst (19 oktober 1889 – 23 februari 1968)


Zie voor onderstaande schrijver ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2006

De Britse schrijver John le Carré werd geboren op 19 oktober 1931 in Poole, Dorset, Engeland.

Leigh Hunt, Adam Lindsay Gordon, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Nardo Aluman, Philip Pullman, Andrew Vachss, Fannie Hurst, John le Carré

De Engelse dichter, schrijver en essayist James Leigh Hunt werd geboren op 19 oktober 1784 in Southgate, Middlesex. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2007.



Robin Hood, An Outlaw


Robin Hood is an outlaw bold
Under the greenwood tree;
Bird, nor stag, nor morning air
Is more at large than he.

They sent against him twenty men,
Who joined him laughing-eyed;
They sent against him thirty more,
And they remained beside.

All the stoutest of the train,
That grew in Gamelyn wood,
Whether they came with these or not,
Are now with Robin Hood.

And not a soul in Locksley town
Would speak him an ill word;
The friars raged; but no man’s tongue,
Nor even feature stirred;

Except among a very few
Who dined in the Abbey halls;
And then with a sigh bold Robin knew
His true friends from his false.

There was Roger the monk, that used to make
All monkery his glee;
And Midge, on whom Robin had never turned
His face but tenderly;

With one or two, they say, besides,
Lord! that in this life’s dream
Men should abandon one true thing,
That would abide with them.

We cannot bid our strength remain,
Our cheeks continue round;
We cannot say to an aged back,
Stoop not towards the ground;

We cannot bid our dim eyes see
Things as bright as ever;
Nor tell our friends, though friends from youth,
That they’ll forsake us never:

But we can say, I never will,
Friendship, fall off from thee;
And, oh sound truth and old regard,
Nothing shall part us three.



Leigh Hunt (19 oktober 178428 augustus 1859)



De Australische dichter Adam Lindsay Gordon werd geboren op 19 oktober 1833 op de Azoren. Hij stamde uit een oude Schotse familie. Zijn vader was kapitein in het lerger. Nog tijdens zijn kinderjaren trok de familie naar Madeira en in 1840 naar het Engelse Cheltenham, waar Gordons vader leraar oriëntaalse talen werd. Gordon bezocht de school vanaf 1841, maar werd er wegens slecht gedrag vanaf gestuurd. Zijn vader stuurde hem toen hij zijn leven niet beterde naar Australië. In 1864 erfde hij na de dood van zijn vader 7000 pond. Hij kocht enkele renpaarden en werd de beste hindernisspringer van Australië. In 1865 werd hij ook lid van het parlement van Zuid Australië in Victoria, maar verliet het ambt al weer een jaar later. In 1867 trok hij naar Mount Gambier om zich te wijden aan het schrijven en het trainen van paarden. Gokken, alcoholisme en proceskosten in rechtszaken over het familiebezit in Schotland leverden hem talrijke schulden op. In 1870 verloor hij dat proces ook nog. Een dag na het verschijnen van zijn laatste dichtbundel schoot hij zich zelf dood.Tegenwoordig wordt hij als de nationale dichter van Australië beschouwd.



A Song of Autumn


WHERE shall we go for our garlands glad
At the falling of the year,
When the burnt-up banks are yellow and sad,
When the boughs are yellow and sere?
Where are the old ones that once we had,
And when are the new ones near?
What shall we do for our garlands glad
At the falling of the year?’
‘Child! can I tell where the garlands go?
Can I say where the lost leaves veer
On the brown-burnt banks, when the wild winds blow,
When they drift through the dead-wood drear?
Girl! when the garlands of next year glow,
You may gather again, my dear—
But I go where the last year’s lost leaves go
At the falling of the year.’



For the great things of life are small things


For the great things of life are small things,

The longest life is a span,

And there is an end to all things,

A season to every man,

Whose glory is dust and ashes,

Whose spirit is but a spark,

That out from the darkness flashes,

And flickers out in the dark.


We remember the pangs that wrung us

When some went down to the pit,

Who faded as leaves among us,

Who flitted as shadows flit;

What visions under the stone lie?

What dreams in the shroud sleep dwell,

For we saw the earth pit only,

And we heard only the knell.



Adam Lindsay Gordon (19 oktober 1833 – 24 juni 1870)


De Guatemalteekse schrijver Miguel Ángel Asturias werd geboren op 19 oktober 1899 in Guatemala-Stad. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2006.



Hidden Crafts (fragment)

The poets, anonymous amanuenses, the heels
of the Magician of Song in the house of the North,
carried their complaint to the petaled flower
of the ear of the Celestial Hunters:

“The motionless flight of poetry and its unfoldings
in ritual song, warrior dance, word play,
conversation of deified hearts, this is our secret.
To hear seedbeds of syllables sprout and transplant them
with salivations of the golden strophe,
this is our role as thinkers with music.
We know the pulse of the lashing rains
in the calendrical drawing and the colored, polychrome calligraphy
of symbols and astrological prophecies;
but, passed over by the Magician of Song,
we can’t be more than wordcadavers,
our tongues perforated with metaphor arrows.”

Onto what liana of silence do they fasten bells,
drops of water, fish scales, fragments of glass,
pieces of wood, fingernails of metal,
in tests of new resounding rains,
those who are the Invisible Back of the Visible Magician,
he of the Copal of Music, in his house of the South?
What canes, toasted over low flame, do they pierce
in search of the pathetic trill?
What stones polished with tobacco
do they use to iron the drum skins?
In what millennial liquor do they soak the ocarina,
the tortoise, the snail, the stone
for the keys of the marimbas?
Silent is the lament of anonymous musicians in the questions
that fly to the ear of the Celestial Hunters.

They walked in the house of the luminous cactus,
the painters, statues without feet,
only eyes, like the Magician of Color
in his house of the East… Anonymous and absent
they are, and this their lament at the ear of the Hunters,
those who entered and exited from the blues
of wood dye, from the bleeding achiotes ,
from the divine purples robbed from crustaceans
of the Southern Sea, from the oily blacks,
the limestone whites, the ochres of mud,
the yellows, pollen or gold dust,
the greens of ground emeralds,
the ruddy lands,
the tawny guapinoles …
Theirs is the secret of the porous woods,
of the tablets of hairless surface,
treated with honey, wax or serum,
and theirs is the secret of the flexible skins
and the terror-struck skins that stretched death…
Silent, anonymous, absent,
the luminous cactus in their pupils,
the lament in their painting…



Miguel Ángel Asturias (19 oktober 1899 – 9 juni 1974)


De Surinaamse schrijver Nardo Aluman (eig. Ronald Renardo Aloema werd geboren in Christiaankondre op 19 oktober 1946. Christiaankondre is een van de twee dorpen die samen Galibi vormen aan de monding van de Marowijnerivier (de grensrivier met Frans-Guyana). Aluman is een zoon van de bekende vertelster Kamala’imïn. Hij is werkzaam als medewerker voor inheemse culturen bij de Afdeling Cultuurstudies van het Ministerie van Onderwijs en Cultuur in Paramaribo. In 1985 vertaalde hij een bundeltje pyjai-liederen (een pyjai is een genezer of sjamaan): Atamygano Warery, letterlijk vertaald: Liederen om in zichzelf te keren.In 1988 bracht hij het avondvullende toneelstuk Julawai, gebaseerd op Caraïbische mythen, culturele gebruiken en geschiedopvattingen. Het werd gevolgd door Epakano jakonombo/Opstanding in de Amazone (1989), Parana Agyry/De Geest van de Zee (1990), Epakadono Auran/De Stem van Epakadono (1991), Kawa’i/Oorlog (1992) en Auran mero (Talen, stemmen of woorden) (1994). Aluman bestudeert de taal, de tulala (magische planten) en de rituelen van zijn volk en publiceert daarover (o.m. in De Gids, De Ware Tijd Literair en de bundels Verhalen van Surinaamse schrijvers (1989) en Sirito (1990)). Hij vertaalde Karaïbse legenden, mythen en sagen in de Nederlandse taal en schrijft ook poëzie


Uit: Ombadapo, het gezicht


„Ombadapo betekent ‘gezicht’, maar het is tevens een andere naam voor het sterrenbeeld Ulayumaka waarvan de verschijning het begin van de droge tijd aankondigt. Het verhaal van Ombadapo kan gelezen worden als een oorsprongsmythe, maar het laat tevens de spanningen zien in de Karaïbische samenleving tussen aanverwanten, in dit geval tussen een man en zijn schoonmoeder. De nu volgende versie werd mij verteld door een Karaïbische vrouw, Kamala’imïn, in 1926 geboren aan de Mana, Frans Guyana.


… ombadapo torirï … ombadapo ga’u nan? Tïpa-rimï … mohko nopokombo waitobombo man. Inorombo, mohko iparimï ‘wa masiwa tïye tïwaiye amïn iporirï da, amïn itupo da, itupo daka …


Het verhaal van Ombadapo… Ombadapo is het [dat je wil horen]? Die oude vrouw had een schoonzoon. Deze schoonzoon had een visval geplaatst in een tak van de rivier, in een kreek. Vervolgens ging die oude vrouw, zijn schoonmoeder, de visval leeghalen, zij had hem leeggehaald. Vaak ging haar schoonzoon kijken. De kreek heeft alweer geen vis, zijn visval. Dan gaat hij op een dag, hij gaat haar opwachten. Hij ziet haar. Ja, door zijn schoonmoeder is de visval leeggehaald, zij heeft het gedaan. Dan zegt hij, het is goed zegt hij. Ik zal je krijgen, zegt hij. Vervolgens overlegt haar schoonzoon met de geest van de Anyumara, opdat zij door hem opgegeten wordt.

De oude vrouw had huisdieren, een paar vogels. Ze worden Koweyupa [een klein soort grietjebie] genoemd. Haar huisdieren heetten Koweyupa, het waren er veel. Ze had ze naar de poel gebracht om er te eten. Vervolgens is de oude vrouw er weer heen gegaan. Ze weet niet wat er in de visval is gedaan. De oude vrouw gaat er weer heen, haar huisdieren voedsel verschaffen, heel vroeg in de ochtend gaat zij er weer heen. E, de oude vrouw nu is door de Anyumara, door de geest onthoofd. Ze is opgegeten door hem. Alleen het hoofd dat van haar was, is overgebleven.“



Nardo Aluman (Christiaankondre, 19 oktober 1946)



De Britse schrijver Philip Pullman werd geboren op 19 oktober 1946 in Norwich als zoon van een luchtmachtofficier. Door het beroep van zijn vader en later zijn stiefvader, die ook in het leger diende, reisde hij in zijn vroege jeugd de hele wereld over. Vanaf zijn elfde keerde hij terug naar het Verenigd Koninkrijk en woonde in Noord-Wales. Na de middelbare school ging Pullman Engels studeren aan het Exeter College in Oxford. Na zijn afstuderen heeft hij vanaf zijn 25e twaalf jaar lang les gegeven aan middelbare scholen in Oxford. Hier begon hij met het schrijven van kinderboeken.

In 1986 ging hij parttime college geven aan het Westminster College over de Victoriaanse roman en volksverhalen. Na acht jaar is hij uiteindelijk met doceren gestopt om zich volledig op het schrijven te richten. schreef tot op heden meer dan twintig jeugdromans en korte verhalen, maar brak internationaal door met de bestsellerserie His Dark Materials (vert. Het Gouden Kompas). De trilogie werd in meer dan twintig talen uitgebracht en leverde Pullman verschillende prijzen op. Voor het laatste deel, The Amber Spyglass (vert. De Amberkleurige Kijker), ontving hij in 2000 de Whitbread Prize voor het beste boek van het jaar, die nog nooit eerder aan een kinderboekenauteur werd uitgereikt.

Uit: His Dark Materials, Book III: The Amber Spyglass


In a valley shaded with rhododendrons, close to the snow line, where a stream milky with meltwater splashed and where doves and linnets flew among the immense pines, lay a cave, half, hidden by the crag above and the stiff heavy leaves that clustered below.

The woods were full of sound: the stream between the rocks, the wind among the needles of the pine branches, the chitter of insects and the cries of small arboreal mammals, as well as the birdsong; and from time to time a stronger gust of wind would make one of the branches of a cedar or a fir move against another and groan like a cello.

It was a place of brilliant sunlight, never undappled. Shafts of lemon-gold brilliance lanced down to the forest floor between bars and pools of brown-green shade; and the light was never st
ill, never constant, because drifting mist would often float among the treetops, filtering all the sunlight to a pearly sheen and brushing every pine cone with moisture that glistened when the mist lifted. Sometimes the wetness in the clouds condensed into tiny drops half mist and half rain, which floated downward rather than fell, making a soft rustling patter among the millions of needles.

There was a narrow path beside the stream, which led from a village-little more than a cluster of herdsmen’s dwellings – at the foot of the valley to a half-ruined shrine near the glacier at its head, a place where faded silken flags streamed out in the Perpetual winds from the high mountains, and offerings of barley cakes and dried tea were placed by pious villagers. An odd effect of the light, the ice, and the vapor enveloped the head of the valley in perpetual rainbows.

The cave lay some way above the path. Many years before, a holy man had lived there, meditating and fasting and praying, and the place was venerated for the sake of his memory. It was thirty feet or so deep, with a dry floor: an ideal den for a bear or a wolf, but the only creatures living in it for years had been birds and bats.

But the form that was crouching inside the entrance, his black eyes watching this way and that, his sharp ears pricked, was neither bird nor bat. The sunlight lay heavy and rich on his lustrous golden fur, and his monkey hands turned a pine cone this way and that, snapping off the scales with sharp fingers and scratching out the sweet nuts.“



Philip Pullman (Norwich, 19 oktober 1946)



De Amerikaanse schrijver Andrew Vachss werd geboren op 19 oktober 1942 in New York. In 1975 voltooide hij zijn studie rechten in Boston magna cum laude. Hij werkt hoofdzakelijk als advocaat voor kinderen en jeugdigen. Vachss schrijft grotendeels hardboiled detectives, maar heeft ook twee bundels korte verhalen gepubliceerd. Verder schrijft hij songteksten, strips, essays, twee zakelijke boeken over jeugdcriminaliteit en kindermisbruik en talrijke artikelen.


Uit: The Getaway Man

“Every outfit needs a getaway man. It doesn’t matter how smooth the job goes; if you don’t get away with the money, it’s all for nothing.
I learned that when I was just a kid, when I first started getting locked up. Once that happens the first time, it’s like that’s your destiny. They let you out, but they know you’re coming back, and you do, too.
Inside, some guys get tattoos, so that when they get out, other guys will know where they’ve been. I never wanted one. I figured people can always tell, anyway.
Every time they sent me to the kiddie camps, it was for stealing cars. I never stole cars to keep; I just wanted to drive them. I wanted to learn how to do that more than anything. The reason I took the cars was so I could practice.
When you’re in one of those places for kids, guys always ask you what you’re in for. The first time I went in, before I learned, I told them the truth.
I found out quick how dumb that was. When I told other guys, that first time, why I took the cars, they said that wasn’t even stealing, it was just joyriding. That’s what a kid does with a car, joyriding. A man wouldn’t do that.
It sounds weird, but the worst thing you can be in the kiddie camps is what they call a “kid.” The word means something different in there. Something very bad.
Right after I told the truth that first time, I had to fight a lot. So I wouldn’t get taken for a kid.
By the next time I went in, I was smarter. I knew nobody would understand if I told them I took the cars so I could practice my driving. So, after that, when they asked me, I always said, “Grand Theft Auto.” I wasn’t some little joyrider; I was a thief.
A thief steals cars to keep. To sell, I mean. The really good thieves, they get a reputation, and people hire them to steal certain cars. Like ordering food in a restaurant, and the parking lot is the menu.
It’s good to be known as a thief when you go Inside. It’s even better to be known as a killer, but only a certain kind. Like if you killed someone in a fight, that would be good. Or if someone paid you to do it.
It’s pretty unusual, to be in one of the kiddie places for a killing like that, but I know one guy, Tyree, who was. A drug dealer paid Tyree to shoot someone, and he did it. Everyone respected him for doing that. It was something a big-time criminal would do.
But not every killing got you respect. The sick-in-the-head kids, they were nothings. Nobody was afraid of them. Like the one who chopped up his mother with an ax. Or the one who went to school with a rifle and shot a bunch of other kids who were bullying him.
After that one got locked up, he still got bullied, only much worse. The kind of bullying they do in here.
Sometimes, a killing happens right
where they have us locked up. The one I most remember, it was a little kid who did it. Devon, his name was. A bigger kid, Rock, had done something to him.“



Andrew Vachss (New York, 19 oktober 1942)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Fannie Hurst werd geboren op 19 oktober 1889 in Hamilton, Ohio. Haar ouders waakten streng over haar opvoeding. Zij gold als vroegrijp en uiterst intelligent. Al op de middelbare school begon Hurst met schrijven en bood zij haar verhalen aan verschillende kranten aan, waaronder The Saturday Evening Post en bij Reedy’s Mirror. In 1909 promoveerde zij aan de Washington University in St. Louis en een jaar later vierde zij haar eertse literaire succes met het verhaal It`s not Wonderful Life. Tegen de wil van haar ouders trok zij naar New York om aan de Columbia University te studeren. Zonder steun van haar ouders werkte Hurst als kindermeisje, als kelnster en door korte verhalen aan tijdschriften te verkopen. Hurst was ook in verschillende maatschappelijke organisaties actief, zoals National Urban League en het National Advisory Committee,




On either side of the Bowery, which cuts through like a drain to catch its sewage, Every Man’s Land, a reeking march of humanity and humidity, steams with the excrement of seventeen languages, flung in _patois_ from tenement windows, fire escapes, curbs, stoops, and cellars whose walls are terrible and spongy with fungi.


By that impregnable chemistry of race whereby the red blood of the Mongolian and the red blood of the Caucasian become as oil and water in the mingling, Mulberry Street, bounded by sixteen languages, runs its intact Latin length of pushcarts, clotheslines, naked babies, drying vermicelli; black-eyed women in rhinestone combs and perennially big with child; whole families of buttonhole-makers, who first saw the blue-and-gold light of Sorrento, bent at home work round a single gas flare; pomaded barbers of a thousand Neapolitan amours. And then, just as suddenly, almost without osmosis and by the mere stepping down from the curb, Mulberry becomes Mott Street, hung in grillwork balconies, the moldy smell of poverty touched up with incense. Orientals whose feet shuffle and whose faces are carved out of satinwood. Forbidden women, their white, drugged faces behind upper windows. Yellow children, incongruous enough in Western clothing. A draughty areaway with an oblique of gaslight and a black well of descending staircase. Show-windows of jade and tea and Chinese porcelains.


More streets emanating out from Mott like a handful of crooked rheumatic fingers, then suddenly the Bowery again, cowering beneath Elevated trains, where men burned down to the butt end of soiled lives pass in and out and out and in of the knee-high swinging doors, a veiny-nosed, acid-eaten race in themselves.”



Fannie Hurst (19 oktober 1889 – 23 februari 1968)


De Britse schrijver John le Carré werd geboren op 19 oktober 1931 in Poole, Dorset, Engeland.