Edmund White, Daniel Kehlmann, Jay McInerney, Lorrie Moore, Jan de Bas, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Mohammad-Ali Jamālzādeh, Clark Ashton Smith, Michael Carroll

De Amerikaanse schrijver en essayist Edmund White werd geboren op 13 januari 1940 in Cincinnati. Zie ook alle tags voor Edmund White op dit blog.

Uit:The Unpunished Vice

“Reading is at once a lonely and an intensely sociable act. The writer becomes your ideal companion – interesting, worldly, compassionate, energetic – but only if you stick with him or her for a while, long enough to throw off the chill of isolation and to hear the intelligent voice murmuring in your ear. No wonder Victorian parents used to read out loud to the whole family (a chapter of Dickens a night by the precious light of the single candle); there’s nothing lonely about laughing or crying together – or shrinking back in horror. Even if solitary, the reader’s inner dialogue with the writer – questioning, concurring, wondering, objecting, pitying – fills the empty room under the lamplight with silent discourse and the expression of emotion.
Who are the most companionable novelists? Marcel Proust and George Eliot; certainly they’re the most intelligent, able to see the widest implications of the simplest act, to play a straightforward theme on the mighty organs of their minds: soft/loud, quick/slow, complex/chaste, reedy/ orchestral. But we also cherish Leo Tolstoy’s uncanny empathy for diverse people and even animals, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s lyricism, Colette’s worldly wisdom, James Merrill’s wit, Walt Whitman’s biblical if agnostic inclusiveness, Annie Dillard’s sublime nature descriptions. When I was a youngster I loved novels about the Lost Dauphin or the Scarlet Pimpernel or the Three Musketeers – adventure books enacted in the clear, shadowless light of Good and Evil.
If we are writers, we read to learn our craft. In college I can remember reading a now-forgotten writer, R.V. Cassill, whose stories showed me that a theme, once taken up, could be dropped for a few pages only to emerge later, that in this way one could weave together plot elements. That seems so obvious now, but I needed Cassill to teach me the secrets of polyphonic development. In her extremely brief notes on writing, Elizabeth Bowen taught me that you can’t invent a body or face – you must base your description on a real person. Bowen also revealed how epigrams can be buried into a flowing narrative. She said that in dialogue people are either deceiving themselves or striving to deceive others and that they rarely speak the disinterested, unvarnished truth. Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw showed me how Chinese-box narrators can destabilize the reader sufficiently to make a ghost story seem plausible.”


Edmund White (Cincinnati, 13 januari 1940)


De Duitse schrijver Daniel Kehlmann werd op 13 januari 1975 in München geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor Daniel Kehlmann op dit blog.


„Auf dem Wagen war ein Zelt aus rotem Segeltuch aufgeschlagen. Davor kauerte eine alte Frau. Ihr Körper sah wie ein Beutel aus, ihr Gesicht wie aus Leder, ihr Augenpaar wie winzige schwarze Knöpfe. Eine jüngere Frau mit Sommersprossen und dunklem Haar stand hinter ihr. Auf dem Kutschbock aber saß ein Mann, den wir erkannten, obgleich er noch nie hier gewesen war, und als die Ersten sich erinnerten und seinen Namen riefen, erinnerten sich auch andere, und so rief es bald von überall und mit vielen Stimmen: «Tyll ist hier!», «Tyll ist gekommen!», «Schaut, der Tyll ist da!» Es konnte kein anderer sein. Sogar zu uns kamen Flugschriften. Sie kamen durch den Wald, der Wind trug sie mit sich, Händler brachten sie – draußen in der Welt wurden mehr davon gedruckt, als irgendwer zählen konnte. Sie handelten vom Schiff der Narren und von der großen Pfaffentorheit und vom bösen Papst in Rom und vom teuflischen Martinus Luther zu Wittenberg und dem Zauberer Horridus und dem Doktor Faust und dem Helden Gawain von der runden Tafel und eben von ihm, Tyll Ulenspiegel, der jetzt selbst zu uns gekommen war. Wir kannten sein geschecktes Wams, wir kannten die zerbeulte Kapuze und den Mantel aus Kalbsfell, wir kannten sein hageres Gesicht, die kleinen Augen, die hohlen Wangen und die Hasenzähne. Seine Hose war aus gutem Stoff, die Schuhe aus feinem Leder, seine Hände aber waren Diebes- oder Schreiberhände, die nie gearbeitet hatten; die rechte hielt die Zügel, die linke die Peitsche. Seine Augen blitzten, er grüßte hierhin und dorthin. «Und wie heißt du?», fragte er ein Mädchen. Die Kleine schwieg, denn sie begriff nicht, wie es sein konnte, dass einer, der berühmt war, mit ihr sprach. «Na sag es!» Als sie stockend herausgebracht hatte, dass sie Martha hieß, lächelte er nur, als hätte er das immer schon gewusst.
Dann fragte er mit einer Aufmerksamkeit, als wäre es ihm wichtig: «Und wie alt bist du?» Sie räusperte sich und sagte es ihm. In den zwölf Jahren ihres Lebens hatte sie nicht Augen gesehen wie seine. Augen wie diese mochte es in den freien Städten des Reichs geben und an den Höfen der Großen, aber noch nie war einer, der solche Augen hatte, zu uns gekommen. Martha hatte nicht gewusst, dass solche Kraft, solche Behändigkeit der Seele aus einem Menschengesicht sprechen konnten. Dereinst würde sie ihrem Mann und noch viel später ihren ungläubigen Enkeln, die den Ulenspiegel für eine Figur alter Sagen hielten, erzählen, dass sie ihn selbst gesehen hatte.“


Daniel Kehlmann (München, 13 januari 1975)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Jay McInerney werd geboren op 13 januari 1955 in Hartford, Connecticut. Zie ook alle tags voor Jay McInerney op dit blog.

Uit: Bright, Precious Days

“And if the realities of urban life and the pub-lishing business had sometimes bruised his romantic sensibilities, he never relinquished his vision of Manhattan as the mecca of American literature, or of hi msel f as an acolyte, even a priest, of the written word. One delirious night a few months after he arrived in the city, he accom-panied an invited guest to a Paris Review party in George Plimpton’s town house, where he shot pool with Mailer and fended off the lisp-ing advances of Truman Capote after snorting coke with him in the bathroom. Though the city after three decades seemed in many ways dimin-ished from the capital of his youth, Russell Calloway had never quite Fallen out of love with it, nor with his sense of his own place here. The backdrop ofManhattan, it seemed to him, gave every gesture an added grandeur, a metropolitan gravitas. Not long after he became an editor, Russell had published his best friend Jeff Pierce’s first book—a collection of stories; and then, afterJeff died, his novel, two of the main characters in which—it could not be denied—were inspired by Russell and his wife, Corrine. Editing that book would have been difficult enough, given its not-quite-finished state, even if it hadn’t involved a love triangle featuring a married couple and their closest friend, but Russell was proud of the scrupulous, sometimes painful professionalism with which he’d tried to implement Jeff’s intentions. The novel, Youth and Beauty, was generously praised by the critics—including several who’d been unkind about his debut—as books by recently deceased authors often are, especially those who die young and in a manner that confirms the myth of the artist as a self-destructive genius. Even before the book was published there was spirited bidding for the film rights. It sold well in hardcover and again, a year later, in paperback, and then its sales fell off, dwindling into the double digits a few years back, its author little more than a name associated with the period of big hair and big shoulder pads, yet another of the victims of the great epidemic that scythed the ranks of the artistic community, although, as a heterosexual, he didn’t really fit the profile of the plague narrative and his fiction had more in common with that of James Gould Cozzens or John O’Hara than with the high-gloss, coke-fueled prose of his famous contemporaries. Over time his reputation faded like the Polaroids from their days at Brown. Then, gradually, almost inexplicably, the book and its author had been resurrected. This process first came to Russell’s attention with a long essay in the inaugural issue of a magazine called The Believer, which Jonathan Tashjian, his PR director, had shown him.”


Jay McInerney (Hartford, 13 januari 1955)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Lorrie Moore werd geboren op 13 januari 1957 in Glens Falls, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Lorrie Moore op dit blog.

Uit;You‘re Ugly, Too

“You had to get out of them occasionally, those Illinois towns with the funny names: Paris, Oblong, Normal. Once, when the Dow Jones dipped two hundred points, a local paper boasted the banner headline “NORMAL MAN MARRIES OBLONG WOMAN?’ They knew what was important. They did! But you had to get out once in a while, even if it was just across the border to Terre Haute for a movie. Outside of Paris, in the middle of a large field, was a scatter of brick buildings, a small liberal-arts college by the improbable name of Hilldale-Versailles. The Hendricks had been teaching American history there for three years. She taught “The Revolution and Beyond” to fresh men and sophomores, and every third semester she had the senior seminar for majors, and although her student evaluations had been slipping in the last year and a half — Professor Hendricks is often late /or class and usually arrives with a cup of hot chocolate, which she offers the class sips of — generally the department of nine men was pleased to have her. They felt she added some needed feminine touch to the corn dors — that faint trace of Obsession and sweat, the light, fast clicking ‘of heels. Plus they had had a sex-discrimination suit, and the dean had said, well, it was time. The situation was not easy for her, they knew. Once, at the start of last semester, she had skipped into her lecture hall singing “Getting to Know You” — all of it. At the request of the dean, the chairman had called hei c into his office, but did not ask her for an explanation, not really. He asked her how she was and then smiled in an avuricyt way. She said, “Fine,” and he studied the way she said it, her front teeth catching ou the inside of her lower lip. She was almost pretty, but her face showed the strain and ambition of always having been close but not quite. There was too much effort with the eyeliner, and her earrings, worn, no doubt, for the drama her features lacked, were a little frightening, jutting out the sides of her head like antennae. “I’m going out of my mind: said Zoe to her younger sister, Evan, in Manhattan. Professor Hendricks seems to know the entire soundtrack to “The King and I.” Is this history? The phoned her every Tuesday. “You always say that,” said Evan, “but then you go on your trips and vacations and then you settle back into things and then you’re quiet for a while and then you say you’re fine, you’re busy, and then after a while you say you’re going crazy again, and you start all over?’


Lorrie Moore (Glens Falls, 13 januari 1957)


De Nederlandse historicus en dichter Jan de Bas werd geboren op 13 januari 1964 in Waddinxveen. Zie ook alle tags voor Jan de Bas op dit blog.



Vaak te gewoon voor woorden.
Van hoopje veren tot
een vliegend stukje grijs
fladdert rond het vaderhuis.

Doodeenvoudig is hij niet.
Een mus verbergt geheimen
die hem meegeschapen zijn.
In zijn ooghoek drukt dat feit.

Een vogel met verdriet,
die twee keer eet dat wat hij weegt.
En toch is hij niet zwaar.
Hij torst een licht gemis.



Een man leest een gedicht,
vergeet het over te schrijven
en gooit het weg.

Een dag later mist hij het gedicht
als zijn allergrootste liefde,
zijn toeverlaat, zijn steun.

Hij zoekt naar de zinnen,
de woorden, de komma’s, de punten.
Het blijft een groot vraagteken.

Waar is het gebleven?
Ligt het al in de vuilniswagen?
Rijdt dat gore ding rond

met zijn allerschoonste gedicht?
Hij bidt en hij smeekt.
Hij hoopt op een wonder,

gaat op zijn knieën,
een pen in de hand.
Langzaam ontstaat er een zin,

een strofe, een gloednieuw gedicht
over zijn grote verdriet:
het onbereikbare vers.


Jan de Bas (Waddinxveen, 13 januari 1964)
Waddinxveen, de hefbrug


De Argentijnse schrijver en regisseur Edgardo Cozarinsky werd geboren 13 januari 1939 in Buenos Aires. Zie ook alle tags voor Edgardo Cozarinsky op dit blog.

Uit: Natalia Franz (Vertaald door Dario Bard)

“I had been observing her for some time. Openly at first, not hiding my fascination with her face, which appeared to be designed by scalpel. Later, my glances were furtive; I was afraid that my staring would make her uncomfortable, although she seemed not to notice.
When she was invited out on the dance floor, however, I felt free to unabashedly admire her tall, slender figure, the elegant casualness of her movements, the grace with which she held her head high on a delicate neck that was revealed and then concealed by her ash-blond hair as it bobbed to the rhythm of the music. But it was her face, barely corrected with makeup, that caught my eye; there were traces of where the artificial merged with the monstrous, resulting unexpectedly in a sort of Medusa-like beauty (as Praz would put it): sunken eyes that seemed to have awakened in skin other than the one they were born in; cheekbones and arches over the eyebrows that were overly pronounced, as if sculpted from non-malleable material; full but swollen-looking lips that lacked the sensuality that plastic surgery promises.
I watched her slowly sip her champagne. She didn’t pay much attention to those around her and was always accompanied by a young girl with plain looks and a timid smile, irreparably devoid of any charm, of that glimmer of mystery that makes many non-pretty women attractive. I was reminded—an old reader of James never sleeps—of “The Beldonald Holbein,” that story wherein Lady Beldonald, a mature beauty who thinks herself clever, seeks to enliven her waning looks by having a wrinkled old lady, marked by misfortune, accompany her at social events. Her artist friends, fascinated by a face that looks as if it came straight out of a Holbein, only have eyes for her companion and soon recruit her as a model. Lady Beldonald learns her lesson: the following season, she appears in London accompanied by a young, not particularly ugly, but dreadfully dull girl.
Had the object of my curiosity perhaps arrived at a similar conclusion?
One night we were seated at neighboring tables. I thought I knew how to mask my curiosity, but eventually she caught me with my eyes fixated on that surgical achievement framed by her straight, loose hair. She didn’t seem annoyed; on the contrary, she gave a hint of a smile.”


Edgardo Cozarinsky (Buenos Aires, 13 januari 1939)


De Iraanse schrijver Mohammad-Ali Jamālzādeh Esfahani werd geboren op 13 januari 1892 in Isfahan. Zie ook alle tags voor Mohammad-Ali Jamālzādeh op dit blog.

Uit: Persian Is Sugar (Vertaald door Heshmat Moayyad en Paul Sprachman)

“These words caused the reverend sheikh’s turban to glide slowly like a wisp of cloud. A pair of eyes emerged from it and peered feebly at the felt-hatted provincial. From the phonic defile that, though not vis-ible, must have been below the eyes, with perfect declamation and composure these words made their way slowly and deliberately to his assembled audience: “Believer! Deliver ye not the reins of thy rebelious and weak soul to anger and rage, for ‘Those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind. . . ” The sheikh’s speech stunned the felt-hatted boy. Recognizing only the word “Kazem” in “Those who control .. .,” he said, “No, Rever-end, your servant’s name isn’t Kazem, it’s Ramazan. I only meant to say that we could at least know why we’ve been buried alive.” This time, with the same consummate declamation and composure, these words emanated from the holy precinct: “May God reward ye who believe. The point is well taken by your advocate’s intellect. `Patience is the key to release.’ Spew that the object of our imprison-ment shall become manifest ex tempore; but whatever the case, whether sooner or later, it most assuredly will reach our ears. Interea,* while we wait, the most profitable occupation is to recite the name of the Cre-ator, which in any event is the best of endeavors.” Ramazan, poor bastard, didn’t catch a word of the reverend sheikh’s sweet Persian. He thought that His Eminence was communing with jinn or spirits or was busy reading Scripture to the dead; terror and dread marked his face. He said “Bismillah”t faintly and prepared to retreat, but it appeared that the sheikh’s venerable jaw was just getting warmed up. Without addressing anyone in particular, he stared at a spot on the wall and, again with the customary declamation, picked up the thread of his thoughts, “Perhaps,” he pontificated, “our arrest was a matter of expedience or perhaps it was essentially unintentional, in which case it is strongly hoped that it will come to an end, if not immediately, shortly. Or, perhaps, considering this humblest of beings quasi nullus essem, they will expose me in the worst way possible to gradual ruin and perdition without heeding my dignity or station; therefore it is up to us to appeal to higher authorities in whatever way, with intermediaries or without others’ intervention, in writing or ver-bally, openly or in secret—and, without doubt, confirming the adage `seek and ye shall find,’ upon getting a favorable hearing and accom-plishing our goals, we shall be released, and our innocence shall be as clear to our peers as the sun in the midday sky.”


Mohammad-Ali Jamālzādeh (13 januari 1892 – 8 november 1997)


De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en beeldhouwer Clark Ashton Smith werd geboren in Long Valley (Californië) op 13 januari 1893. Zie ook alle tags voor Clark Ashton Smith op dit blog.

Uit: The Colossus of Ylourgne

“The thrice-infamous nathaire, alchemist, astrologer and necromancer, with his ten devil-given pupils, had departed very suddenIy and under circumstances of strict secrecy from the town of Vyones. It was widely thought, among the people of that vicinage, that his departure had been prompted by a salutary fear of ecclesiastical thumbscrews and faggots. Other wizards, less notorious than he, had already gone to the stake during a year of unusual inquisitory zeal; and it was well-known that Nathaire had incurred the reprobation of the Church. Few, therefore, considered the reason of his going a mystery; but the means of transit which he had employed, as well as the destination of the sorcerer and his pupils, were regarded as more than problematic.
A thousand dark and superstitious rumours were abroad; and passers made the sign of the Cross when they neared the tall, gloomy house which Nathaire had built in blasphemous proximity to the great cathedral and had filled with a furniture of Satanic luxury and strangeness. Two daring thieves, who had entered the mansion when the fact of its desertion became well established, reported that much of this furniture, as well as the books and other paraphernalia of Nathaire, had seemingly departed with its owner, doubtless to the same fiery bourn. This served to augment the unholy mystery: for it was patently impossible that Nathaire and his ten apprentices, with several cart-loads of household belongings, could have passed the everguarded city gates in any legitimate manner without the knowledge of the custodians.
It was said by the more devout and religious moiety that the Archfiend, with a legion of bat-winged assistants, had borne them away bodily at moonless midnight. There were clerics, and also reputable burghers, who professed to have seen the flight of man-like shapes upon the blotted stars together with others that were not men, and to have heard the wailing cries of the hell-bound crew as they passed in an evil cloud over the roofs and city walls.
Others believed that the sorcerers had transported themselves from Vyones through their own diabolic arts, and had withdrawn to some unfrequented fastness where Nathaire, who had long been in feeble health, could hope to die in such peace and serenity as might be enjoyed by one who stood between the flames of the auto-da-fé and those of Abaddon. It was thought that he had lately cast his own horoscope, for the first time in his fifty-odd years, and had read therein an impending conjunction of disastrous planets, signifying early death.”


Clark Ashton Smith (13 januari 1893 – 14 augustus 1961)


Onafhankelijk van geboortedata

De Amerikaanse schrijver Michael Carroll werd geboren in 1965 en groeide op in een wijk van Fort Caroline (nu Jacksonville), Florida. Zie ook alle tags voor Michael Carroll op dit blog.

Uit: After Memphis (Little Reef and Other Stories)

“I had very good insurance through Perry and my co-pay was only fifteen dollars. My therapist, an older man I’d only slowly deduced was gay too, had said that he thought I had what was called an “observing ego:’ meaning I worried about what others might be thinking and themselves going through—that I tried to see their side, which had been my role as the younger brother caught in the family situation when I was sixteen. I had tried to see every side, was my problem, and Bob, my shrink, was never too hard on me. He said that he trusted me as an “accurate historian,” and begged me to proceed, nodding, waiting for me to get it all off my chest, not just family stuff but stuff related to Perry—groping my way toward my next, and next, breakthrough. And it had helped. I can’t say why, except that I’d paid a man to listen to me and paid money to listen to myself and take myself seriously, so now all of these issues were old hat to me, dead and buried in effect. But here we were again. I was the younger brother. As a kid I’d taken it as my job to stay out of Jeff’s way but snicker at his jokes, listen to him talk about his taste in music, which at the time I didn’t get. I hadn’t liked alcohol, either, but to curb the boredom I started toward the kitchen—and ramped up the tough love a notch or two. “And whatever else happens,” I said, “I guess it’s no good being bitter. You’re getting a divorce—right?—so you can cut things cleanly and get the past behind you so you can move on and try to be happy, right? You say everybody made mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. And to be honest, I’ll just admit this right now, don’t know how you’re going to react but I’m going to go ahead and say it, man—I’m looking forward to your being legally single. I think this is what you need, what you want, and what you’re looking forward to. But it’s really happening, right?” “It is happening; said Jeff, “for damn sure I could see him nodding in the earnest, vigorous way I’d readily recognize. I’d seen him nod like that in Memphis, where our parents had retired, when Jeff had first opened up about the divorce idea, and when we were talking about our father’s hospitalization, the “eventualities”—because Jeff was big on euphemisms, while at the same time talking turkey post-evangelical style.”


Michael Carroll (Fort Caroline, 1965)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 13e januari ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.

Edmund White, Daniel Kehlmann, Jay McInerney, Lorrie Moore, Jan de Bas, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Mohammad-Ali Jamālzādeh, Clark Ashton Smith, Michael Carroll

De Amerikaanse schrijver en essayist Edmund White werd geboren op 13 januari 1940 in Cincinnati. Zie ook alle tags voor Edmund White op dit blog.

Uit: Hotel de Dream

“This little room above the massive front oak door was his study, where now he was wheezing, listless and half-asleep, on the daybed. The whole room smelled of dogs and mud. At one end, under the couch and Stephen’s table, there lay a threadbare Persian carpet, pale and silky but discolored on one side with a large tea-stain the shape of Borneo.At the other end of the room it had amused Stephen to throw rushes on the floor as if he were a merry old soul living in crude, medieval splendor. There were reeds and rushes and grass everywhere downstairs, which confused two of the three dogs, Tolstoi and Spongie, into thinking they were outdoors: they weren’t always mindful of their best housebroken comportment.
The maid, a superstitious old thing, had placed a small jar of tar under Stephen’s bed. Did she think it would absorb the evil spirits, or hold off the ghosts that were supposed to haunt Brede Place?
Yes, Stephen had all the symptoms, what the doctors called the “diathesis,” or look of consumption: nearly transparent skin, through which blue veins could be seen ticking, and a haggard face and a cavernous, wheezing chest. His hair was as lank and breakable as old lamp fringe. His voice was hoarse from so much coughing and sometimes he sounded as if he were an owl hooting in the innermost chamber of a deep cave. He complained of a buzzing in the ears and even temporary deafness, which terrified a “socialist” like him, the friendliest man on earth (it was Cora’s companion, the blameless but dim Mrs. Ruedy, who had worked up this very special, facetious, meaning of socialist). Cora wondered idly if Mrs. Ruedy was back in America yet—another rat deserting the sinking ship.
Cora glimpsed something bright yellow and pushed back Stephen’s shirt—oh! the doctor had painted the right side of his torso with iodine. At least they weren’t blistering him. She remembered how one of the “girls” in her house, the Hotel de Dream, in Jacksonville, had had those hot jars applied to her back and bust in order to raise painful blisters, all to no avail. She’d already been a goner.
“Hey, Imogene,” Stephen murmured, his pink-lidded eyes fluttering open. He smiled, a faint echo of his usual playfulness. He liked to call her “Imogene Carter,” the nom de plume she’d made up for herself when she was a war correspondent in Greece and which she still used for the gossip columns and fashion notes she sent to American newspapers.”

Edmund White (Cincinnati, 13 januari 1940)

Lees verder “Edmund White, Daniel Kehlmann, Jay McInerney, Lorrie Moore, Jan de Bas, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Mohammad-Ali Jamālzādeh, Clark Ashton Smith, Michael Carroll”

Edmund White, Daniel Kehlmann, Jay McInerney, Lorrie Moore, Jan de Bas, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Mohammad-Ali Jamālzādeh, Clark Ashton Smith, Michael Carroll

De Amerikaanse schrijver en essayist Edmund White werd geboren op 13 januari 1940 in Cincinnati. Zie ook alle tags voor Edmund White op dit blog.

Uit: Our Young Man

“Although Guy was thirty-five he was still working as a model, and certain of his more ironic and cultured friends called him, as the dying Proust had been called by Colette, “our young man.” For so many years he’d been actually young; he’d arrived from Paris to New York in the late 1970s when he was in his late twenties but passed as nineteen. He’d been the darling of Fire Island Pines the summers of 1980 and 1981; everyone in the Octagon House was in love with him and he was a good deal more egalitarian and participatory in chores and expenses than he needed to be, splitting the grocery and house cleaning bills down to the last penny, even when he skipped meals or entire weekends.
Everyone adored him, so he could have skimped on his share. He was making $175 an hour as a model for a whole host of beauty products, which was a lot of money in those days; he made more in two hours than his housemate, the young journalist Howard, earned in a week, or Howard’s lover the mustachioed Cuban bartender Martin took in at Uncle Charlie’s in tips on two or three shifts. Even his heavy French accent made him all the more desirable; one of their most besotted housemates, Tom, started taking French lessons but could never master a whole sentence.
Nor was he stinting with his favors. He’d swallow an after- dinner concoction Ted would assemble of acid, tranquilizers, Quaaludes, and the odd yellow jacket. After a strenuous night of dancing at the Sandpiper he’d be found nude at dawn, splayed in the surf with three other amorous beauties or massaging a Croatian fellow model on the deck by the pool as they sipped big shaggy joints of Acapulco gold.
He liked the Pines, since the muscular men there were bankers or lawyers or surgeons and not just gigolos, as comparable studs would have been in Saint-Tropez, lounging around on the decks of moored yachts (or “laying out in the sun,” as these American guys all said, though Guy knew from lycée English class back in France that it should be “lying”; the French, he thought primly, would never have made a similar mistake in their own language).
He was from Clermont-Ferrand, a big, dead, dreary industrial city in the heart of France, lava-black, cold in the winter and suffocatingly hot in the summer, and now he sent home a thousand dollars a month from New York to his pious mother, who arranged the flowers for the altar, and his Communist father, a Michelin factory hand who’d been laid off for twenty years, living on welfare and drinking too much red wine (his first coup de rouge he downed at eleven every morning, an old habit from his working days).”

Edmund White (Cincinnati, 13 januari 1940)

Lees verder “Edmund White, Daniel Kehlmann, Jay McInerney, Lorrie Moore, Jan de Bas, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Mohammad-Ali Jamālzādeh, Clark Ashton Smith, Michael Carroll”

Edmund White, Daniel Kehlmann, Jay McInerney, Lorrie Moore, Jan de Bas, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Mohammad- Ali Jamālzādeh, Clark Ashton Smith

De Amerikaanse schrijver en essayist Edmund White werd geboren op 13 januari 1940 in Cincinnati. Zie ook alle tags voor Edmund White op dit blog.

Uit: The Farewell Symphony

“I’d been afraid I wouldn’t feel anything when Brice finally died-but my body did all the feeling for me. It took over. My knees buckled, I lost my balance, tears spurted from my eyes. I staggered in the sunlight and nearly fell and had to be held up by Laurent and his lover.
Everything I’d lived through in the last five years had changed me-whitened my hair, made me a fat, sleepy old man, matured me, finally, but also emptied me out. I met Brice five years before he died-but I wonder whether I’ll have the courage to tell his story in this book. The French call a love affair a “story,” une histoire, and I see getting to it, putting it down, exploring it, narrating it as a challenge I may well fail. If I do fail, don’t blame me. Understand that even writers, those professional exhibitionists, have their moments of reticence.
Strange that I should be living here, in Paris. Ever since I’d been a child, an imaginary Paris had been the bright planet pulsing at the heart of my mental star map, but the one time I’d gone to Paris I had been dressed in a horrible shiny blazer and everyone in the cafés had laughed at me. I said to a French acquaintance as we left the Flore, “I know I’m being paranoid,” but he said matter-of-factly, “No, they are laughing at you.”
A sign in the tailor shop window off the Boulevard St.-Germain warned that customers would not be allowed more than three fittings after the purchase of a suit and my mind winced at this proof of shameless male vanity, so exotic to an American since Americans equated male vanity with effeminacy or Mafia creepiness. The year was 1968 and stylish young American men back home were wearing fringe and puffy-sleeved pirate shirts, headbands, mirrored vests and winklepicker boots, but the materials were synthetic, the colors garish, the fit very approximate and the mood one of dressing up. Orange and black were popular colors. The long Mardi Gras of that decade in the States was a mockery of traditional good taste, a send-up of adult propriety, the recklessness of a generation that would never settle down long enough to study the fine gradations with which quality, and especially beauty, begin. And if the mood was festive, the festivity seemed more a gesture defying parental drabness than an assertion of a new-born hedonism. A true search for pleasure is an exacting science and is born from a profound interest in raglan versus fitted sleeves and in the precise arc a weighted hem on the bias will describe.”

Edmund White (Cincinnati, 13 januari 1940)
Hier met partner Michael Carroll (links)

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Edmund White, Daniel Kehlmann, Jay McInerney, Lorrie Moore, Jan de Bas, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Mohammad- Ali Jamālzādeh, Clark Ashton Smith

De Amerikaanse schrijver en essayist Edmund White werd geboren op 13 januari 1940 in Cincinnati. Zie ook alle tags voor Edmund White op dit blog.

Uit: City Boy

“I had constant daydreams of meeting Susan Sontag and Paul Goodman. I don’t know why I focused on them — maybe because they were so often mentioned in the Village Voice and the Partisan Review but even by Time. He’d written Growing Up Absurd, the bible of the sixties, now largely forgotten (I never read it in any event). How could I have worshipped a man whose work I didn’t know? I guess because I’d heard that he was bisexual, that he was a brilliant therapist, and that he was somehow for the young and the liberated. I read his astonishing journal, Five Years, published in 1966, a groundbreaking book in which he openly discussed paying men for sex and enjoying anonymous sex in the meatpacking district. Today that would seem unremarkable, perhaps, but for a husband and a father back then to be so confi ding, so shameless, was unprecedented, especially since the sex passages were mixed in with remarks on culture and poetry and a hundred other subjects.
Sontag was someone I read more faithfully, especially Against Interpretation and even individual essays as they were published.
New York, in short, in the seventies was a junkyard with serious artistic aspirations. I remember that one of our friends, the poet Brad Gooch, wanted to introduce us to his lover, who’d become an up-and-coming Hollywood director, but Brad begged him not to tell us that he worked as a director since Hollywood had such low prestige among us. That sort of reticence would be unthinkable today in a New York that has become enslaved by wealth and glitz, but back then people still embraced Ezra Pound’s motto, “Beauty is difficult.”
We kept asking in 1972 and 1973 when the seventies were going to begin . . .
Then again we had to admit the sixties hadn’t really begun until the Beatles came over to the States in 1964, but after that the decade took on a real, definite personality — protest movements, long hair, love, drugs, a euphoria that turned sour only toward the end of 1969. Of course for Leftists the decade began with the Brown v. Board of Education decision and ended with Nixon’s resignation in 1974.”

Edmund White (Cincinnati, 13 januari 1940)

Lees verder “Edmund White, Daniel Kehlmann, Jay McInerney, Lorrie Moore, Jan de Bas, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Mohammad- Ali Jamālzādeh, Clark Ashton Smith”

Edmund White, Daniel Kehlmann, Jay McInerney, Lorrie Moore, Jan de Bas, Clark Ashton Smith, Jurgis Kunčinas

De Amerikaanse schrijver en essayist Edmund White werd geboren op 13 januari 1940 in Cincinnati. Zie ook alle tags voor Edmund White op dit blog.

Uit: A Boy’s Own Story

“We lived one year in a suburb so new it was still being built in fields of red clay: a neat grid of streets named after songbirds was being dropped like a lattice of dough over a pie. Up and down Robin and Tanager and Bluebird I raced my bike; in a storm I pedaled so fast I hoped to catch up with the wind-driven rain. As I sped into the riddling wet warmth I shook my right hand according to a magical formula of my own. The universe, signaled by its master, groaned, revolved, released a flash of lightning. At last the imagination, like a mold on an orange, was covering the globe of my mind.”

Imprisoned under all our layers of long underwear, thick socks, shirts, vests, jackets, coats and hoods were these tropical bodies; the steam and hot water brought color back into the pallor, found the nacreous hollow in a hip, detected the subtly raised triceps, rinsed a sharp clavicle in a softening flood, swirled dull brown hair into a smooth black cap and pulled evening gloves of light over raw hands and skinny, blue-veined forearms.

I also felt surging within me a fierce need to be independent. Of course I responded to the appeal of divine hydraulics, this system of souls damned or crowned or destroyed or held in suspense, these pulleys and platforms sinking and lifting on the great stage, and I recognized that my view of things seemed by contrast impoverished, lacking in degree and incident. But the charming intricacy of a myth is not sufficient to compel belief. I found no good reason to assume that the ultimate nature of reality happened to resemble the backstage of an opera house.”

Edmund White (Cincinnati, 13 januari 1940)

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Edmund White, Daniel Kehlmann, Jay McInerney, Lorrie Moore, Jan de Bas, Jurgis Kunčinas, Clark Ashton Smith

De Amerikaanse schrijver en essayist Edmund White werd geboren op 13 januari 1940 in Cincinnati. Zie ook alle tags voor Edmund White op dit blog.

Uit: Caracole

“One of them had a clay pig, small enough to fit into his pocket; it whistled one dry, low note when blown on the snout. The other knew the names of stones but he was the hardest to understand. Someone’s youngest brother he called “the Least One.” If he doubted a story, he said, “I don’t confidence you.” Windows he called “lights” and their hiding place in an oak bole he spoke of as the “plunder room.” Where the creek fanned out into a hundred rivulets, this child said, “That’s where it turkey-tailed,” and if a grown-up showed him special attention he’d ask later, “Why did he much me?” Both of Gabriel’s companions spoke in doubled nouns (“biscuit-bread,” “ham-meat,” sulfur-match”). Nor did they grasp what Gabriel meant when he said once, “Have a nice weekend.” After a while it turned out their families worked every day and the notion of a weekend was beyond their means.

When Mathilda asked Mateo to bring Gabriel to his very first reception at her house, Mateo assumed she was merely being polite out of consideration for him, Mateo. More than once she’d assured him she knew what it was like to be stuck with a child in their nearly childless world of artists and intellectuals; after all she (with Mateo’s distant if affectionate assistance) had raised a child, Daniel, who was now thirty and looked so nearly as though he were her brother that her maternity would have been suspect had not their celebrated, even infamous past together been so well documented. Nevertheless Mathilda was delighted when naïve or provincial people mistook Daniel for her brother or lover, and to increase the confusion she often referred to him coyly as “the darling.” This coyness was so unlike her that people expected to catch a sardonic smile and were shocked to see instead the sort of smile people wear when they speak of their pets. What few people knew was that an older child, a girl, had died when she was four. This loss had poisoned Mathilda’s joy in motherhood at the same time it had intensified her love for – no longer “my son” but “the darling.”

Edmund White (
Cincinnati, 13 januari 1940)


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Edmund White, Jay McInerney, Daniel Kehlmann, Lorrie Moore, Jurgis Kunčinas, Clark Ashton Smith

De Amerikaanse schrijver en essayist Edmund White werd geboren op 13 januari 1940 in Cincinnati. Zie ook alle tags voor Edmund White op dit blog.

Uit: Sacred Monsters

“When I was fifteen I fell in love with this statue—not as an art fancier or potential collector or historian, but the way a lover would. Literally. I was a lonely gay kid living in the dorms at an all boys’ school where I would have been beat up if anyone had guessed my inclinations. I was quietly arty—I listened to classical records over at the music building and on my own turntable during the two fifteen-minute periods when we were free to do what we wanted to. I read novels and by the time I had graduated I’d even written two of them (still unpublished).
My boy’s school was Cranbrook, outside Detroit, now long since co-ed but at that time strictly segregated from its sister school, Kingswood, and from the art academy, which was just across the street. The academy trained college-age students in all the arts, from silkscreening to sculpture. In our own small school library I discovered a big book on Rodin with black and white illustrations. I checked it out and took it to my room (we each lived in private rooms).
There I pored over the picture of the statue for weeks on end while I was supposed to be studying and by flashlight after bedtime and lights out. I had no friends, certainly no lovers, but the life-size statue of this 22-year-old Belgian soldier, whose name I learned was Auguste Neyt, became the center of all my fantasies. The statue, at least to the eyes of Rodin’s contemporaries, seemed so disturbingly lifelike that he’d been accused of casting it from life, of pressing the plaster moulds directly to the model’s flesh, as if he were a George Segal avant la lettre. Although Rodin had made a trip to Italy and looked at various Michelangelos while working on The Age of Bronze (the neutral, mysterious title he gave to the work when it was eventually cast in bronze and exhibited in Paris), nevertheless the figure is less heavily muscled than the sculpture of the Renaissance—and modeled in such a way that it made the light falling on it shimmer”.

Edmund White (Cincinnati, 13 januari 1940)

In zijn woning in Parijs

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Edmund White, Jay McInerney, Daniel Kehlmann, Lorrie Moore, Jurgis Kunčinas, Clark Ashton Smith

De Amerikaanse schrijver en essayist Edmund White werd geboren op 13 januari 1940 in Cincinnati. Zie ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2010.

Uit: The Farewell Symphony

„I’m beginning this book on All Saints’ Day in Paris, six months after Brice’s death. This morning I went with Brice’s brother and his brother’s lover to the Père Lachaise cemetery to leave some flowers before the white marble plaque that marks the niche where Brice’s ashes are stored in an urn. At first there wasn’t a receptacle for the flowers and we’d just leave them on the cold floor, where they’d quickly wilt. But then someone-the Spanish woman who cleaned for us once a week, perhaps-attached a little brass vase to the plaque, and that’s where we put the flowers now. Today I left yellow freesias. Someone had Scotchtaped the photo of a young man to Brice’s plaque and I wondered if it was a secret admirer who’d left his own portrait; retrospectively I was jealous. Maybe it was a photo of one of the other dead young men that had been taped to our plaque by mistake.

The ashes are in the columbarium, a fancy word for “dovecote.” We wanted to be buried together, but since technically I’m not a Parisian, there was no way I could buy a plot or a niche at Père Lachaise, which is reserved for citizens of the capital. Brice thought of everything in his methodical way; he bought the niche for his urn but in my name. Now, legally, I can’t be refused entrance when I die.

I’ve never liked to feel things in the appropriate way at the right moment. I know that Brice’s brother is slightly puzzled that I don’t visit the long, subterranean corridors of the columbarium more often. Even today I was dry-eyed, bored, more curious about the new plaques than anguished about Brice’s. The day Brice was interred, there were only four other niches occupied along this whole wall. Now it’s filling up quickly-at least two hundred newcomers have arrived in the last six months. Some are Vietnamese and their inscriptions are in both French and in Chinese characters. A few are young men in their twenties-I imagine they died of AIDS, too. There are Jews and Protestants as well as Catholics; Poles and Italians as well as French. There’s even an American writer shelved just above Brice; he’s had inscribed the words “Writer-Ecrivain” just below his name.

It’s not that Brice’s brother Laurent doubts my grief. He saw me six months ago, sitting on the curb just outside the funeral home, sobbing. We’d just made all the arrangements for the cremation and now I was crying like a Sicilian widow.“



Edmund White (Cincinnati, 13 januari 1940)



Lees verder “Edmund White, Jay McInerney, Daniel Kehlmann, Lorrie Moore, Jurgis Kunčinas, Clark Ashton Smith”

Edmund White, Jay McInerney, Daniel Kehlmann, Lorrie Moore, Jurgis Kunčinas, Clark Ashton Smith

De Amerikaanse schrijver en essayist Edmund White werd geboren op 13 januari 1940 in Cincinnati. Zie ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2009.

Uit: City Boy

„In the 1970s in New York everyone slept till noon.

It was a grungy, dangerous, bankrupt city without normal services most of the time. The garbage piled up and stank during long strikes of the sanitation workers. A major blackout led to days and days of looting. We gay guys wore whistles around our necks so we could summon help from other gay men when we were attacked on the streets by gangs living in the projects between Greenwich Village and the West Side leather bars.

The upside was that the city was inexpensive, and Manhattan, especially the part of it below Fourteenth Street, was full of young actors-singers-dancers-waiters who made enough money working their restaurant shifts three nights a week to pay for their acting lessons and their cheap rents. Unlike our hometowns back in the Midwest, where the sidewalk was rolled up at six p.m., the delis and coffee shops were open all night and the bars till four in the morning. That whole army of actor-waiters saw their restaurant jobs as just another opportunity for “scene study” (“Who am I tonight? An Austrian aristocrat who’s fallen on bad times? A runaway from an incestuous family in the Tennessee Hills? A Swedish gymnast?”). No matter how big their tips were, they managed to drink them away in a bar after the restaurants closed as they talked excitedly about their art and their loves. Everyone smoked all the time, and when you French-kissed someone, it was like rubbing one ashtray against another.

New York seemed either frightening or risible to the rest of the nation. To us, however, it represented the only free port on the entire continent. Only in New York could we walk hand in hand with a member of the same sex. Only in New York could we ignore a rat galloping across our path and head out for a midnight play reading. Artists on the Lower East Side were recycling the most primitive and worthless materials — junk, really.

But there was also a mandarin New York, a place where painters and choreographers and novelists and poets strove to produce serious art of the highest order. This was an elite group of people, scattered throughout the Village and the emerging neighborhood of Chelsea and the comfortable, kicked-out Upper West Side; in this mandarinate artists and intellectuals still felt connected to the supreme artists of the past, still thought that their work would be the latest installment in a quasi-divine legacy.”


Edmund White (Cincinnati, 13 januari 1940)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Jay McInerney werd geboren op 13 januari 1955 in Hartford, Connecticut. Zie ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2009.

Uit: How It Ended

„It came to seem like our own special Thanksgiving tradition-one of us inevitably behaving very badly. The role was passed around the table from year to year like some kind of ceremonial torch, or a seasonal virus: the weeping and gnashing of teeth, the breaking of glass, the hurling of accusations, the final nosedive into the mashed potatoes or the shag carpet. Sometimes it even fell to our guests-friends, girlfriends, wives-the disease apparently communicable. We were three boys who’d lost their mother-four if you counted Dad, five if you counted Brian’s best friend, Foster Creel, who’d lost his own mother about the same time we did and always spent Thanksgiving with us-and for many years there had been no one to tell us not to pour that pivotal seventh drink, not to chew with our mouths open, not to say fuck at the dinner table.
We kept bringing other women to the table to try to fill the hole, but they were never able to impose peace for long. Sometimes they were catalysts, and occasionally they even initiated the hostilities-perhaps their way of trying to fit in. My father never brought another woman to the table, though many tried to invite themselves, and our young girlfriends remarked on how handsome he was and what a waste it was. “I had my great love, and how could I settle for anything less?” he’d say as he poured himself another Smirnoff and the neighbor widows and divorcées dashed themselves against the windowpanes like birds.
Sometimes, although not always, the mayhem boiled up again at Christmas, in the sacramental presence of yet another turkey carcass, with a new brother or guest in the role of incendiary device, though memories of the most recent Thanksgiving were often enough to spare us the spectacle for another eleven months. I suppose we all had a lot to be thankful for, socioeconomically speaking, but for some reason we chose to dwell instead on our grievances. How come you went to Aidan’s high school play and not mine? How could you have fucked Karen Watley when you knew I was in love with her?“


Jay McInerney (Hartford, 13 januari 1955)


De Duitse schrijver Daniel Kehlmann werd op 13 januari 1975 in  München geboren. Zie ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2009.

Uit: Ruhm

„Noch bevor Ebling zu Hause war, läutete sein Mobiltelefon. Jahrelang hatte er sich geweigert, eines zu kaufen, denn er war Techniker und vertraute der Sache nicht. Wieso fand niemand etwas dabei, sich eine Quelle aggressiver Strahlung an den Kopf zu halten?
Aber Ebling hatte eine Frau, zwei Kinder und eine Handvoll Arbeitskollegen, und ständig hatte sich jemand über seine Unerreichbarkeit beschwert. So hatte er endlich nachgegeben, ein Gerät erworben und gleich vom Verkäufer aktivieren lassen. Wider Willen war er beeindruckt: Schlechthin perfekt war es, wohlgeformt, glatt und elegant. Und jetzt, unversehens, läutete es.
Zögernd hob er ab.

Eine Frau verlangte einen gewissen Raff, Ralf oder Rauff, er verstand den Namen nicht.

Ein Irrtum, sagte er, verwählt. Sie entschuldigte sich und legte auf.
Am Abend dann der nächste Anruf. “Ralf!” rief ein heiserer Mann. “Was ist, wie läuft es, du blöde Sau?”
“Verwählt !” Ebling saß aufrecht im Bett. Es war schon zehn Uhr vorbei, und seine Frau betrachtete ihn vorwurfsvoll. Der Mann entschuldigte sich, und Ebling schaltete das Gerät aus.
Am nächsten Morgen warteten drei Nachrichten. Er hörte sie in der S-Bahn auf dem Weg zur Arbeit. Eine Frau bat kichernd um Rückruf. Ein Mann brüllte, daß er sofort herüberkommen solle, man werde nicht mehr lange auf ihn warten; im Hintergrund hörte man Gläserklirren und Musik. Und dann wieder die Frau: “Ralf, wo bist du denn ?”
Ebling seufzte und rief den Kundendienst an. Seltsam, sagte eine Frau mit gelangweilter Stimme. So
et was könne über haupt nicht passieren. Niemand kriege eine Nummer, die schon ein anderer habe. Da gebe es jede Menge Sicherungen.
“Es ist aber passiert!”
Nein, sagte die Frau. Das sei gar nicht möglich.
“Und was tun Sie jetzt?”
Wisse sie auch nicht, sagte sie. So etwas sei nämlich gar nicht möglich.
Ebling öffnete den Mund und schloß ihn wieder.“


Daniel Kehlmann (München, 13 januari 1975)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Lorrie Moore werd geboren op 13 januari 1957 in Glens Falls, New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2009.


Uit: Anagrams


„Gerard Maines lived across the hall from a woman named Benna, who four minutes into any conversation always managed to say the word penis. He was not a prude, but, nonetheless, it made him wince. He worked with children all day, taught a kind of aerobics to pre-schoolers, and the most extreme language he was likely to hear seemed to him to be in code, in acronyms, or maybe even in German — boo-boo, finky, peenick — words that were difficult to figure out even in context, and words, therefore, from which he felt quite safe. He suspected it was not unlike people he knew who hated operas in translation. “Believe me,” they would explain, “you just don’t want to know what they’re saying.”

Today they were talking about families.

“Fathers and sons,” she said, “they’re like governments: always having sword fights with their penises.”

“Really,” said Gerard, sitting at her kitchen table, gulping at near-beer for breakfast. He palmed his beard like a man trying to decide.

“But what do I know.” She smiled and shrugged. “I grew up in a trailer. It’s not like a real family with a house.” This was her excuse for everything, her own self-deprecating refrain; she’d grown up in a trailer in upstate New York and was therefore unqualified to pronounce on any of the subjects she continued to pronounce on.

Gerard had his own line of self-excuse: “I was a retard in my father’s play.”

“A retard in your father’s play?”

“Yes,” he said, realizing that faced with the large questions of life and not finding large answers, one must then settle for makeshift, little answers, just as on any given day a person must at least eat something, even if it was not marvelous and huge.

“He wrote plays in our town. Then he did the casting and directing. It was harder to venture out through the rest of life after that.”

“How awful for you,” said Benna, pouring more near-beer into both their glasses.

“Yes,” he said. He loved her very much.“


Lorrie Moore (Glens Falls, 13 januari 1957)


De Litouwse schrijver en vertaler Jurgis Kunčinas werd geboren op 13 januari 1947 in Alytus. Zie ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2009.

Uit: Tula (Vertaald door Markus Roduner)

„Sprich zu mir, Tūla, flüster mir etwas, wenn das Abendrot die hohen, auch so schon roten Wände der Bernhardiner immer roter werden lässt, wenn unter all ihren Brücken die Vilnelė wie Lava brodelt, doch am heftigsten hier, bei den Bernhardinern, wenn seltene Passanten, beim Anblick einer schweren Regenwolke ihren Schritt beschleunigen und ängstlich sich umsehend in ihre Stadt-Höhlen eilen, wenn die Wolke schon ganz nahe am Himmel hängt ─ über dem Hügel von Bekeš und Panonietis, über der dunkelroten Felsklippe ─ sprich und sag, was wird uns noch an die wie eine Seuche ansteckende Liebe erinnern, nicht herausgeschrien in den Innenhöfen am Mittelmeer, dafür nicht mit dem Schmutz der Stadt behaftet, so verspätet und von niemandem gebraucht ─ nicht einmal benötigt von dieser auf den Regen vorbereiteten Straße, von der Schar alter Bäume am Ufer, auch nicht vom Abendrot, das die Bernhardiner beleuchtet hat und von jener immer näher kommenden Wolke, die über dem Bekeš-Turm stehen geblieben ist, wer, nun sag es schon, wer?

Sag es mir Tūla, sag es mir, denn nur du kannst diese wie jene Wolke am Himmel hängenden Fragen beantworten ─ nur du, denn die Natur ist in der Stadt immer leicht unecht ─ zu festlich oder was? ─ und stumm. Noch keine Dekoration, keine Nachbildung, keine Requisite, doch auch schon nicht mehr Natur. Ich sage dir. Schau, Tūla, ich komme in deine ärmliche Bleibe über die ungedeckte Vilnelė-Brücke, unter der ewig das schwarz-grüne Wasser mit kaum hellerem Schaum brodelt, ich komme zu deinem Fenster, deinen Augen, in denen sich der niedrige Himmel und die Türme der Bernhardiner spiegeln, ich komme zu deinem Gewebe, zur Klarheit deiner Knochen, zu deinen Urzeit-Nerven, die bei Berührung erzittern und Töne erklingen lassen: das Brausen des Windes, das Murmeln des Wassers, das Rascheln des Grases, und wenn man sie stärker anzupft, sich anspannen, und die Töne werden lauter ─ ich höre das Quietschen eines aufgescheuchten Tierchens, die beharrlich etwas erklärende Stimme eines Nachtvogels, ich höre das Flattern der Flügel über mir und sehe Augen ─ die geheimnisvollen Augen des Vogels der Finsternis in deinem Gesicht, weiß wie ein Laken; deine Augen, Tūla, sind Vogel-Augen und Wolken-Augen; ich komme im Mondschein und werfe einen schweren Schatten auf den vergangenen Tag, auf den kommenden Tag und unsere gemeinsame Nacht, auf diese Stadt, die uns beide in ihren dunklen Schoß aufgesogen und zusammen mit Schlamm, Lehm, all den Scherben und Gefäßen wi
eder ausgespuckt hat, und auch mit dem alten Geld, das keine Macht hat weder in dieser noch in jener Welt ─ haben wir denn wirklich einmal darin gewohnt? Einen gebrochenen, schiefen Schatten werfe ich auch auf den Hügel von Bekeš und seinem Heerführer Vaduš Panonietis, wo immer noch jene bedrohliche, mit Sturm-Staub vollgesogene Wolke hängt…“



Jurgis Kunčinas (13 januari 1947 – 13 december 2002)



De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en beeldhouwer Clark Ashton Smith werd geboren in Long Valley (Californië) op 13 januari 1893. Zie ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2009.




Like arabesques of ebony,

The cypresses, in silhouette,

Fantastically cleave and fret

A moon of yellow ivory.


Like orient lamps the rays illume

A leafy pattern manifold,

And all the field is overscrolled

With curiously figured gloom.


Like arabesques of ebony,

Or like Arabian lattices,

For ever seem the cypresses,

Before a moon of ivory.






O dancer with the dove-swift feet and hands,

So palely swaying

Against the moon’s replenished rondure,

Thou treadest not this autumn ground alone:

But in my heart, as in some high-piled press,

Dancing, thou crushest out with thy wan feet

A vintage strong, a wine sanguinolent

That shall restore the summer.



Clark Ashton Smith (13 januari 1893 – 14 augustus 1961)



Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 13e januari ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.