Mark Twain, Lee Klein, Adeline Yen Mah, John McCrae, Jonathan Swift, Philip Sidney

De Amerikaanse schrijver Mark Twain (pseudoniem van Samuel Langhorne Clemens) werd geboren op 30 november 1835 te Florida. Zie ook alle tags voor Mark Twain op dit blog.

Uit:The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

“Tom he made a sign to me — kind of a little noise with his mouth — and we went creeping away on our hands and knees. When we was ten foot off Tom whispered to me, and wanted to tie Jim to the tree for fun. But I said no; he might wake and make a disturbance, and then they’d find out I warn’t in. Then Tom said he hadn’t got candles enough, and he would slip in the kitchen and get some more. I didn’t want him to try. I said Jim might wake up and come. But Tom wanted to resk it; so we slid in there and got three candles, and Tom laid five cents on the table for pay. Then we got out, and I was in a sweat to get away; but nothing would do Tom but he must crawl to where Jim was, on his hands and knees, and play something on him. I waited, and it seemed a good while, everything was so still and lonesome.
As soon as Tom was back we cut along the path, around the garden fence, and by and by fetched up on the steep top of the hill the other side of the house. Tom said he slipped Jim’s hat off of his head and hung it on a limb right over him, and Jim stirred a little, but he didn’t wake. Afterwards Jim said the witches bewitched him and put him in a trance, and rode him all over the State, and then set him under the trees again, and hung his hat on a limb to show who done it.
And next time Jim told it he said they rode him down to New Orleans; and, after that, every time he told it he spread it more and more, till by and by he said they rode him all over the world, and tired him most to death, and his back was all over saddle-boils. Jim was monstrous proud about it, and he got so he wouldn’t hardly notice the other niggers. Niggers would come miles to hear Jim tell about it, and he was more looked up to than any nigger in that country. Strange niggers would stand with their mouths open and look him all over, same as if he was a wonder.”

Mark Twain (30 november 1835 – 21 april 1910)
Jeff East (Huckleberry Finn) en Paul Winfield (Jim) in de film Huckleberry Finn, 1974

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Mark Twain, Lee Klein, Adeline Yen Mah, John McCrae, Jonathan Swift, Philip Sidney

De Amerikaanse schrijver Mark Twain (pseudoniem van Samuel Langhorne Clemens) werd geboren op 30 november 1835 te Florida. Zie ook alle tags voor Mark Twain op dit blog.

Uit:The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

“If you are with the quality, or at a funeral, or trying to go to sleep when you ain’t sleepy—if you are anywheres where it won’t do for you to scratch, why you will itch all over in upwards of a thousand places. Pretty soon Jim says:
“Say, who is you?  Whar is you?  Dog my cats ef I didn’ hear sumf’n. Well, I know what I’s gwyne to do:  I’s gwyne to set down here and listen tell I hears it agin.”
So he set down on the ground betwixt me and Tom.  He leaned his back up against a tree, and stretched his legs out till one of them most touched one of mine.  My nose begun to itch.  It itched till the tears come into my eyes.  But I dasn’t scratch.  Then it begun to itch on the inside. Next I got to itching underneath.  I didn’t know how I was going to set still. This miserableness went on as much as six or seven minutes; but it seemed a sight longer than that.  I was itching in eleven different places now.  I reckoned I couldn’t stand it more’n a minute longer, but I set my teeth hard and got ready to try.  Just then Jim begun to breathe heavy; next he begun to snore—and then I was pretty soon comfortable again.“ 

Mark Twain (30 november 1835 – 21 april 1910)
Scene uit de film Huckleberry Finn and His Friends, 1979

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David Nicholls, Lee Klein, Adeline Yen Mah, Reinier de Rooie

De Engelse schrijver David Nicholls werd geboren op 30 november 1966 in Eastleigh, Hampshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 30 november 2009.en ook mijn blog van 30 november 2010.


Uit: The Understudy

„Stephen C McQueen had two C.Vs.

Alongside the real-life resumé of all the things he had actually achieved, there was the Nearly CV. This was the good-luck version of his life, the one where the close-shaves and the near-misses and the second-choices had all worked-out; the version where he hadn’t been knocked off his bike on the way to that audition, or come down with shingles during the first week of rehearsal; the one where they hadn’t decided to give the role to that bastard off the telly.

This extraordinary phantom career began with Stephen almost-but-not-quite winning huge praise for his show-stealing Malcolm in Macbeth in Sheffield, then consequently very nearly giving his heart-breaking Biff in Death of a Salesman on a nationwide tour. Soon afterwards, the hypothetical reviews that he would probably have received for his might-have-been King Richard II had to be read to be believed. Diversifying into television, he had come oh-so-close to winning the nations hearts’ as cheeky, unorthodox lawyer Todd Francis in hit TV series Justice For All, and a number of successful film roles, both here and abroad, had quite conceivably followed.

Unfortunately, all these great triumphs had taken place in other, imaginary worlds, and there were strict professional rules about submitting your parallel-universe resumé. This unwillingness to take into account what had taken place in other space-time dimensions meant that Stephen was left with his real-life C.V, a document that reflected both his agent’s unwillingness to say no, and Stephen’s extraordinary capacity, his gift almost, for bad luck. It was this real-life version of events that brought him here, to London’s glittering West End.

At the age of eight, visiting London for the first time with his Mum and Dad, Piccadilly Circus had seemed like the centre of the Universe, an impossibly glamorous, alien landscape, the kind of place where, in an old British Sixties musical, a dance-routine might break-out at any moment. That was twenty-four years ago. It had since become his place-of-work, and coming up from the hot, soupy air of the tube station into the damp November evening, all Stephen saw was a particularly garish and treacherous roundabout. Nearby an adenoidal busker was doggedly working his way through the Radiohead song-book, and the chances of a dance-routine breaking out seemed very slight indeed. Stephen barely even noticed Eros these days, surely the most underwhelming landmark in the world. If he bothered to look up at all, it was only to check the digital clock under the Coca-Cola sign, to see if he was late.“


David Nicholls (Hampshire, 30 november 1966)

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David Nicholls, Lee Klein, Adeline Yen Mah, Reinier de Rooie

De Engelse schrijver David Nicholls werd geboren op 30 november 1966 in Eastleigh, Hampshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 30 november 2009.


Uit: One Day


„Friday 15TH July 1988
Rankeillor Street, Edinburgh
‘I suppose the important thing is to make some sort of difference,’ she said. ‘You know, actually change something.’
‘What, like “change the world”, you mean?’
‘Not the whole entire world. Just the little bit around you.’
They lay in silence for a moment, bodies curled around each other in the single bed, then both began to laugh in low, pre-dawn voices. ‘Can’t believe I just said that,’ she groaned. ‘Sounds a bit corny, doesn’t it?’
A bit corny.’
‘I’m trying to be inspiring! I’m trying to lift your grubby soul for the great adventure that lies ahead of you.’ She turned to face him. ‘Not that you need it. I expect you’ve got your future nicely mapped out, ta very much. Probably got a little flow-chart somewhere or something.’
‘So what’re you going to do then? What’s the great plan?’
‘Well, my parents are going to pick up my stuff, dump it at theirs, then I’ll spend a couple of days in their flat in London, see some friends. Then France-‘
Very nice-‘
‘Then China maybe, see what that’s all about, then maybe onto India, travel around there for a bit-‘
‘Traveling,’ she sighed. ‘So predictable.’
‘What’s wrong with travelling?’
‘Avoiding reality more like.’
‘I think reality is over-rated,’ he said in the hope that this might come across as dark and charismatic.
She sniffed. ‘S’alright, I suppose, for those who can afford it. Why not just say “I’m going on holiday for two years”? It’s the same thing.’
‘Because travel broadens the mind,’ he said, rising onto one elbow and kissing her.
‘Oh I think you’re probably a bit too broad-minded as it is,’ she said, turning her face away, for the moment at least. They settled again on the pillow. ‘Anyway, I didn’t mean what are you doing next month, I meant the future-future, when you’re, I don’t know…’ She paused, as if conjuring up some fantastical idea, like a fifth dimension. ‘…Forty or something. What do you want to be when you’re forty?’
‘Forty?’ He too seemed to be struggling with the concept. ‘Don’t know. Am I allowed to say “rich”?’
‘Just so, so shallow.’
‘Alright then, “famous”.’ He began to nuzzle at her neck. ‘Bit morbid, this, isn’t it?’
‘It’s not morbid, it’s…exciting.’



David Nicholls (Hampshire, 30 november 1966)


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Lee Klein, David Nicholls, Sergio Badilla Castillo, David Mamet, Wil Mara, Adeline Yen Mah

De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en essayist Lee Klein werd geboren op 30 november 1965 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008.



In the diving bell-Boschian eggshell
This shopping mall poet descends-
Into the eucalyptus forest in dream time
So as if to be an under cover parker
In an Oceanic “Shoppingtown”

Donning a blazer,
Sporting pins of pewter
Sculpted to be as a bas-relief of a continent in releaf
Purchased from purveyors of
Plaques and memorabilia
Commemorating the games of the twenty seventh Olympiad
“The Olympic store”

Snorkel in mouth sinking
To the escalator
Driving the hive
Foot traffic converging
During the Olympic fortnight surging
Down on the ground
Grownups dressed as mascots are waving
Swimming through the atrium aquarium
Aqueous torch burning
Green and white of cask
For the flame lit by jet action
And through the microphone
Comes forth
These words

Out in the Outback
The Outbacks’ the Outback
But out of the Outback the Outback’s a steakhouse
And down under they build Westfield Shoppingtowns
from which you may need to backdown

Back out to back down to be out of the Outback
I might as well be back out or back out form the Outback
Well at least I am out -out of the Outback

And that’s life in a shoppingtown
Un hey un bamba and de night
Na na nanna na
Life in a Shoppingtown

Paramatta, Sydney, Western Suburbs, New South Wales
A sliding glass door through a parquet meridian
Of a Thomas Cook branch
Here in the commonwealth
To punch up the numbers
To take you on a round trip
Round trip one-day only
Round trip one-day only round trip
Is the impish man formerly working in a travel agency
Now presently working at another travel agency
This Thomas Cook
He has a chestnut head of hair and sideburns
The latter graying
And as he is saying
But he is having difficulty
With his computer
And so he punches the keys grimacing
Then he is up Walking to the exchange window
To get change from travel fares
He is showing them printed receipts
From downloads on his computer portal
Into the Thomas Cook hub
Wearing yellow and blue
What can he do? Flub!



Lee Klein (New York,.30 november 1965)


De Engelse schrijver David Nicholls werd geboren op 30 november 1966 in Hampshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008.


Uit: Starter For Ten


“ALL young people worry about things, it’s a natural and inevitable part of growing-up, and at the age of sixteen my greatest anxiety in life was that I’d never again achieve anything as good, or pure, or noble, or true, as my O-level results.

I didn’t make a big deal about them at the time of course; I didn’t frame the certificates or anything weird like that, and I won’t go into the actual grades here, because then it just gets competitive, but I definitely liked having them; Qualifications. Sixteen years-old, and the first time I’d ever felt qualified for anything.

Of course, all that was a long, long time ago. I’m nineteen now, and I like to think I’m a lot wiser and cooler about these things. So my A-levels are, comparatively, no big deal. And besides, the idea that you can somehow quantify intelligence by some ridiculous, antiquated system of written examinations is obviously ridiculous. Having said that, they were Langley Street Comprehensive School’s best A-level results of 1985, the best for fifteen years in fact, 3 As and a B, that’s 19 points – there, I’ve said it now – but I really, honestly don’t believe that’s particularly relevant or impressive or anything, I just mention them in passing, that’s all. And besides, compared to other qualities, like physical courage, or popularity, or grace, or good health, or good looks, or clear skin, or a rich, varied and rewarding sex-life, just knowing loads of stuff isn’t actually that important. Unless of course you don’t have any of those other qualities, in which case you’re frankly just grateful for what you’ve got.

But like Dad used to say, the important thing about an education is the opportunity that it brings, the doors it opens. Because otherwise knowledge, in and of itself, is a blind alley, especially from where I’m sitting, here, on a late September Wednesday afternoon, in a factory that makes toasters.

I’ve spent the holiday working in the despatch department of Ashworth Electricals, which means I’m responsible for putting the toasters in their boxes before they’re sent out to the retailers. Of course, there are only so many ways you can put a toaster in a box, so it’s been a pretty dull couple of months over all, but on the plus side it’s £1.85 an hour, which isn’t bad, as much toast as you can eat of course, and there’s the radio to listen to, and I like to think I’ve got on pretty well with my fellow members of staff.”



David Nicholls (Hampshire, 30 november 1966)


De Chileense dichter en schrijver Sergio Badilla Castillo werd geboren in Valparaíso op 30 november 1947. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008.

Confession on a street corner in Madrid close to O’Donell

Where is the little marchioness of Avila in all the length and breadth of Spain?
when the fire of the night escapes my hands
and in every corner of this green room, a secret loses its intimate words
because there is nobody with the desire to discover us here, inside
in this hotel in Calle O’Donell.
So here we are, my dear Santa Teresa,
with a reality that has driven us crazy for more than a week
and I awake me , and I awake you my marchioness, for telling you
that the city still exists beyond the tired dawn
with its faded petals in this interminable calm.
Madrid winks at us, hiding itself like we
In the autumnal foliage of El Retiro.
the Gate of Alcalá will let us pass like other lovers
and behind the Prado museum I will tell you that you are only mine,
regardless the wasps that skilfully move and sting
or the peacocks in the neighbouring botanical garden
shouting their existence.
When the clock heralds the morning the suitcases will compel

and you will accompany me as we turn our backs on the day
to avoid what will come,
you will smile nervously like respectful lady, with a faint tremble
in those my Spanish lips.
We will be happy, dear lady, I will say with a hint of sadness
even in the texture of many dreams,
in the endless happenings in so many other places,
perhaps in another hotel in Calle O’Donell.



Sergio Badilla Castillo (Valparaíso, 30 november 1947)



De Amerikaanse toneelschrijver en filmregisseur David Mamet werd geboren op 30 november 1947 in Chicago. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008.


The Diary of Anne Frank


​Peter: Goddamned fucking Nazis.

Anne: You want a potato?

Peter: No, I don’t want a potato.

Anne: Take a potato.

Peter: I don’t want a fucking potato.

Anne: Go on, take a potato.

Peter: What do I want with a fucking potato?

Anne: We’re starving.

Peter: (pause) What the hell, I’ll take a potato. (takes potato, eats)

Anne: I kinda like it without salt.

Peter: Salt. That shit’ll kill you.

Anne: Okay.

Peter: I’m trying to make light of a fuckin’ situation here.

Anne: Okay.

Peter: Like when you spilled milk on that cunt’s fur coat.

Anne: That was an accident.

Peter: (Monologue on how there are no accidents)

Anne: Hey, kiss me.

Peter: Why the fuck not?



David Mamet (Chicago, 30 november 1947)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Wil Mara werd geboren op 30 november 1966 in de buurt van Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008.


Uit: The Cut


Barry Sturtz finally ran out of patience.

“T. J.’s numbers for the last two years have been incredible,” he said for the third time. “No one here can debate that. Last year alone—eighty-seven receptions for eleven hundred and forty-four yards and thirteen touchdowns. The best stats for any tight end in the whole damn league!” He pounded his fist on the burnished mahogany table to underscore the last three words.

“No one’s denying his value, Barry,” Palmer responded. “We all know he’s one of the best at his position.” Thirty-six-year-old Chet Palmer had been the Giants’ general manager for the last three seasons. With his thinning hair, dark suit, and tortoiseshell glasses, he looked more like a corporate accountant.

“No, Chet,” Sturtz corrected, almost out of breath, “he is the best at his position.”

“Okay, okay,” Palmer said, hands up defensively. He didn’t have much of a stomach for confrontation. “But we have a contract already, and we expect him to honor it. He’s got one year left. After that, we’ll be happy to discuss a renegotiation.” The third man in the conference room remained silent, as he had throughout most of the meeting.

Sturtz shook his head. “No, we’re discussing it now. T. J. has put up the best stats of any tight end in the league for the last two seasons, and what has he been getting for it? League minimum—this year he’ll make less than five hundred grand. Dinkins, meanwhile, will get two point seven million from the Cardinals, Schaefer will get two point one from Denver, and Barone will get one point eight in Miami. T. J. is performing better than all of them.”

“Barry,” Palmer said calmly, as if his greatest concern during this exercise in organizational thievery was to remain civil, “we took him in the sixth round. We gave him sixth-round money and a sixth-round contract. He didn’t have to take it, but he d—”

“He’s being ripped off!” Sturtz screamed. An icy silence followed, during which the ticking of the wall clock became noticeably louder. Palmer seemed a little nervous now, whereas head coach Alan Gray continued to appear unaffected.“



Wil Mara (Long Beach Island, 30 november 1966)



De Chinese schrijfster Adeline Yen Mah werd geboren op 30 november 1937 in Tianjin. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008.


Uit: Chinese Cinderella


As soon as I got home from school, Aunt Baba noticed the silver medal dangling from the left breast pocket of my uniform.
She was combing her hair in front of the mirror in our room when I rushed in and plopped my schoolbag down onto my bed.
“What’s that hanging on your dress?”
“It’s something special that Mother Agnes gave me in front of the whole class this afternoon.
She called it an award.”
My aunt looked thrilled. “So soon? You only started kindergarten a week ago. What is it for?”
“It’s for leading my class this week. When Mother Agnes pinned it on my dress, she said I could wear it for seven days. Here, this certificate goes with it.” I opened my schoolbag and handed her an envelope as I climbed onto her lap.
She opened the envelope and took out the certificate. “Why, it’s all written in French or English or some other foreign language. How do you expect me to read this, my precious little treasure?” I knew she was pleased because she was smiling as she hugged me. “One day soon,” she continued, “you’ll be able to translate all this into Chinese for me. Until then, we’ll just write today’s date on the envelope and put it away somewhere safe. Go close the door properly and put on the latch so no one will come in.”
I watched her open her closet door and take out her safe-deposit box. She took the key from a gold chain around her neck and placed my certificate underneath her jade bracelet, pearl necklace and diamond watch, as if my award were also some precious jewel impossible to replace.“



Adeline Yen Mah (Tianjin, 30 november 1937)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 30e november ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.