Bruce Bawer, Joseph Boyden, John Keats, Don Winslow

De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en literatuurcriticus Bruce Bawer werd geboren op 31 oktober 1956 in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Bruce Bawer op dit blog.

Uit: Gays in the Era of Trump (Artikel in Frontpage Magazine, februari 2017)

“Certainly, given what Islamic immigration has meant for gay people in Europe, you’d think that every half-aware gay American would have cheered Trump’s executive order temporarily blocking entry into the U.S. by citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries. In three of those nations, Syria, Somalia, and Libya, being gay is punishable by imprisonment; in three others, Yemen, Sudan, and Iran, it’s a capital offense. (In the seventh, Iraq, homosexuality is technically legal, thanks to the U.S. influence over its post-Saddam constitution, although it’s still not exactly the ideal spot for a gay honeymoon.) And yet on February 4, thousands of gays rallied outside the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village – where the modern gay-rights movement is generally viewed as having begun – to protest the visa ban. These protesters (like the gay idiots of the BDS movement who march in “solidarity” with Palestine) haven’t just been fed lies about Islam; they’ve failed to grasp – yet – that they’re being used by the left to whitewash a “victim group” many of whose members, if given the power, would toss them to their deaths from the tops of buildings.
But this will change. Across Europe, gays have been deserting the left in growing numbers for the so-called “far-right” parties that are standing up to Islam – and they’re making that move because they’ve seen enough of Islam to know that it represents a threat to their very lives. With Islam continuing its dread incursion into the U.S., with President Trump pronouncing the question of same-sex marriage “settled,” and (not least) with the staggeringly popular, flagrantly gay, and passionately pro-Trump Milo Yiannopoulos out there providing young audiences with desperately needed reality checks about Islam and the left, it only makes sense that gay Americans, like their European counterparts, will over time be increasingly suspicious of Islam’s apologists – and increasingly receptive to Trump’s blunt truth-telling about the Religion of Peace.”


Bruce Bawer (New York, 31 oktober 1956)
De USA Gay Pride vlag


De Canadese schrijver Joseph Boyden werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Willowdale, Ontario. Zie ook alle tags voor Joseph Boyden op dit blog

Uit: The Orenda

“And when the dogs are within a few minutes of reaching me, I will suddenly begin to feel a warmth creeping. My body will continue its hard seizures, but my toes and fingers and testicles will stop burning. I will begin to feel a sense of, if not comfort, then relief, and my breathing will be very difficult and this will cause panic but that will slowly harden to resolve. And when the dogs are on the lake and racing toward me, jaws foaming and teeth bared, I will know that even this won’t hurt anymore, my eyes frozen shut as I slip into a sleep that no one can awaken from. As the dogs circle me I will try to smile at them, baring my own teeth, too, and when they begin to eat me I won’t feel myself being consumed but will, like You, Christ, give my body so that others might live.
This thought of giving, I now see, lifts me just enough to pick up the girl and begin walking away from the lake’s edge. After all, if she’s alive, won’t her people—my pursuers—consider sparing me? I will
keep her alive, not only because this is what You demand but also to save myself. The thought of betraying Your wishes feels more an intellectual quandary than what I imagine should physically cause my heart to ache, but I’ll worry about that later. For now I follow the others’ footsteps as best I can, my thick black robe catching on the branches and nettles, the bush so thick I wonder how it is that the men I follow, and those who follow me, are not part animal, contain some black magic that gives them abilities beyond what is natural. You seem very far away here in this cold hell, and the Superior’s attempts to prepare me before I left France, before my journey to this new world, seem ridiculous in their naïveté. You will face great danger. You will most certainly face death. You will question Jesus’ mercy, even His existence. This is Lucifer whispering in your ear. Lucifer’s fires are ice.
There is no warming your body and your soul by them. But Superior doesn’t have any idea what true cold is, I realize, as I allow myself and the girl to be swallowed by the darkness of trees that the bitter sun fails to penetrate.”


Joseph Boyden (Willowdale, 31 oktober 1966)


De Engelse dichter John Keats werd geboren op 31 oktober 1795 in Finsbury Pavement in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor John Keats op dit blog.


Ode on Melancholy

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolf’s-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss’d
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow’s mysteries;
For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty — Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine;
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.


Ode aan de neerslachtigheid

Ontwring de wrangwortel geen giftige wijn,
ontwijk de Lethe, laat geen scarabee
of doodshoofdvlinder je eigen Psyche zijn,
laat je niet kussen door Persefone,
nachtschades rode druif, op ’t bleke hoofd,
rijg niet je rozenkrans uit taxuszaad
en maak de donzige uil geen deelgenoot
van jouw geheim verdriet: je ziel verdooft
als elke schaduw in de schaduw staat –
daartussen vindt de waakzame angst de dood.

Maar komt zij plotseling uit de hemel vallen,
Neerslachtigheid, als huilbui die de bloemen
knikt maar ook voedt, en legt ze een wade op alle
hellingen met hun prille lentegroenen –
voed je verdriet dan met een morgenroos,
met welige pioenen, met de wieren
die aanspoelen omringd door regenbogen –
of, is je meesteres fantastisch boos,
vang dan haar zachte handen, laat haar tieren
en zwelg diep, diep in haar weergaloze ogen.

Ze woont bij Schoonheid, die ooit dood zal zijn,
en Blijheid, met haar hand steeds aan de lippen
ten afscheid, naast Plezier, ofwel Venijn
zo gauw de bijenmond ervan gaat nippen –
ja, de gesluierde Neerslachtigheid
heeft in het vreugdevolle heiligdom
haar soevereine schrijn, alleen betreden
door wie de druif van Blijheid met zijn tong
te barsten drukt – zijn ziel hangt na die tijd
tussen haar droeve, duistere trofeeën.


Vertaald door Jan Kuijper


John Keats (31 oktober 1795 – 23 februari 1821)
John Keats listening to the Nightingale on Hampstead Heath door Joseph Severn, ca. 1845


De Amerikaanse schrijver Don Winslow werd geboren in New York op 31 oktober 1953. Zie ook alle tags voor Don Winslow op dit blog.

Uit: The Force

“The last guy on earth anyone ever expected to end up in the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Park Row was Denny Malone.
You said the mayor, the president of the United States, the pope—people in New York would have laid odds they’d see them behind bars before they saw Detective First Grade Dennis John Malone.
A hero cop.
The son of a hero cop.
A veteran sergeant in the NYPD’s most elite unit.
The Manhattan North Special Task Force.
And, most of all, a guy who knows where all the skeletons are hidden, because he put half of them there himself.
Malone and Russo and Billy O and Big Monty and the rest made these streets their own, and they ruled them like kings. They made them safe and kept them safe for the decent people trying to make lives there, and that was their job and their passion and their love, and if that meant they worked the corners of the plate and put a little something extra on the ball now and then, that’s what they did.
The people, they don’t know what it takes sometimes to keep them safe and it’s better that they don’t.
They may think they want to know, they may say they want to know, but they don’t.
Malone and the Task Force, they weren’t just any cops on the Job. You got thirty-eight thousand wearing blue, Denny Malone and his guys were the 1 percent of the 1 percent of the 1 percent the smartest, the toughest, the quickest, the bravest, the best, the baddest.
The Manhattan North Special Task Force.
“Da Force” blew through the city like a cold, harsh, fast and violent wind, scouring the streets and alleys, the playgrounds, parks and projects, scraping away the trash and the filth, a predatory storm blowing away the predators.
A strong wind finds its way through every crack, into the project stairwells, the tenement heroin mills, the social club back rooms, the new-money condos, the old-money penthouses. From Columbus Circle to the Henry Hudson Bridge, Riverside Park to the Harlem River, up Broadway and Amsterdam, down Lenox and St. Nicholas, on the numbered streets that spanned the Upper West Side, Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood, if there was a secret Da Force didn’t know about, it was because it hadn’t been whispered about or even thought of yet.”


Don Winslow (New York, 31 oktober 1953)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 31e oktober ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.

Bij 500 jaar Reformatie, Johann Gottfried von Herder, Joseph Boyden, John Keats, Don Winslow, Bruce Bawer


Bij 500 jaar Reformatie


Luther spijkert de 95 stellingen aan de slotkerk in Wittenberg door Julius Hübner, 1865


Auf Luther’s Bild

Guter schwarzer Mönch, mit starkem Arme begannst Du
Auszufegen den Staub, der die Altäre verbarg;
Aber schnell entrissen Dir Andre das säubernde Werkzeug,
Lasen vom Staube das Gold, hingen den Besen sich auf.
Und nun steht der entgüldete Altar in ärgerem Staube
Ohne Säuberung; Gold können sie fegen nicht mehr.


Johann Gottfried von Herder (25 augustus 1744 – 18 december 1803)
Het Johann Gottfried Herder Museum in Mohrungen (Nu Morąg, Polen)

Lees verder “Bij 500 jaar Reformatie, Johann Gottfried von Herder, Joseph Boyden, John Keats, Don Winslow, Bruce Bawer”

Joseph Boyden, Bruce Bawer, John Keats, Carlos Drummond de Andrade

De Canadese schrijver Joseph Boyden werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Willowdale, Ontario. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Joseph Boyden op dit blog.

Uit: Through Black Spruce

“I hit hard ice this time, and it knocked the little breath left out of me. My jeans and jacket were already frozen worse than a straitjacket, and the shivers came so bad my teeth felt like they were about to shatter. I knew my Zippo was in my coat pocket but probably wet to uselessness. Push bad thoughts away. One thing at a time. First things first. I crawled quick as I could, trying to stand and walk, and I frankensteined my way to the trees and began snapping dry twigs from a dead spruce.
After I made a pile, I reached into my chest pocket, breaking the ice from the material that felt hard as iron now. My fingers had lost all feel. I reached for my cigarettes, struggled to pull one from my pack, and clinked open the lighter. I’d decided that if the lighter worked, I‘d enjoy a cigarette as I started a fire. It the lighter didn’t work, I’d freeze to death and searchers would find me with an unlit smoke in my mouth, looking cool as the Marlboro Man. On the fifteenth thumb roll I got the lighter going. I was saved for the first time. I reached for my flask in my ass pocket and struggled to open it. Within five minutes I had a fire going. Within fifteen I’d siphoned fuel from my tank and had one of the greatest fires of my life burning, so hot I had to stand away from it, slowly rotating my body like a sausage.
The darkness of a James Bay night in January is something you two girls know well. Annie, you’re old enough to remember your grandfather. Suzanne, I don’t know. I hope so.Your moshum, he liked nothing more than taking you girls out, bundled up like mummies, to look at the stars and especially the northern lights that flickered over the bay. He’d tell you two that they danced just for you, showed you how to rub your fists together to make them burn brighter. Do you remember?
My first crash ended good. My old friend Chief Joe flew out to me the next morning. found me by the smoky fire I’d kept burning all night. We got my plane unstuck and had a couple of good drinks and he gave me a spare pair of boots. Then Joe went to find those trappers and I got my gas lines unfrozen and flew home to Helen.
Joe quit flying soon after that. He was ready for something else. Me, I kept going. I had no other choice. A wife who wanted children, the idea of a family to feed coming to us like a good sunrise on the horizon. I made my choices. I was young still, young enough to believe you can put out your gill net and pull in options like fish.
The snow’s deep here, nieces. I’m tired, but I have to keep walking. I’m so tired, but I‘ve got to get up or I’ll freeze to death. Talking to you, it keeps me warm.”

Joseph Boyden (Willowdale, 31 oktober 1966)

Lees verder “Joseph Boyden, Bruce Bawer, John Keats, Carlos Drummond de Andrade”

Joseph Boyden, Bruce Bawer, John Keats, Nick Stone, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Irina Denezhkina

De Canadese schrijver Joseph Boyden werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Willowdale, Ontario. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Joseph Boyden op dit blog.

Uit: The Orenda

“Now the snow covering the lake glows the colour of a robin’s egg as sunlight tries to break through cloud. If I live through this day I will always remember to pay attention to the tickle of dryness at the back of my throat at this moment, the feeling of a bad headache coming. I’ve just begun to walk to the girl to offer her comfort, if she’s still alive, when a dog’s howl breaks the silence, its excitement in picking up our scent making me want to throw up. Other dogs answer it. I forget how my toes have begun to blacken, that I’ve lost so much weight I can barely support my gaunt frame, that my chest has filled with a sickness that’s turned my skin yellow.
I know dogs, though. As in my old world, they are one of the few things in this new one that bring me comfort. And this pack’s still a long way away, their voices travelling easy in the frozen air. When I bend to help the girl up, I see the others have already disappeared into the shadows of trees and thick brush.
My terror of being left behind for those chasing me, who will make sure my death is slow and painful, is so powerful that I now weigh taking my own life. I know exactly what I must do. Asking Your divine mercy for this, I will strip naked and walk out onto the lake. I calculate how long all this will take. It’s my second winter in the new world, after all, and my first one I witnessed the brutality of death by freezing. The first ten minutes, as the pack races closer and closer, will certainly be the most excruciating. My skin will at first feel as if it’s on fire, like I’m being boiled in a pot. Only one thing is more painful than these early minutes of freezing, and it’s the thawing out, every tendril of the body screaming for the agony to stop. But I won’t have to worry about that. I will lie on the frozen lake and allow the boiling cold to consume me. After that handful of minutes the violent shaking won’t even be noticed, but the sharp stabs of pain in the forehead will come, and they will travel deeper until it feels my brain is being prodded with fish spines.»

Joseph Boyden (Willowdale, 31 oktober 1966)

Lees verder “Joseph Boyden, Bruce Bawer, John Keats, Nick Stone, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Irina Denezhkina”

Joseph Boyden, Bruce Bawer, John Keats, Nick Stone, Carlos Drummond de Andrade

De Canadese schrijver Joseph Boyden werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Willowdale, Ontario. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Joseph Boyden op dit blog.


Uit: The Orenda


“I awake. A few minutes, maybe, of troubled sleep. My teeth chatter so violently I can taste I’ve bitten my swollen tongue. Spitting red into the snow, I try to rise but my body’s seized. The oldest Huron, their leader, who kept us walking all night around the big lake rather than across it because of some ridiculous dream, stands above me with a thorn club. The weight these men give their dreams will be the end of them.

Although I still know little of their language, I understand the words he whispers and force myself to roll over when the club swings toward me. The thorns bite into my back and the bile of curses that pour from my mouth make the Hurons convulse with laughter. I am sorry, Lord, to use Your name in vain.

They’d all be screaming with glee, pointing and holding their bellies, if we weren’t being hunted. With a low sun rising and the air so cold, noise travels. They are clearly fed up with the young Iroquois girl who never stopped whimpering the entire night. Her face is swollen and, when I see her lying in the snow, I fear they killed her while I slept.

Not long ago, just before first light, we’d all paused to rest, the leader and his handful of hunters stopping as if they’d planned this in advance, the pack of them collapsing against one another for the heat. They whispered among themselves, and a couple glanced over at me. Although I couldn’t decipher their rushed speech, I sensed they talked of leaving me here, probably with the girl, who at that moment sat with her back to a birch, staring as if in a dream.Or maybe they talked of killing us. We had slowed them down all night, and despite trying to walk quietly I’d stumbled in the dark through the thick brush and tripped over fallen trees buried in the snow. At one point I removed my snowshoes because they were so clumsy, but then sank up to my hips in the next steps, and one of the hunters had to pull me out, biting me hard on the face once he’d accomplished the deed.”



Joseph Boyden (Willowdale, 31 oktober 1966)

Lees verder “Joseph Boyden, Bruce Bawer, John Keats, Nick Stone, Carlos Drummond de Andrade”

Joseph Boyden, Bruce Bawer, John Keats, Nick Stone

De Canadese schrijver Joseph Boyden werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Willowdale, Ontario. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Joseph Boyden op dit blog.


Uit: Three Day Road

“I went alone.

I watch the beast pull up and give one last great sigh, as if it is very tired from the long journey, smoke pouring from its sides. People wave from the windows and people on the ground wave back, just as I have watched them do for days. Then men and women and children who have arrived start stepping down into the arms of others. I see a few soldiers and search among them for Elijah’s face with his sly grin. The crowd begins to thin, and once again I do not see an Indian soldier with one leg.

I am turning to leave when I see through one of the windows the silhouette of a man inside. He walks slowly along the aisle, on crutches, in a uniform, a small bag slung over his shoulder. I step away from the shadow of the wall.

He wears a hat, just like the wemistikoshiw do, but this one is of their army and I cannot see his face for his looking down as he slowly makes his way down the steps on his crutches. He is an old man, I think. So skinny. This cannot be the Elijah I know. One leg of his pants is pinned up and hangs down a little way, empty.

When he is off the steps I begin to back away, thinking it is not him. He looks up and I see his face, thin and pale, high cheekbones, and ears sticking out from beneath his hat. I stumble a little, the blood rushing away from my head. The ghost of my nephew Xavier looks at me.

He sees me at the same moment, and I watch as his eyes take a long time to register what they see, but when they do he begins to rock back and forth on his crutches. He falls to the ground. I rush up to him, kneel beside him, grab his warm hands. He is no ghost. I hold him to me. His heart beats weakly. I am struck suddenly that he is very ill.

“Nephew,” I whisper. “You are home. You are home.”

I hug him, and when he opens his eyes, I look into them. They are glassy. Even in the shadows of the station his pupils are pinpricks.

“I was told you were dead, Auntie,” he whispers.

“And I was told you were, too,” I say.

We sit on the ground for a while, both of us too weak for the moment to get up. We are crying, looking at one another. A small group of wemistikoshiw gathers and stares at us. I help Nephew up so that we can get away, get to the river where he can drink water and I can better protect him.

We do not stay in the town long. It makes me too nervous. Automobiles, they are everywhere. We must cross the dusty road that they travel upon before we can get to the river where I keep my canoe. Nephew walks slowly on his crutches, his eyes cast down. People stare at us, at him.”


Joseph Boyden (Willowdale, 31 oktober 1966)

Lees verder “Joseph Boyden, Bruce Bawer, John Keats, Nick Stone”

Joseph Boyden, Bruce Bawer, John Keats, Nick Stone

De Canadese schrijver Joseph Boyden werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Willowdale, Ontario. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Joseph Boyden op dit blog.


Uit: Through Black Spruce

„Or my second option was to make up my mind that the cold, that nature, was just an unfortunate clash of weather systems. If I made my mind up this second way, that the physical world no longer held vengeance and evil just beyond the black shadow of spruce, then I’d try and make do with what I had.And when I realized what an idiot I was for ending up here all alone without the proper gear—just a jean jacket with a sweater under it and running shoes on my feet—I’d get angry, desperate for some sense of fairness in the world, and begin to panic.

Me, I preferred the first option, that Mother Nature was one angry slut. She’d try and kill you first chance she got.You’d screwed with her for so long that she was happy to eliminate you. But more than that, the first option allowed me to get angry right away, to blame some other force for all my troubles.The panic came much quicker this way, but it was going to come anyways, right?

And so me, I climbed out of my cockpit and onto the wing on that frigid afternoon in my jean jacket and running shoes, walked along the wing, fearful of the bush and the cold and a shitty death all around me.

I decided to make my way to the bank to collect some firewood and jumped onto the frozen creek. I sank to my chest in that snow, and immediately realized I was a drunken fool. The shock of fast-flowing ice water made my breath seize, tugging at my legs, pulling at my unlaced running shoes so that the last thing my feet felt was those shoes tumbling away with the current.

By the time I flopped back onto the wing, my stomach to my feet had so little feeling that I had to pull my way back to the cockpit with wet fingers, tearing the skin from them when they froze to the aluminum. My breath came in hitches.When I tried my radio, and my wife finally picked it up, she couldn’t understand me. She thought I was a kid fooling around on his father’s CB and hung up on me.

Like I said, panic came quick. I could waste more time and the last of my energy calling back, hoping to get Helen to understand it was me and that I needed help now, but how to tell her exactly where I was? They might be able to find me tomorrow in daylight, but not now with the night closing in. And so I did what I knew I had to do. I crawled out of the cockpit again, onto my other wing, and threw myself off it, hoping not to find more water under the snow.“


Joseph Boyden (Willowdale, 31 oktober 1966)

Lees verder “Joseph Boyden, Bruce Bawer, John Keats, Nick Stone”

Nick Stone, Joseph Boyden, Bruce Bawer, John Keats, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Irina Denezhkina, Ernst Augustin, Jean Améry

De Engelse schrijver Nick Stone werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Cambridge. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2009.

 Uit: The Unarmed Robbery

“Nick, the radio doesn’t work.”
“That’s because you smacked it with your shoe,” I said.
“‘Cause it wasn’t loud enough!”
“Laurie, did you really think that would fix it?”
She folded her arms and stared out the window into the night. “I don’t understand, Nick. Why are we using a ’91 Geo Prism for this?”
“I told you, you have to use a nondescript vehicle for pulling a robbery. And a ’91 is about as nondescript as they get!”
Laurie turned and glared at me. “And what would you know about pulling a robbery? We’ve never done this before.”
“True, but how hard could it be? I pull out the gun, ask for money and drive away.”
“Ask for money??”
“Well yeah! I mean, with a gun in their face, will I really have to demand it? Besides, I think it’s common courtesy to be polite while screaming obscenities and waving a gun in someone’s face.”
She eyed me suspiciously. “Have you been smoking banana peels again?”
By two in the morning we were sitting in our Geo in a parking lot across the street from a Sunoco gas station in Allen Park, MI. The station was deserted but still open. We watched for several minutes, but no one came or left the station. So far, everything was perfect.
“Do you really think you can pull this off?” she asked.
I flashed her a quick smile. “No one’s as smooth as Nick Stone!”
When I was convinced there were no customers inside, I had Laurie pull the getaway Geo up to the Sunoco’s front door, parking so close no one else could get inside the building. I put on my ski mask, grabbed Laurie’s .38 snub-nose revolver and a cloth bag and went inside.
“Hi there!” was my congenial greeting to the girl behind the counter. “You know what I am,” and I pointed to the ski mask, “you know what this is,” I held up the gun, “and I assume you know what to do with this,” I said, and tossed her the bag.”


Nick Stone (Cambridge, 31 oktober 1966)


De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en literatuurcriticus Bruce Bawer werd geboren op 31 oktober 1956 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2009.

 The View from an Airplane at Night, over California

This is a sight that Wordsworth never knew,
whether looking down from mountain, bridge, or hill:
An endless field of lights, white, orange, and blue,
as small and bright as stars, and nearly still,
but moving slowly, many miles below,
in blackness, as stars crawl across the skies,
and ranked in rows that stars will never know,
like beads strung on a thousand latticed ties.
Would even Wordsworth, seeing what I see,
know that these lights are not well-ordered stars
that have been here a near-eternity,
but houses, streetlights, factories, and cars?
Or has this slim craft made too high a leap
above it all, and is the dark too deep?



Walking down Seventh Avenue in the snow
I turn down Forty-eighth Street and see
a dozen guitars hanging in a window.
Lord, it’s the place where I bought my saxophone.
Suddenly I remember: twelve years old,
my voice about to change, the instrument
heavy in my hands, bright gold, ice cold.
I blew my lungs out, but it only brayed.
The salesman reached out, took it away from me,
wiped the mouthpiece on his sleeve, and rent
the warm air with a perfect bell-like tone.
My father and I smiled, and the salesman played
an old, familiar Hoagy Carmichael song,
and the stockboy put down a box and sang along

Bruce Bawer (New York, 31 oktober 1956)


De Canadese schrijver Joseph Boyden werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Willowdale, Ontario. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2009.

Uit: Three Day Road

“It whistles like a giant eagle screaming, so close now that I must cover my ears.
I have paddled by myself against the big river’s current for many days to get here. No mind. My one living relation died in a faraway place, and I am here to greet his friend Elijah. Elijah Whiskeyjack is as close to a relation as I still have, and I will paddle him home.
Joseph Netmaker brought the letter out to me. Winter had just started to settle itself into the country. Joseph walked on snowshoes from the town. “This is for you, Niska,” he said. “It is from the Canadian boss, their hookimaw.”
As soon as I saw the brown letter, the English words written upon it, I knew what it contained. I sat down beside the fire and stirred at it with a stick while Joseph read, first out loud and in his stumbling English, then for me in our language.
“‘Serial No. 6711. Deeply regret to inform you, Private First Class Xavier Bird, infantry, officially reported died of wounds in the field, November 3, 1918. Director of Records.’ “
I waited for more, but that was all. When Joseph left, I was alone.
Many moons later, when the winter ice was leaving and travel was difficult, Joseph came back with another letter. He explained that it was in reference to Elijah, and that Old Man Ferguson had given it to him to give to me since I was the closest thing to a relation that Elijah had.
The letter said that Elijah had been wounded, that he had only one leg now, that he had tried to rescue another soldier, was given a medal for bravery. It said that although weak, he had healed enough to travel and was expected to arrive in the same town from which he and Xavier had left so long ago.
I had Joseph explain to me how the wemistikoshiw calendar worked, what month I was to be there, and I made careful preparations to journey by canoe to that town where Elijah would arrive. I left early in the summer and paddled up the river. It was difficult. I am older now, but I travelled light. Joseph had asked to come along, but I told him no.“


 Joseph Boyden (Willowdale, 31 oktober 1966)


De Engelse dichter John Keats werd geboren op 31 oktober 1795 in Finsbury Pavement in London. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2007 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2009.

Bright Star

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.


In Drear-Nighted December

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne’er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne’er remember
Apollo’s summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would ’twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy?
The feel of not to feel it,
When there is none to heal it
Nor numbed sense to steel it,
Was never said in rhyme.


On Death

Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream,
And scenes of bliss pass as a phantom by?
The transient pleasures as a vision seem,
And yet we think the greatest pain’s to die.

How strange it is that man on earth should roam,
And lead a life of woe, but not forsake
His rugged path; nor dare he view alone
His future doom which is but to awake.


John Keats (31 oktober 1795 – 23 februari 1821)
Portret van John Keats in Rome, kort voor zijn dood in 1821, door zijn vriend Joseph Severn


De Braziliaanse dichter Carlos Drummond de Andrade werd geboren op 31 oktober 1902 in Itabira, een klein dorpje in de staat Minas Gerais. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2009.

 Wat de Peixoto-buurt

Wat de Peixoto-buurt
niet van ons weet
en heeft vergeten!

Anita Garibaldi-straat
en Siquera Campos-straat
(Francisco Braga,
Décio Vilares
op de loer, doen ze
of ze niets zien?)

Het trottoir in de schemer
heen en weer heen en
weer weer,
zijweg naar de tunnel
op zoek naar het maagdenvlies?
Weer terug:
een bankje op het plein. Bamboes.
Bamboebosje in een bries van au-au.

De bard en het meisje waren verliefd
in de Afhankelijkheidsstrijd.
Ironie van de liefde
of alleen ironie?

Straat van de 5de juli (grens
met het rijk der duisternis),
onder het oog van
nietsvermoedende huizen
gooiden we in de tuinen
en in de brievenbussen
niet goed te praten boekwerkjes
met andermans opdrachten,

Laat hij de hond los? Bewaar me.
Vijfhonderd bloedhonden breken los.
Ze huilen het stramien
van bandeloze liefde.
Zie je wel? Het is in mij,
in de bard dat ze blaffen.

Dommigheid van een dom ding.
Het is al over negenduizend uur,
hoogste tijd terug te keren
naar het heiligdom van de maagd.
Nog heel eventjes. Nee.
Ik, de wijze koning, ik beveel.
Ze lacht. Lachen om mij. We blijven.

Vingers in elkaar,
verlangens parallel
in het pueriele park.
Edmundo-plein, hallo,
Bittencourt met bulderende bas.
Als hij ons zou zien zitten zoenen,
kwijlend, niet voor de eerste keer,
schrijft hij dan ingezonden brieven?

Kind als een kip zonder kop,
lachend om alles en niets,
wie de kleinste woordjes weet,
weet je waar we naar toe gaan?
Naar bed.
Niets daarvan. Slechts brandende
probeersels. Ik zwijg.

Reis over de borsten. Omlaag.
Als ik verder ga,
wie houdt me vast?
als ik het hierbij laat,
wie brengt me tot rust?

Twintig jaar later kom ik
weer door de Peixoto-buurt,
getuige van onze rendez-vous,
die vandaag niets meer weet,
van dit onhandig gedoe.


Vertaald door August Willemsen


Carlos Drummond de Andrade (31 oktober 1902 – 17 augustus 1987)


De Russische schrijfster Irina Denezhkina werd geboren op 31 oktober 1981 in Yekaterinburg. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2009.

 Uit: Give Me: Songs for Lovers

„Volkova had them figured out right away: nice boys, not bad-looking boys, like a set of matching dolls, but they were “nothing but a bunch of teenagers.” Volkova plays her own field: rich men. Lyapa & Co. were left to me. But all they were for me was “nothing but” too. I don’t know why. Some “husband” I have!

“Shall I see you home?”

I decided to strike a pose and declared:

“I can get there on my own. I’m not a child!”

Lyapa and I live at opposite ends of town. I only have to go around the corner from Lyapa’s place to the metro, but then I have to ride for almost an hour all the way over to

the Vyborg District. “Okay, but when you get there give me a call.”

I didn’t answer and slammed the door. Some husband…Hah! Just a messy situation.

Some young guy smashed out of his skull trailed after me from the bus stop — really tall, long hair and black glasses, clutching a bottle of Petrovskoe beer. I kept walking and kept my mouth shut, cursing Lyapa and cursing myself for wanting God knows what. Who’s he to me anyway?

Meanwhile this lowlife has started grabbing at my arm and hassling me, raising his voice. I got frightened. He was drunk, after all.

“Wassya name, sweetart? Why don’choo tell me? G’won, tell me! I’m Vova!”

A crowd of teenage kids appeared, coming toward us. Great, I thought. That’s all I need. Then I’ll send Lyapa to hell for sure, with a big bunch of roses.

The crowd came closer. Out in front of them this dirty little kid of about twelve was dancing around. He was the one who said it.

“It’s him, guys!”

They separated Vova from me with a neat smack to his mouth. The bottle of beer swung loose out of Vova’s hands and went flying into the air. I stood there and watched, stupefied, as several guys jumped up and down on Vova’s head while the others put the boot into his gut.“

 Denezhkina (

Irina Denezhkina (Yekaterinburg, 31 oktober 1981)


De Duitse schrijver Ernst Augustin werd geboren op 31 oktober 1927 in Hirschberg. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2009.

 Uit: Die Schule der Nackten

„Sicherlich nicht, man trägt hier ausnehmend schöne Badekleidung, hoch in den Weichen ausgeschnitten und freigegeben, aber auch wiederum nicht so sehr, elegant freizügig eben. Sicherlich, man hat von den Nackten in der Straßenbahnlinie 8 gehört, die sich im Wildwasser abwärts stürzen, welches – eine Eigenheit Münchens – unterirdisch unter der gesamten Stadt hindurchführt, erst im Englischen Garten durch ein Maul ins Freie tritt, wo es dann unter den Augen der japanischen Touristen unsere Nackten donnernd davonträgt. Aber das sind alles wilde Studenten, die so etwas unternehmen, und daß sie am Ende nackt und bloß in die Straßenbahn steigen, um wieder zum Maul hinaufzufahren, soll jetzt auch verboten sein. Ich weiß es nicht. Im Jakobi-Bad scheint es weitaus ziviler zuzugehen. Nahm ich an.
Das Schild an der Bretterwand irritierte mich allerdings. Wie sollte man dort hindurchgehen? Mit Badehose? Was ja verboten war. Oder sollte man sie vorher ablegen und nackt passieren, was offenkundig niemand tat. Männer mit riesigen Badehosen, entweder hoch über dem Bauch getragen, so daß gerade die Brustsäcke, oder wie man sie nennen sollte, herausschauten, oder aber unterhalb des Bauchs, was auch nicht besser aussah, gingen frei als XXXL hindurch. Und die Damen? Flatterten üppig im Wind, da war auch keine, die sich entledigte, ich habe das drei Stunden lang verfolgt.
Am Ende stand ich auf, um die Inschrift zu studieren. Sie war dauerhaft in Blech geprägt, schwarz und weiß: „Freikörpergelände“, und darunter „Zugang nur ohne Kleidung gestattet.“ Fast wäre ich mit einer Gruppe junger Männer hineingegangen (im Schwung mit hinein), fast! Sie waren alle voll bekleidet, Hemden, Hosen, Jacken, als ob sie dort eigentlich nichts zu suchen hätten, waren auch sehr laut. – Denkwürdig insofern, als ich das erste Mal war, daß ich dort eintreten wollte.
Und dann doch nicht.“


Ernst Augustin (Hirschberg, 31 oktober 1927)


De Oostenrijkse schrijver Jean Améry werd geboren op 31 oktober 1912 in Wenen.   Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2006  en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2007 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2009.

 Uit: Charles Bovary médecin de campagne

Je veux qu’on l’enterre dans sa robe de noces, avec des souliers blancs, une couronne. On lui étalera ses cheveux sur les épaules ; trois cercueils : un de chêne, un d’acajou, un de plomb. Qu’on ne me dise rien, j’aurai la force. On lui mettra par-dessus toute une grande pièce de velours vert. Je le veux. Faites-le.
C’est ce que j’avais écrit, et c’est ce que l’on fit, avant que…
Puis il me sembla que la bière ne cessait de descendre et de s’enfoncer dans la terre. Et que j’aurais dû m’engloutir dans la fosse avec elle. Après tout n’était-ce pas là ma place ? Les gens m’entouraient, ils étaient bons. M. Homais me consolait, quel brave homme et quel ami fidèle ! Il fit la veillée du cadavre avec l’Abbé Bournisien, et l’un et l’autre finirent même par s’entendre, contrairement à l’habitude. Le curé me pardonna les blasphèmes que j’avais proférés dans ma douleur : Je l’exècre, votre Dieu ! m’étais-je écrié. Un brave homme. Il n’y avait que des braves gens autour de moi, Mme Tuvache, Mme Lefrançois ; même Lheureux, le boutiquier et usurier qui m’avait dépossédé de tous mes biens, était venu me présenter ses condoléances. Je ne lui garde aucune rancune, n’était-il pas normal qu’il réclamât son argent ? C’était la faute de la fatalité.
– Berthe ? Viens, mon enfant, pleure toutes les larmes de ton corps. Maman ne reviendra plus, viens pleurer avec moi, cela nous fera du bien à tous les deux. Tes bas sont déchirés, ma pauvre petite fille, et la poupée que tu tiens est déchirée, elle aussi, et maman ne rentrera plus à la maison. Aucun de ces braves gens n’a pu la sauver. Quelle tristesse. Laisse couler tes larmes, mais ne dis rien. Je sais, tu avais peur, car elle criait horriblement, ta mère, elle était blême et son visage était couvert d’une sueur glacée. Ses doigts étaient crispés et son corps s’était couvert de taches brunes. Calme-toi, mon enfant, tout est fini maintenant, va dans le jardin qui est laissé à l’abandon, car il n’y avait plus d’argent pour l’entretenir. Mais qu’aucun de ces braves gens n’ait pu faire quelque chose, c’est ce que je ne parviens pas encore à comprendre. Le docteur Canivet, ce savant, n’a trouvé aucun remède. Le docteur Larivière, mon professeur, cette lumière de la science, comme dit Homais, fut aussi impuissant que moi, moi qui en médecine brille encore moins que la plus infime des flammèches.“


Jean Améry (31 oktober 1912– 17 oktober 1978)

Joseph Boyden, Bruce Bawer, John Keats, Nick Stone, Irina Denezhkina, Ernst Augustin, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Jean Améry

De Canadese schrijver Joseph Boyden werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Willowdale, Ontario. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008.


Uit: Through Black Spruce


When there was no Pepsi left for my rye whisky, nieces, there was always ginger ale. No ginger ale? Then I had river water. River water’s light like something between those two. And brown Moose River water’s cold. Cold like living between two colours. Like living in this town.When the whisky was Crown Royal, then brown Moose River water was a fine, fine mix.

You know I was a bush pilot. The best. But the best have to crash. And I’ve crashed a plane, me. Three times. I need to explain this all to you. I was a young man when I crashed the first time.The world was wide open. I was scared of nothing. Just before Helen and I had our oldest boy. The first time I crashed I was drunk, but that wasn’t the reason I crashed. I used to fly a bush plane better with a few drinks in me. I actually believe my eyesight improved with whisky goggles on. But sight had nothing to do with my first crash.Wait. It had everything to do with it. Snowstorm. Zero visibility. As snow blinded my takeoff from the slick runway, I got the goahead with a warning from the Moosonee flight tower: harder snow coming.

An hour later and I’d made it a hundred miles north of Moose River on my way to pick up trappers not wanting but needing to come in from their lines.A rush to find them with night coming. I had a feeling where they’d be.Me, I was a natural in a plane. But in snow? One minute I’m humming along, the next, my fuel line’s gummed and I’m skidding and banging against a frozen creek.The crazy thing? Had I come in a few feet to the left or right, blind like I did, I would have wrapped my plane around black spruce lining the banks. Head a mush on the steering. Broken legs burning on a red-hot motor.The grandparents sometimes watch out. Chi meegwetch, omoshomimawak!

My plane wasn’t too damaged, but this was a crash nonetheless. And I emerged from the first true brush with it. The long darkness. No need to speak its name out loud.

Soon as I forced the door open, the snow, it stopped falling. Like that. Like in a movie. And when the cloud cover left on a winter afternoon a hundred plus miles north of Moosonee in January, the cold came, presented itself in such a forceful way that I had two choices.

The first was to assume that the cold was a living thing that chased me and wanted to suck the life from me. I could get angry at it, desperate for some sense of fairness in the world, and then begin to panic.“


joseph boyden

Joseph Boyden (Willowdale, 31 oktober 1966)


De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en literatuurcriticus Bruce Bawer werd geboren op 31 oktober 1956 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008.


Uit: Surrender

“We in the West are living in the midst of a jihad, and most of us don’t even realize it — because it’s a brand of jihad that’s barely a generation old.

Islam divides the world into two parts. The part governed by sharia, or Islamic law, is called the Dar al-Islam, or House of Submission. Everything else is the Dar al-Harb, or House of War. It’s called the House of War because it, too, according to the Koran, is destined to be governed by sharia, and it will take war — holy war, jihad — to bring it into the House of Submission.

Jihad began with Muhammed himself. When he was born, the lands that today make up the Arab world were populated mostly by Christians and Jews; within a century after his death, those areas’ inhabitants had been killed, driven away, subjugated to Islam as members of the underclass known as dhimmis, or converted to the Religion of Peace at the point of a sword. The Crusades of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were not wars of conquest by Europeans but attempts to take back what had once been Christian territory. America’s very first foreign conflict after the Revolutionary War was with the Barbary pirates, who, sponsored by the Muslim governments of North Africa — just as terrorist groups today enjoy the sponsorship of countries like Libya, Iran, and Syria — had for generations been preying on European ships and selling their crews and passengers into slavery. (Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, over one million Europeans — including people like Cervantes, Saint Vincent de Paul, and French playwright Jean Francois Regnard — became chattel in North Africa, a minor detail that rarely makes it into Western history textbooks, perhaps because it would compel textbook writers to accord jihad a major role in their narratives of Western history.)

In 1786, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, then the U.S. ambassadors to Britain and France respectively, met in London with the Tripolitanian envoy to Britain and asked him why his pirates were preying on American ships; he explained, as Adams and Jefferson reported afterward to the Continental Congress, that the pirates’ actions were “founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”



Bruce Bawer (New York, 31 oktober 1956)



De Engelse dichter John Keats werd geboren op 31 oktober 1795 in Finsbury Pavement in London. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2007 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008.



A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)


A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its lovliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing

A flowery band to bind us to the earth,

Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth

Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,

Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways

Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,

Some shape of beauty moves away the pall

From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,

Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon

For simple sheep; and such are daffodils

With the green world they live in; and clear rills

That for themselves a cooling covert make

‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,

Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:

And such too is the grandeur of the dooms

We have imagined for the mighty dead;

An endless fountain of immortal drink,

Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.




O Blush Not So!


O BLUSH not so! O blush not so!

Or I shall think you knowing;

And if you smile the blushing while,

Then maidenheads are going.


There’s a blush for want, and a blush for shan’t,

And a blush for having done it;

There’s a blush for thought, and a blush for nought,

And a blush for just begun it.


O sigh not so! O sigh not so!

For it sounds of Eve’s sweet pippin;

By these loosen’d lips you have tasted the pips

And fought in an amorous nipping.


Will you play once more at nice-cut-core,

For it only will last our youth out,

And we have the prime of the kissing time,

We have not one sweet tooth out.


There’s a sigh for aye, and a sigh for nay,

And a sigh for “I can’t bear it!”

O what can be done, shall we stay or run?

O cut the sweet apple and share it!



Last Sonnet


BRIGHT Star, would I were steadfast as thou art–

Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,

And watching, with eternal lids apart,

Like Nature’s patient sleepless Eremite,

The moving waters at their priest-like task

Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,

Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask

Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–

No–yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,

Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,

To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,

Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,

   Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,

   And so live ever–or else swoon to death.



John Keats (31 oktober 1795 – 23 februari 1821)
Standbeeld door Stuart Williamson, 2007


De Engelse schrijver Nick Stone werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Cambridge. De eerste vier jaar van zijn leven bracht hij door op Haïti, waar de familie van zijn moeder vandaan kwam. In 1971 keerde hij terug naar Engeland. In zijn jonge jaren was Stone een succesvol sporter – hij bokste in de nationale amateur klasse. Verder trad hij in de voetsporen van zijn vader en studeerde geschiedenis. Daarna werkte hij als headhunter voor verschillende bedrijven. Hij debuteerde in 2006 met Mr Clarinet. Voor de plot van het boek had hij inspiratie opgedaan toen hij in 1996 nog eens terug ging naar Haïti.


Uit: King of Swords


It was the last thing he needed or wanted, a dead ape at the end of his shift, but there it was—a corpse with bad timing. Larry Gibson, one of the night security guards at Primate Park, stood staring at the thing spotlighted in his torch beam—a long-stemmed cruciform of black fur lying less than twenty feet away, face up and palms open on the grassy verge in front of the wire. He didn’t know which of the fifteen species of monkey advertised in the zoo’s product literature this one was, and he didn’t care; all he knew was that he had some decisions to make and fast. He weighed up what to do with how much he could get away with not doing: he could sound the alarm and stick around to help when and where and if he was needed; or he could simply look the other way and ignore King Kong for the ten remaining minutes of his shift. Plus he craved sleep. Thanks to some Marine-issue bennies he’d popped on Sunday night, he’d been awake for fifty-nine hours straight; his longest ever stretch. The most he’d lasted before was forty-eight hours. It was now Wednesday morning. He’d run out of pills and all the sleep he’d cheated and skipped out on was catching up with him, ganging up in the wings, getting ready to drop on him like a sack of wet cement.

He checked his watch. 5.21 A.M. He needed to get out of here, get home, get his head down, sleep. He had another job starting at one p.m. as a supermarket supervisor. That was for alimony and child support. This gig—cash in hand and no questions asked—was for body and soul and the roof over his head. He really couldn’t afford to fuck it up.

Dr Jenny Gold had been dozing with the radio on when she got the phone call from the security guard in Sector i, nearest the front gate. Something about a dead gorilla, he’d said. She hoped to God it wasn’t Bruce, their star attraction.“



Nick Stone (Cambridge, 31. Oktober 1966)


De Russische schrijfster Irina Denezhkina werd geboren op 31 oktober 1981 in Yekaterinburg. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008.


Uit: Give Me: Songs for Lovers

We’re standing there drop-dead gorgeous in the metro. I’ve got on this skintight T-shirt and shorts that end before they’ve hardly begun. Volkova’s in a long sky-blue dress that shows everybody her boobs and her backside, everything big and bouncy. Her light brown hair’s all carefully styled and lacquered — “Not like you: Rake it across the bald patch and off you go.” A big nose. It doesn’t spoil her though. It gives her individuality. All the men starehard when she walks past. And when we’re together, it’s like the end of the world.

There we are standing opposite the escalator, with people riding up and out in our direction. All sorts.

“Look at that one; what an ugly kisser!”

“He’s looking in our direction! Yuh-uck!”

“Anyone but that one, anyone but that one!”

“Oh, sugar…no, don’t come this way!”

“No, not that freak, please!”

So we’re standing there whispering, and in the end we wound ourselves up so much we almost legged it top-speed out of the metro. But for some reason we hung on. Then suddenly I see two boys coming toward us. The one who’s not so tasty is like a Soviet soft toy dog. The other’s Pepsi, pager, MTV, spiky hair, fruit-drop lips, really cocky look. Gorgeous like a picture in a magazine.

“Which of you is my husband?” I asked in a voice hoarse with excitement, while Volkova digested the information. “No need to run; the beauty contest’s come to you.”

“Me,” the gorgeous one answered modestly. “I’m Lyapa. And this is Kres.”

Kres shook his long hair and smiled in a village-yokelish kind of way. Round-faced and round-bellied. Lyapa beamed.

And now here I am sitting in his kitchen, and he’s smoking and not showing the slightest sign of interest. He’s two years younger than me.

I downed my coffee decisively, burnt my tongue, got up and made for the door.

“Where are you going?” Lyapa said, rousing himself.


“It’s nighttime. You can’t go out there.”

“So what do I do?”

Lyapa started thinking. Maybe he’d overdone it back then on the Net, when he showered me with messages: “My pussycat! I love you very, very much!” Maybe he shouldn’t have. It’s two months now since that meeting in the metro. We see each other once a week. I’ve been with Volkova to watch his band rehearse a couple of times. I remember the guitarist Vitya sang a line instead of Kres, and Kres was really upset and took offense, because he’s the vocalist, not Vitya. He was humiliated in front of Volkova and me. He was left with nothing to do. As if heweren’t the vocalist at all, just some piece of gear that could easily be replaced. Take Lyapa: I don’t think you could replace him; no one else plays the drums like that. But Kres…Like, who cares?”


Irina Denezhkina

Irina Denezhkina (Yekaterinburg, 31 oktober 1981)



De Duitse schrijver Ernst Augustin werd geboren op 31 oktober 1927 in Hirschberg. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008.


Uit: Raumlicht: Der Fall Evelyne B.


“Es gehört zu meinem Plan, daß ich nicht auffalle, oder doch kaum. Ich wohne in einem bürgerlichen

Stadtteil Münchens, wo die Leute auf der Straße zum nahe gelegenen Nymphenburger Kanal wandern,

Handwerksmeister, Beamte, wenig Ausländer. Und ich wohne in einer Straße mit kleinherrschaftlichen

Häusern, die auch heute noch so aussehen, von denen meines das schmalste ist, zwei Stockwerke, rechts und links von Viergeschossigen eingebaut. Ich habe einen wenig auffallenden, sechs Meter breiten und drei Meter tiefen Vorgarten mit einem Schneeballbaum.

Das Haus ist nett angemalt, weiß und dunkelrot, wobei die Breite der Vorderfront durch die Eingangstür sowie ein Zimmerfenster im Parterre ausgemacht wird. Im ersten Stock sind zwei Zimmerfenster zu sehen, dann noch knapp über dem Blumenbeet ein vergittertes Kellerfenster. Ich habe ein unauffälliges Emailleschild, dessen Größe sowieso von der Ärztekammer beschränkt ist, meines ist aber eher noch kleiner, und ich habe im Parterre weiße, im ersten Stock rotbraune Fenstervorhänge, die fast immer geschlossen sind, auch außerhalb meiner Sprechstunden,

um die Leute nicht auf Veränderungen aufmerksam zu machen. Das Parterrefenster ist ebenfalls vergittert, aber so, daß man von außen nichts bemerkt, weißlackierte in das Fenster eingelassene Stahlrahmen, welche direkt mit kleinen Scheiben verglast sind, dazu darf ich erklären, daß ich niemanden im Haus festhalten will, sondern umgekehrt – das mag man jetzt deuten, wie man will. Und hinter diesem Fenster schreibe ich die Bücher, die ursprünglich immer den einen Titel tragen sollten: die Entdeckung der Schizophrenie, während ich dann aber doch davon Abstand nehme, da ich die Reaktion der Fachwelt voraussehe, die dann schließlich ohnehin eintritt.

Welches voraussetzt, daß die Schizophrenie bis dahin noch nicht entdeckt ist.

Sie begreifen, heißt aber, den eigenen Körper nicht begreifen. Sich über die Unmöglichkeit (aber die totale Unmöglichkeit!) zu entsetzen, die im Wachstum auch nur eines Fingernagels liegt, falls dieses wirklich stattfinden sollte. Außerdem: Ich liebe und bewundere die Tiere, wie sie mit ihren kleinen Werkzeugen sich unter einem Stein einrichten, wie sie an einen schönen braunen Pelz glauben und ihn auch bekommen, und wie sie in ihrem Pelz unter dem Stein sitzen, in tiefer Selbstbesinnung selbst zum kleinen Gott werdend.“



Ernst Augustin (Hirschberg, 31 oktober 1927)




De Braziliaanse dichter Carlos Drummond de Andrade werd geboren op 31 oktober 1902 in Itabira, een klein dorpje in de staat Minas Gerais. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008.



En alles wat ik heb gedacht
en alles wat ik heb gezegd
en alles wat men mij verteld heeft
was papier

En alles wat ik heb ontdekt

Papier al wat er was in mij
en in de anderen, kranten-


Een vrouw die naakt loopt door het huis

Een vrouw die naakt loopt door het huis,
vervult ons van zo grote geestesrust.
Het is geen gedateerde, geile naaktheid.
Het is een gekleed in naaktheid gaan,
onschuld als van een zuster, een glas water.

Het lichaam wordt zelfs niet waargenomen
door het ritme dat het meevoert.
Welvingen gaan langs in staat van reinheid,
geven de naam kuisheid aan het leven.

Haren die bekoorden verontrusten niet.
Borsten, billen (stille wapenstilstand)
rusten uit van strijd. En ook ik rust.


Vertaald door August Willemsen



Your Shoulders Hold Up The World


A time comes when we no longer can say:

     my God.

A time of total cleaning up.

A time when we no longer can say: my love.

Because love proved useless.

And the eyes don’t cry.

And the hands do only rough work.

And the heart is dry.

They knock at our door in vain, we won’t open.

We remain alone, the light turned off,

and our enormous eyes shine in the dark.

It is obvious we no longer know how to suffer.

And we want nothing from our friends.


Who cares if old ag
e comes, what is old age?

Our shoulders are holding up the world

and it’s lighter than a child’s hand.

Wars, famine, family fights inside buildings

prove only that life goes on

and not everybody has freed themselves yet.

Some (the delicate ones) judging the spectacle cruel

will prefer to die.

A time comes when death doesn’t help.

A time comes when life is an order.

Just life, without any escapes.



Carlos Drummond de Andrade (31 oktober 1902 – 17 augustus 1987)



De Oostenrijkse schrijver Jean Améry werd geboren op 31 oktober 1912 in Wenen.   Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2006  en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2007 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008.


Uit: Die Schiffbrüchigen


Das Nachthemd warf er ab und stand nun nackt im ebenerdigen Zimmer. Im Hof vor seinem Fenster sang mühselig und heiser ein Bettler. Den kalten Strahl des klaren Wassers goß Eugen über seinen Körper und mit den letzten Spuren des nächtlichen Schweißes, die die gläserne Klarheit des Wassers aus Achselhöhlen und Kniekehlen riß, versickerten die dunkel-feuchten Gewässer der nächtlichen Träume in seiner Seele. Die verstreuten Kleider sammelte er und zog sie an. Die tägliche Sorge: wie lange hält mein Anzug noch? düsterte in ihm auf. Hauchzarte Fäden hingen vom Kragen seines Hemdes und den Manchetten. Um wieviel einfacher wäre es doch gewesen, den Kragen daheim liegen zu lassen. Den Kragen – Sinnbild für Eugens bürgerliche Verkleidu
ng. Den Schritt erschlaffen zu lassen wäre besser gewesen, die Haare nicht mehr aus der Stirn zu streichen, wohlig das Grau des Schmutzes seine Kleider eindunkeln zu lassen und bis zum Morgen in den Schenken zu hocken.

(Die Tage waren schwer.) Nur noch die Nächte waren gut. Heut hatte Agathe bei ihm geschlafen und noch vor Morgengrauen war sie gegangen, ohne daß Eugen darum gewußt hatte. Wie gut das war: nicht allein in seinem Bett entschlafen zu müssen, Weichheit und Wärme an seinem Körper zu spüren, sich müde zu machen. Ach, in den Nächten, die Agathe mit ihm schlief, war allein vielleicht noch Ruhe und Gleichmaß, Andacht und Glaube. Da war noch ein: Das Leben ist gut, oder: das Leben ist warm, oder: dunkel. – Und das ist nicht zu sagen, was es in den Nächten ist, den Arm über Taille und Rücken einer Frau zu legen und in ihren Achselhöhlen eine Ahnung Schweißes zu spüren, sein Antlitz in fremdes Haar zu betten.

Doch am Tage verlor es seine Geltung. Was sein Eigen sein konnte zu jeder Stunde, Trost und Heimat, blieb ihm in der Helligkeit des Tages unerfühlbar ferne und wenn er daran dachte, kam oft ein schmerzhaftes Gefühl der Angst in ihm auf.

Zart wehten ein paar Sonnenstrahlen in den Lichthof. Klarer hoben die blassen Konturen der Möbel sich nun und der bleiche, kühle April erhellte kalt und ohne Trost Eugens Gefängnis.“



Jean Améry (31 oktober 1912– 17 oktober 1978)

Bruce Bawer, Irina Denezhkina, Joseph Boyden, Ernst Augustin, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, John Keats, Jean Améry

De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en literatuurcriticus Bruce Bawer werd geboren op 31 oktober 1956 in New York. Daar studeerde hij ook Engels aan de State University. In1998 trok hij van New York, waar hij o.a. schreef voor Newsweek en The Wall Street Journal naar Amsterdam, aangetrokken door het vrijere klimaat daar voor homo’s. In zijn boek While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within uit 2006 leverde hij kritiek op radicale vormen van de islam.


Werk o.a.: The Screenplay’s the Thing: Movie Criticism, 1986-1990, Coast to Coast, 1993, A Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society,  1994, Prophets and Professors: Essays On the Lives and Work of Modern Poets, 1995, Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity, 1998



Uit: While Europe Slept


„ON THE MORNING OF November 2, 2004, I sat at my mother’s kitchen table in Queens, New York, drinking instant coffee and thinking about George W. Bush and John Kerry. It was Election Day, and I was irked that since I was flying back home to Oslo that evening, I’d miss the vote count on TV.

The phone rang. “Hello? Oh, yes. Just a moment.” My mother held out the phone. “It’s Mark.” I took it.




“Hi, Bruce. Have you heard about Theo van Gogh?”


“No, what?”


“He was murdered this morning.”


“You’re kidding.”


Mark, like me, is an American with a Norwegian partner. But though he moved back to New York years ago, he still starts the day by checking the news at the Web site of NRK, Norway’s national radio and TV network. Switching into Norwegian, he read me the story. Van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker and newspaper columnist, had been shot and killed in Amsterdam. Shortly afterward, police had arrested a twenty-six-year-old Dutch-Moroccan man.


Later, I’d learn more. Van Gogh had been bicycling to work along a street called Linnaeusstraat when Mohammed Bouyeri, the Dutch-born son of Moroccan parents and a member of a radical Muslim network, had shot him, knocking him off his bicycle. Bouyeri, wearing a long jellaba, pumped up to twenty additional bullets into van Gogh’s body, stabbed him several times, and slit his throat. He then pinned to van Gogh’s chest with a knife a five-page letter addressed to the filmmaker’s collaborator, Parliament member Ayaan Hirsi Ali, quoting the Koran and promising her and several other Dutch leaders (whom he named) a similar end:



I know definitely that you, O America, will go down. I know definitely that you, O Europe, will go down. I know definitely that you, O Netherlands, will go down. I know definitely that you, O Hirsi Ali, will go down.


According to witnesses, van Gogh had said to his murderer (who at the time was living on welfare payments from the Dutch government): “Don’t do it! Don’t do it! Mercy! Mercy!” And: “Surely we can talk about this.” The blunt, outspoken van Gogh had been an unsparing critic of European passivity in the face of fundamentalist Islam; unlike most Europeans, he’d understood the connection between the war on terror and the European integration crisis, and had called America “the last beacon of hope in a steadily darkening world.” Together he and Hirsi Ali had made a short film, Submission–he’d directed, she’d written the script–about the mistreatment of women in Islamic cultures. Yet at the end, it seemed, even he had grasped at the Western European elite’s most unshakable article of faith–the belief in peace and reconciliation through dialogue.“


Bruce Bawer (New York, 31 oktober 1956)


De Russische schrijfster Irina Denezhkina werd geboren op 31 oktober 1981 in Yekaterinburg. Zij is nogal omstreden vanwege haar vulgaire stijl, die door sommigen gezien wordt als een afspiegeling van de realiteit van de generatie Y. Haar debuut Give Me [Songs for Lovers] uit 2002 verscheen in Engelse vertaling in 2004. Haar eerste werk verscheen onder het pseudoniem Nigers zuster in 2000 op het internet


Uit:  Give Me!


What d”you want? Coffee?”


Lyapa stood in the middle of the room, naked from the waist up, confused and sweaty. His underwear was sticking out of the top of his pants. I felt like saying “You,” but I thought that would only lead to even greater confusion and he might simply take root where he stood. Just stand there like a statue. Then what would I do?


“Coffee? Or tea?”


“Coffee, coffee…”


Relieved, Lyapa reached into a cupboard, switched on the kettle, rummaged in the fridge and took out some milk. Dived back into the fridge and took out a bottle of beer. Then another. Opened one and began sucking on it greedily.


I sat down at the table, propping my head up on my hands. Lyapa”s hair sticks up, twisted into spikes like a hedgehog”s. He has two silver rings in his ear, a big nose and big round eyes like a puppy. He”s like a puppy all over: fidgety, bouncy, soft and bendy. As my girlfriend Volkova says — “makes you want to squeeze and hug him.” Lyapa”s beautiful. His dream is he”s walking down the street and girls run up to him yelling “Lyapa! Lyapa!” desperate to give him a blowjob. Lyapa plays punk rock and wants to be famous. And he wants me to stop sitting here like a fool and embarrassing him. Or maybe he doesn”t. I can”t see that deep into the darkness of his soul.


The kettle boiled. Lyapa spooned out some coffee for me, then sugar, poured over the boiling water. He sat down facing me and began smoking intently. Staring fixedly at the bridge of my nose. A word about me: I”m three inches taller than Lyapa, with long dark hair, brown eyes, an immensely high opinion of myself and the figure of a model. That”s what one guy told me, but I know it wouldn”t hurt to slim a bit and my stomach”s not flat from working out, it”s because I don”t eat much.


Anyway, Lyapa”s my husband. We got married online, or actually he married me; all I did was passively click “Yes.” The jerk had seen my photos, but he didn”t send his own. Wrote that he didn”t have one, said he didn”t have a scanner or some other excuse. Volkova and I conferred about it and decided he was probably an ugly freak. Fuck him, we decided. Volkova sighed dramatically and made an elegant gesture with her hand. Then he suggested meeting in the metro. We didn”t have anything else to do, so we went to meet him, but prepared ourselves for disappointment in advance.



Irina Denezhkina (Yekaterinburg, 31 oktober 1981)


De Canadese schrijver Joseph Boyden werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Willowdale, Ontario. Hij studeerde creatief schrijven aan de University of New Orleans  en doceerde vervolgens aan Northern College. Zijn debuutroman Three Day Road won de Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award in 2006. Het boek vertelt het verhaal van twee Canadese soldaten tijdens WO I.


Werk o.a.: Born With a Tooth (2001, short stories), Three Day Road (2005),  Through Black Spruce (2008)


Uit: Three Day Road


For many days I’ve hidden in the bush by the town, coming out when I hear the call, watching carefully for him. This is an ugly town, far bigger than Moose Factory, even. This is a town I have not been to before, a place to which I will never return. More wemistikoshiw than I want to see walk the dusty streets in their funny clothes, dressed as if for colder weather, though the sun above us is high and full of summer heat.


I hide well during the day, but when the sound of it reaches my ears I have no choice but to come out and walk among them. They stare and point and talk about me as if they’ve not seen one of me before. I must look a thin and wild old woman to them, an Indian animal straight out of the bush. Soon I will have only enough food left to get us home, and so I’ve taken to setting snares around my camp. The rabbits, though, seem as afraid of this place as I am.


Where it comes to rest is just a wooden platform with a small shelter to hide in when the weather turns. The road that leads up to it is covered in dust. Automobiles, just like the one Old Man Ferguson back in Moose Factory drives, rush there at the same time every other day. I have watched them pour what smells like lantern oil onto the road, but still the dust floats up so that it coats the inside of my nose and bothers my eyes. At least I can hide a little in the dust, and not so many of them can see me.


The place where I go is covered in soot so that I feel the need to bathe each day that I return from there without him. I have stopped sleeping at night, worried that the words were wrong, that he will never come, that I will die here waiting.


Again today I hear the call. Again today I wait for the others to get there before me, before I step among them.


The old ones call it the iron toboggan. As I watch this thing approach, whistle blowing and smoke pouring from the chimney in the summer heat, I see nothing of the toboggan in it. More frightening than the crowd of people around me is the one bright eye shining in the sunlight and the iron nose that sniffs the track.


Too many people. I’ve never been around so many wemistikoshiw at one time. They walk and jostle and talk and shout to one another. I look out at the spruce across the tracks. Blackened by soot, they bend in defeat.


I stand back in the shadow of the shelter and watch as the people in front of me tense, then move closer to the track as it approaches, not further away as I would have expected. The women in the crowd look nothing like me, wear long dresses made of too much material and big hats. They hold bowed cloth shields above their heads. The men are dressed in black and brown and grey suits, and the shoes upon their feet are shiny, so shiny that I wonder what kind of animal the leather has come from. All of the men wear hats, too. All these people wearing hats in summer. I do not understand much of the wemistikoshiw.



Joseph Boyden (Willowdale, 31 oktober 1966)


De Duitse schrijver Ernst Augustin werd geboren op 31 oktober 1927 in Hirschberg. Zijn jeugd bracht hij door in Schweidnitz en Schwerin. Tot 1950 studeerde hij medicijnen in Rostock, daarna in Berlijn waar hij in 1952 promoveerde aan de Humboldt-Universität. Tot 1958 werkte hij ook als arts, o.a. in het Oost-Berlijnse Charité ziekenhuis. In 1958 vluchtte hij naar de BRD. Hij werkte daarna als arts in Afghanistan en maakte reizen naar India, Turkije en de Sovjet Unie. Tegenwoordig woont hij in München. Augustin schrijft literatuur in de trand van Kafka en de surrealisten.


Werk o.a.: Gutes Geld. Roman in drei Anleitungen, 1996, Die Schule der Nackten, 2003, Der Künzler am Werk. Eine Menagerie, 2004,  Badehaus Zwei, 2006


Uit: Die Schule der Nackten


„Es gibt dort eine Freizone, wo ich alles ablege. Alle Bindungen, alle erworbenen Eigenschaften, meinen Beruf, meinen Namen, meine gesamte Vergangenheit, auch Schuhe und Strümpfe, das Hemd mit dem „Armani“-Etikett, die Hose von „Böttiger“ und das gesamte Unterzeug. Ich gebe meine gehobene Stellung ab, den Schutz und den Schirm, den Anstand und die Begierde (denn die ist dort nicht angebracht), vor allem aber gebe ich meine Scham ab. Oder besser, die Schämigkeit.

München im schweren Sommer. Die Häuser dunkelgelb, die Kirchenplätze glühend, überall schwingen sich schwere Glockentöne von den Türmen, und da ist das Jakobi-Bad vor der Tür: Männer mit Bäuchen gehen dahin, Frauen in Flatterhosen, gehen hin und kehren nicht zurück, und wenn, dann nicht so wie sie gekommen sind.

Es gibt dort eine Bretterwand, die sich von einem zum anderen Ende hinzieht. In der Mitte eine verstellte Lücke, eine Art Schleuse: Freikörpergelände, Zugang nur ohne Kleidung gestattet. Und das ist ernst gemeint, denn dieses ist eine ganz vordergründige Geschichte, jede vermeintliche Metapher ist ganz wörtlich zu nehmen. Das Ungeheuer, das hier das Haupt erhebt, hat wirklich goldene Augen! Ich meine, es hat goldene Augen.


Ein denkwürdiger Tag, als ich dort zum ersten Mal eintrat. Zu einer heißen Stunde am frühen Nachmittag, nachdem ich drei Stunden lang auf dem Rasen vor der Bretterwand gelegen hatte. Das heißt, eine Stunde lang unvernünftig prall in der Sonne und dann zwei im Halbschatten bei anhaltender Hitze, während ich den Bäuchen und den Flattergewändern nachsah, wie sie in der ominösen Bretterschleuse verschwanden. Hier draußen erstreckte sich eine heitere Badelandschaft in Grün, Weiß und Blau über einen halben Kilometer. Blau wegen der fünf großen Badebecken voller Kinder und schöner junger Erwachsener, die allesamt ein brausendes Geräusch erzeugten, einen Pegel von gleichbleibender Dichte, einer Meeresbrandung nicht unähnlich. Dazu die Glocken, sich von Türmen schwingend, gelbe wogende Kornfelder irgendwo weiter draußen. München im schweren Sommer.

Die Stadt der Nackten!“


Ernst Augustin (Hirschberg, 31 oktober 1927)


De Braziliaanse dichter Carlos Drummond de Andrade werd geboren op 31 oktober 1902 in Itabira, een klein dorpje in de staat Minas Gerais. Hij ging naar school in Belo Horizonte waar hij afstudeerde als apotheker, maar dat beroep oefende hij nooit uit. Voor het grootste deel van zijn leven werkte hij voor de Braziliaanse overheid maar naast zijn werk als ambtenaar schreef hij gedichten, kronieken en boeken voor kinderen. De laatste jaren van zijn leven bracht hij door in Rio de Janeiro alwaar hij een standbeeld kreeg na zijn dood, zittende op een bank aan het strand van Copacabana.


Ook ik was eens Braziliaan


Ook ik was eens Braziliaan,

even bruin als jullie.

Speelde gitaar, reed in een Fordje

en leerde aan cafétafels

dat nationalisme een deugd is.

Maar er komt een uur dat de cafés sluiten

en alle deugden worden verloochend.


Ook ik was eens een dichter.

Hoefde maar een vrouw te zien

en dacht al aan de sterren

en andere hemelse substantieven.

Maar zij waren zo vele, de hemel zo groot,

mijn poëzie raakte ontregeld.


Ook ik had eens mijn ritme.

Ik deed van dit, ik zei van dat.

En mijn vrienden mochten me,

en mijn vrienden haatten me.

Ik, ironisch, gleed voort,

tevreden met mijn ritme.

Maar ten slotte verwarde ik alles.

Nu glijd ik niet meer, oh nee,

ben niet ironisch meer, oh nee,

heb ook geen ritme meer, oh nee.



Liefdes verschijning


Zoet droombeeld, waarom kom je mij bezoeken

zoals in voorbije tijden onze lichamen elkaar bezochten?

Je doorschijnendheid beroert mijn huid, verleidt

opnieuw tot strelingen, die onuitvoerbaar zijn: niemand heeft ooit

een kus van een vergaan gelaat gekregen.


Maar je dringt aan, mijn lief. Ik hoor je stem,

dezelfde stem, dezelfde klank,

dezelfde lichte lettergrepen,

en diezelfde lange zucht

waarin je van genot bezwijmde,

en daarna die uiteindelijke rust van gemzen.


Nu ben ik overtuigd,

ik hoor je naam, het enige van jou dat niet vergaat

en blijft bestaan als enkel klank.

En ik omstrengel… wat? de massa lucht die jij nu bent

en ik omhels en kus en kus intens het niets.


O wezen zo geliefd en nu vernietigd, waarom kom je

terug, zo werkelijk en zo onwezenlijk?

Ik onderscheid niet meer of je nu schaduw bent

of schaduw altijd bent geweest, en of onze geschiedenis

boekenverzinsel is, gespeld

onder vermoeide wimpers.

Zal ik ooit je ware lichaam

kunnen kennen zoals ik het nu ken,

nu ik de damp omstrengel net zoals men

de platonische idee omstrengelt in de ruimte?


Blijft in jou, die niet meer bent,

beminde afwezige, verlangen mij lieflijk vervolgen?

Ik had nooit gedacht dat doden

ook dat vuur hadden van vroeger dagen

en het op ons overbrachten in een slurpen

van vlammen en van ijs dooreen.


Je vurige bezoek is mooi.

Je vurige bezoek is ook gemeen.

Je bezoek is niet meer dan een fooi.



Het geheim van wie bemint


Het geheim van wie bemint

is: niet slechts vluchtig het genot

te kennen dat ons diep doordringt,

tot stand gebracht op deze aarde

en zo verre van de wereld

dat het lichaam, dat zijn lichaam vindt

en daarin voortgaat op zijn vaart,

de vrede vindt van groter gaarde,

vrede als in de dood, onaards,

als een nirwana, penisslaap.



Vertaald door August Willemsen



Carlos Drummond de Andrade (31 oktober 1902 – 17 augustus 1987)


De Engelse dichter John Keats werd geboren op 31 oktober 1795 in Finsbury Pavement in London. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2007.




To Leigh Hunt, Esq.


Glory and loveliness have passed away;

For if we wander out in early morn,

No wreathed incense do we see upborne

Into the east, to meet the smiling day:

No crowd of nymphs soft voic’d and young, and gay,

In woven baskets bringing ears of corn,

Roses, and pinks, and violets, to adorn

The shrine of Flora in her early May.

But there are left delights as high as these,

And I shall ever bless my destiny,

That in a time, when under pleasant trees

Pan is no longer sought, I feel a free

A leafy luxury, seeing I could please

With these poor offerings, a man like thee



On leaving some Friends at an early Hour


Give me a golden pen, and let me lean

On heap’d up flowers, in regions clear, and far;

Bring me a tablet whiter than a star,

Or hand of hymning angel, when ’tis seen

The silver strings of heavenly harp atween:

And let there glide by many a pearly car,

Pink robes, and wavy hair, and diamond jar,

And half discovered wings, and glances keen.

The while let music wander round my ears,

And as it reaches each delicious ending,

Let me write down a line of glorious tone,

And full of many wonders of the spheres:

For what a height my spirit is contending!

’Tis not content so soon to be alone.




O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,

O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,

Let it not be among the jumbled heap

Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep,-

Nature’s observatory – whence the dell,

Its flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,

May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep

’Mongst boughs pavillion’d, where the deer’s swift leap

Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.

But though I’ll gladly trace these scenes with thee,

Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,

Whose words are images of thoughts refin’d,

Is my soul’s pleasure; and it sure must be

Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,

When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.


John Keats (31 oktober 1795 – 23 februari 1821)


De Oostenrijkse schrijver Jean Améry werd geboren op 31 oktober 1912 in Wenen.   Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2006  en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2007.


Uit: Die Schiffbrüchigen


“Eugen erwachte. Der kalte Aprilmorgen sah weiß und silbrig zitternd zum Fenster herein. Draußen flatterte auf den Teppichstangen unruhig die Wäsche. Im Fenster gegenüber sah man den Postboten mit weichen, durchgedrückten Knien die Treppe hinaufschlürfen. Neun Uhr also, dachte Eugen schläfrig. Er strich die Haare aus der Stirn. Es schien ihm völlig gleichgiltig, sein arbeitsloses Leben um neun Uhr oder später wieder aufzunehmen, jene Last und Schwere zu tragen, die in der Dunkelheit, in den Stunden des Versinkens in Körperwärme, jenes maßlosen, haarwirren Hineingewühltseins in Polster und schmutzig-warmes Bettzeug ferne war.


Wie schwer war doch das tägliche Erwachen. Trümmer der Träume ragten jedesmal noch herüber in den Tag, der schon einen Boten seiner Wirklichkeit in das träge Hirn gesandt hatte. Und rascher dann, Hammerschlägen gleich hintereinander, rückten die Mächte des Tages heran und die schweren, verworrenen Dinge, deren die morgendlich zerwehte, beinahe noch keusche Seele nicht Herrin werden konnte, die wurden dann fortgeschoben, verschüttet, und an die gleichgiltigen, oft lächerlich albernen klammerte sie sich.


Eugens allmorgendliches Erwachen war ein Kampf. Es galt, die Gewalten des Schlafes, der Wärme, der hemmungslosen räkelnden Bewegungen zu überwinden. Der tierisch-dunkelrote Schleier der späten Träume mußte zerrissen werden. Der Lust an der Wärme der eigenen Glieder mußte man sich entziehen. Die wundervolle, große Gleichgiltigkeit des Einschlafens war es, die er bekämpfte. Die Boten der Tageswirklichkeit galt es zu stützen gegen die Mächte des Hinunterwollens.


Als sei gar keine Zeit mehr zu verlieren, als müsse er in irgendeine Ordnung des Tages sich einreihen, sprang Eugen jeden Morgen um neun aus seinem Bett. Und vor ihm lag doch nur das öde, tötende Nichts seines Tages, das zu füllen er mit der Seele letzter Kraft sich täglich mühte. Trübblasses Nichts aus Hunger und Einsamkeit, das ihn umbrauste; Stunden der kalten Glieder und trockenen Lippen, leise wimmernde Leere des Herzens. Mattklang der Stimme. –“



Jean Améry (31 oktober 1912– 17 oktober 1978)