Jack Gilbert, Emmy Hennings, Mori Ōgai, Gustavo Bécquer, Georg Britting, Andrew Paterson, Margaret Truman, Ruth Rendell, Fjodor Sologoeb

De Amerikaanse dichter Jack Gilbert werd geboren in Pittsburgh op 17 februari 1925. Zie ook alle tags voor Jack Gilbert op dit blog.

The Forgotten Dialect Of The Heart

How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according
to which nation. French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs
are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records. But what if they
are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind’s labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not laguage but a map. What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds

 

In Dispraise Of Poetry

When the King of Siam disliked a courtier,
he gave him a beautiful white elephant.
The miracle beast deserved such ritual
that to care for him properly meant ruin.
Yet to care for him improperly was worse.
It appears the gift could not be refused.

 
Jack Gilbert (17 februari 1925 – 13 november 2012)

 

De Duitse dichteres, schrijfster en caberetiere Emmy Hennings werd geboren op 17 februari 1885 in Flensburg. Zie ook alle tags voor Emmy Hennings op dit blog.

Uit: Das Brandmal

„Im Namen des Namenlosen will ich beginnen, obgleich ich mich so weit von ihm entfernt fühle. Gerade aus diesem Grunde: in seinem Namen. Das Namenlose ist die erste und letzte Ursache meines Daseins. Ich ahne es als die Ursache des Daseins aller Menschen. Das ist nur meine gläubige Vermutung, sonst nichts. Ich aber will über meine eigene Ursache sinnen, über mich, denn ich bin noch nicht über mich hinausgekommen.
Ich sehe ja immer nur mit meinen eigenen Augen. Ich darf mich nicht darüber täuschen und sagen, ich sähe mit den allgemeinen Augen. Ich glaube nicht, daß jemand seine persönlichen Augen bei Lebzeiten auswechseln kann.
Das Verlangen, alles umfassen zu wollen, ist eine Sucht, nur meine Sehnsucht, sonst nichts. In Wahrheit aber kann ich nichts mehr begreifen, nichts halten, nichts fassen. Es ist, als löse sich alles.
Wie lange doch hat es gedauert, bis ich dahin gekommen bin, mir eines Tages einzugestehen: ich bin ein ungeordneter Mensch.
Hat mich ein Fall, ein Zufall verführt zum Bekenntnis? Mein Gott ist kein Zufall. Die Ewigkeit kann ich nicht Zufall nennen. Und doch war mir, als sei der Zufall mein Schicksal geworden.
Der Zufall kann wohl kein Grund zu einer Umwälzung sein. Es gibt so viele Zufälle.
Ich bin eine Frau. Ich hebe die Kontrolle auf. Die Frage nach dem »Warum« und »Woher«.
Ich gestehe nur das »Wie«.
Wie war es?
Jeder Anlaß war mir ein Abgrund, ich bin nicht erst heute gefallen. Erst heute merke ich, daß ich immer gefallen bin. Jetzt aber, da ich unten bin, – vielleicht kann ich nicht tiefer kommen –, sehe ich: ich bin gefallen. Meine Geburt war der Fall eines Engels, der von Gott abfiel, und jetzt suche ich wieder …
Um die Gegenwart zu erhellen, gedenke ich der Vergangenheit. Die Erinnerung lebt in mir, nach Tagen, Monaten, Jahren, immer. So ist es und wird es sein. Die Tatsachen, wie man die sichtbaren Handlungen in der Welt nennt, sind belanglos geworden. Nur das geistige Erleben und Wiedererleben rollt weiter. Nur die empfindsame Illusion ist es. Denn wenn ich vollkommen erleben könnte, wäre ich da nicht bei der ersten Begegnung mit dem ersten Erlebnis geblieben? Zusammengebrochen? Das Leben hat mich wohl nur gestreift, berührt. Daß man das Leben überleben kann! Wie schmerzhaft und empfindsam bin ich jetzt stecken geblieben! Stecke ich im Leben? Was meine Augen gesehen haben, hat mir nicht so weh getan, als was mein Herz, oder was immer es sein mag, fühlt.“
 


Emmy Hennings (17 februari 1885 – 10 augustus 1948)
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De Japanse schrijver Mori Ōgai werd geboren op 17 februari 1862 als Mori Rintaro in het dorpTsuwano in Iwami. Zie ook alle tags voor Mori Ōgai op dit blog.

Uit: The Dancing Girl (vertaald door Richard Bowring)

“But it is so deeply engraved upon my heart that I fear this is impossible. And yet, as there is no one here this evening, and it will be some while before the cabin boy comes to turn off the light, I think I will try to record the outline of my story here. Thanks to a very strict education at home since childhood, my studies lacked nothing, despite the fact that I lost my father at an early age. When I studied at the school in my former fief, and in the preparatory course for the university in Tokyo, and later in the Faculty of Law, the name Ota Toyotaro was always at the top of the list. Thus, no doubt, I brought some comfort to my mother who had found in me, her only child, the strength to go through life. At nineteen I received my degree and was praised for having achieved greater honor than had any other student since the founding of the univer-sity. I joined a government department and spent three pleasant years in Tokyo with my mother, whom I called up from the country. Being especially high in the estimation of the head of my department, I was then given orders to travel to Europe and study matters connected with my particular section. Stirred by the thought that I now had the opportunity to make my name and raise my family fortunes, I was not unduly sorry to leave even my mother, although she was over fifty. So it was that I left home far behind and arrived in Berlin. I had the vague hope of accomplishing great feats and was used to work-ing hard under pressure. But suddenly here I was, standing in the middle of this most modern of European capitals. My eyes were dazzled by its bril-liance, my mind was dazed by the riot of color. To translate Unter den Lin-den as “under the Bodhi tree” would suggest a quiet secluded spot. But just come and see the groups of men and women sauntering along the pave-ments that line each side of that great thoroughfare as it runs, straight as a die, through the city. It was still in the days when Wilhelm I would come to his window and gaze down upon his capital. The tall, broad-shouldered officers in their colorful dress uniform, and the attractive girls, their hair made up in the Parisian style, were everywhere a delight to the eye. Car-riages ran silently on asphalt roads. Just visible in the clear sky between the towering buildings were fountains cascading with the sound of heavy rain. Looking into the distance, one could see the statue of the goddess on the vic-tory column. She seemed to be floating halfway to heaven from the midst of the green trees on the other side of the Brandenburg Gate. All these myriad sights were gathered so close at hand that it was quite bewildering for the newcomer.”

 
Mori Ōgai (17 februari 1862 – 9 juli 1922)
Plaquette voor een hotel in Tokyo

 

De Spaanse dichter Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer werd op 17 februari 1836 in Sevilla geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer op dit blog.

The Siren

A momentary indiscretion,
And the vision of your fluttering lids
Is burned forever in my mind
Like a dark spot, edged in fire,
For staring at the sun.

Now, wherever I look,
I’m haunted by those flaring pupils,
But it’s only your afterimage, not you,
Your sunspot eyes and nothing more.

Alone in my room, I stare
At the ceiling and try to forget,
But even when I sleep, I feel your phantom gaze,
Doe-eyed and fluttering.

I know there are things in the night
That call unwary dreamers to their doom.
Still, I am drawn to you,
To your eyes edged in fire,
Though where they lead I do not know.  

 

The viewless atoms of the air

The viewless atoms of the air
Around me palpitate and burn,
All heaven dissolves in gold, and earth
Quivers with new-found joy.
Floating on waves of harmony I hear
A stir of kisses, and a sweep of wings;
Mine eyelids close–“What pageant nears?”
“‘Tis Love that passes by!”

 

Vertaald door Walter Wykes

 
Gustavo Bécquer (17 februari 1836 – 22 december 1870)
Daniel Migueláñez alsGustavo Bécquer in het theaterstuk ‘El círculo de Hierro’, Madrid, 2018

 

De Duitse dichter en schrijver Georg Britting werd op 17 februari 1891 geboren in Regensburg. Zie ook alle tags voor Georg Britting op dit blog.

Frühling im Alpenvorland

Nun erblühen schon die Weidenzweige
Und der Mond war gestern rot umraucht
Und im Wald die aufgetauten Steige
Warten darauf, daß man sie gebraucht.

Dieses Licht! Wer fände leicht die Worte,
So es zu benennen, wie es ist?
Bergher kommts! Vom hochgelegnen Orte!
Schön zu sehen, wie es abwärts fließt,

Wie das Wasser rinnt aus einer Quelle,
Ihr vertrauend, stetig, ohne Hast,
Bis im Tal die letzte finstre Stelle
Hell wie Gold wird. Diese schämt sich fast.

  

Alt-neue Freudigkeit

Die Pappel steht. Man sieht es ihr nicht an,
Daß sie den Frühling spürt, und wie er tut!
Ein bißchen Grün ists, was sie zeigen kann.
Unsichtbar steigt in ihr das junge Blut.

Die Wolke geht. Ihr sieht mans eher an,
Daß sie es fühlt: nun rührt es sich mit Fleiß!
Weiß weht sie hin. Man denkt an einen Schwan
Auf blauem See – zerschmolzen ist sein Eis!

Es schmolz vor kurzem erst. Wer denkt noch dran?
So schnell ist das Vergessen? O der Zeit!
Nun streicht ein neuer Wind an uns heran.
Ein neuer der? Alt–neue Freudigkeit,

Die kommt und geht! Und schau die Pappel an!
Im Vorjahr war es mit ihr ebenso:
Erst kahl im März! Dann laubig! Und ein Mann!
Im grünen Kornhalm wispert schon das Stroh!

 
Georg Britting (7 februari 1891- 27 april 1964)

 

De Australische dichter Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson werd geboren op 17 februari 1864 in  Narambla in New South Wales. Zie ook alle tags voor Andrew Paterson op dit blog.

The Stockman

A bright sun and a loosened rein,
A whip whose pealing sound
Rings forth amid the forest trees
As merrily forth we bound
As merrily forth we bound, my boys,
And, by the dawn’s pale light,
Speed fearless on our horses true
From morn till starry night.

“Oh! for a tame and quiet herd,”
I hear some crawler cry;
But give to me the mountain mob
With the flash of their tameless eye
With the flash of their tameless eye, my boys,
As down the rugged spur
Dash the wild children of the woods,
And the horse that mocks at fear.

There’s mischief in you wide-horned steer,
There’s danger in you cow;
Then mount, my merry horsemen all,
The wild mob’s bolting now
The wild mob’s bolting now, my boys,
But ’twas never in their hides
To show the way to the well-trained nags
That are rattling by their sides.

Oh! ’tis jolly to follow the roving herd
Through the long, long summer day,
And camp at night by some lonely creek
When dies the golden ray.
Where the jackass laughs in the old gum tree,
And our quart-pot tea we sip;
The saddle was our childhood’s home,
Our heritage the whip.

 
Andrew Paterson (17 februari 1864 – 5 april 1941)  
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De Amerikaanse schrijfster Margaret Truman werd geboren op 17 februari 1924 in Independence, Missouri. Zie ook alle tags voor Margaret Truman op dit blog.

Uit: The President’s House

“Perhaps the most intriguing White House denizens are the men and women who have worked beside presidents as their spokespersons or confidential advisers. More than anyone, they often shared the reflected glow of White House power. Not all of them were able to deal with it rationally or responsibly, though the vast majority have managed it. For many of them, the experience was more than a little harrowing–and in a few cases, fatal.
I am thinking of one of my most heartbreaking White House memories–the death of my father’s boyhood friend and press secretary, Charlie Ross. Charlie went through high school with Harry Truman and went on to become a top-ranked Washington, D.C., reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. When my father turned to him for help in 1945, Charlie gave up a comfortable salary and rational hours for the ordeal of a White House in which clocks and sensible schedules ceased to exist. Five exhausting years later, during the frantic early months of the Korean War, when newsmen besieged the White House twenty-four hours a day, Charlie Ross collapsed and died of a heart attack at his desk. A weeping Harry Truman said the country had lost a great public servant–and he had lost his best friend.
That memory leads us to another cadre of White House inhabitants, although many presidents and their families might be reluctant to bestow that title on them: the men and women of the media. They, too, participate in the aura of the White House–to the point where they sometimes act as if they run the place. I had a vivid reminder of this mind-set when I came to the White House to talk with Hillary Clinton in 1994 about my book in progress, First Ladies.
A badly misinformed White House policeman told me to enter the mansion through the press briefing room in the West Wing. The minute I stepped through the doorway, a half dozen reporters surrounded me. Why was I there? To advise Hillary on how to improve her performance as First Lady? What did I think of Hillary’s latest hairstyle? Should she hold more press conferences ^ la Eleanor Roosevelt, or fewer ^ la Bess Truman (who held none at all)? I smiled sweetly and said “No comment” to these attempts to get me to put my foot in my mouth.”


Margaret Truman (17 februari 1924 – 29 januari 2008)
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De Britse schrijfster Ruth Rendell werd geboren als Ruth Grasemann in Londen op 17 februari 1930. Zie ook alle tags voor Ruth Rendell op dit blog.

Uit: Harm Done

“If she had been, well, a different sort of girl, Wexford wouldn’t have paid so much attention. If she had been more like her friends. He hesitated about the phrase he used even in his own mind, for he liked to keep to his personal brand of political correctness in his thoughts as well as his speech. Not to be absurd about it, not to use ridiculous expressions like intellectually challenged, but not to be insensitive either and call a girl such as Lizzie Cromwell mentally handicapped or retarded. Besides, she wasn’t either of those things, she could read and write, more or less, she had a certain measure of independence and went about on her own. In daylight, at any rate. But she wasn’t fit just the same to be left alone after dark on a lonely road. Come to that, what girl was?
So he thought she was dead. Murdered by someone. What he had seen of Colin Crowne he hadn’t much liked, but he had no reason to suspect him of killing his stepdaughter. True, some years before he married Debbie Cromwell, Crowne had been convicted of assault on a man outside a pub, and he had another conviction for taking and driving away — in other words, stealing — a car. But what did all that amount to? Not much. It was more likely that someone had stopped and offered Lizzie a lift.
“Would she accept a lift from a stranger?” Vine had asked Debbie Crowne.
“Sometimes it’s hard to make her like understand things,” Lizzie’s mother had said. “She’ll sort of say yes and no and smile — she smiles a lot, she’s a happy kid — but you don’t know if it’s like sunk in. Do you, Col?”
“I’ve told her never talk to strangers,” said Colin Crowne. “I’ve told her till I’m blue in the face, but what do I get? A smile and a nod and another smile, then she’ll just say something else, something loony, like the sun’s shining or what’s for tea.”
“Not loony, Col,” said the mother, obviously hurt.
“You know what I mean.”
So when she had been gone three nights and it was the morning of the third day, Colin Crowne and the neighbors on either side of the Crownes on the Muriel Campden Estate started searching for Lizzie. Wexford had already talked to her friends and the driver of the bus she should have been on but hadn’t been on, and Inspector Burden and Sergeant Vine had talked to dozens of motorists who used that road daily around about that time. When the rain became torrential, which happened at about four in the afternoon, they called off the search for that day, but they were set to begin again at first light. Taking DC Lynn Fancourt with him, Wexford went over to Puck Road for another talk with Colin and Debbie Crowne.”

 
Ruth Rendell (Londen, 17 februari 1930)
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De Russische dichter en schrijver Fjodor Sologoeb  (eig. Fjodor Koezmitsj Teternikov) werd geboren in Sint-Petersburg op 17 februari 1863. Zie ook alle tags voor Fjodor Sologoeb op dit blog.

The Sacred World’s Unquestioned

The sacred world’s unquestioned Pharaoh –
I filled it with my spirit’s breath
And shall not ever have a hero
Nor in the heavens nor on earth.

I’ll hold in secret that I breed on
My own sacramental light;
And toil like slave, but for my freedom,
I call for darkness, peace and night.

 

I Composed These Rhythmical Sounds

I composed these rhythmical sounds
To make lesser the thrust of my soul,
And to draw the heart’s endless wounds,
In the sea where the silver strings roll,

To make sound, like nightingales’ ode,
My poor dream’s ever beautiful voice,
And to force the song’s smile from lips closed
And blazed on by long sadness and loss.

 
Fjodor Sologoeb (17 februari 1863 – 5 december 1927)

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 17e februari ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.

 

Emmy Hennings, Mori Ōgai, Gustavo Bécquer, Georg Britting, Andrew Paterson, Margaret Truman, Ruth Rendell, Fjodor Sologoeb

De Duitse dichteres, schrijfster en caberetiere Emmy Hennings werd geboren op 17 februari 1885 in Flensburg. Zie ook alle tags voor Emmy Hennings op dit blog.

After the Cabaret

I see the early morning sun
At five a.m. I homeward stroll.
The lights still burn in my hotel.
The cabaret is finally done.
In shadows children hunker down.
The farmers bring their goods to town.
You go to church, silent and old
grave sound of church-bells in the air,
and then a girl with untamed hair
wanders up all blear and cold:
“Love me, free of every sin.
Look, I’ve kept watch many nights .”

 

Untitled

And nighttime when there is no light
and pictures fall right off the walls,
then someone laughs so big and bright
Someone’s long hands grab for me
And then a lady with green hair
who looks at me so very sad —
she was once a mother she swears.
She cannot bear the weight of pain
(I press the thorns into my heart
and then stop full of peace,
and I will suffer every hurt
it’s what is asked of me.)

 

Vertaald door Howard A. Landman

 
Emmy Hennings (17 februari 1885 – 10 augustus 1948)
Portret door Alexander Graf, 1951

Lees verder “Emmy Hennings, Mori Ōgai, Gustavo Bécquer, Georg Britting, Andrew Paterson, Margaret Truman, Ruth Rendell, Fjodor Sologoeb”

Chaim Potok, Mori Ōgai, Gustavo Bécquer, Georg Britting, Andrew Paterson, Margaret Truman

De Amerikaanse schrijver Chaim Potok werd geboren in New York City op 17 februari 1929. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2007 Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2010.

 

Uit: My name is Asher Lev

 

My father’s great-great-grandfather was in his early years the manager of the vast estates of a carousing Russian nobleman who when drunk sometimes killed serfs; once, in an act of wild drunkenness, he burned down a village and people died. You see how a goy behaves, I would be told by my father and mother. The people of the sitra achra behave this way. They are evil and from the Other Side. Jews do not behave this way. My father’s great-great-grandfather had transformed those estates into a source of immense wealth for his employer as well as himself. In his middle years, he began to travel. Why did he travel so much? I would ask. To do good deeds and bring the Master of the Universe into the world, my father would respond. To find people in need and to comfort and help them, my mother would say. I was told about him so often during my very early years that he began to appear quite frequently in my dreams: a man of mythic dimensions, tall, dark-bearded, powerful of mind and body; a brilliant entrepreneur; a beneficent supporter of academies of learning; a legendary traveler, and author of the Hebrew work Journeys to Distant Lands. That great man would come to me in my dreams and echo my father’s queries about the latest bare wall I had decorated and the sacred margins I had that day filled with drawings. It was no joy waking up after a dream about that man. He left a taste of thunder in my mouth.

My father’s father, the man whose name I bear, was a scholar and recluse in his early and middle years, a dweller in the study halls of synagogues and academies. He was never described to me, but I pictured him as slight of body and huge of head, with eyelids swollen from lack of sleep, face pale, lips dry, the veins showing blue along his cheeks and temples. In his youth, he earned the name “ilui,” genius, a term not lightly bestowed by the Jews of Eastern Europe. And by the time he was twenty he had come to be known as the Genius of Mozyr, after the Russian town in which he lived. Shortly before his fiftieth birthday, he abruptly and mysteriously left Mozyr and, with his wife and children, journeyed to Ladov and became a member of the Russian Hasidic sect led by the Rebbe of Ladov. He began to travel throughout the Soviet Union as an emissary of the Rebbe. Why did he travel so much? I once asked. To bring the Master of the Universe into the world, my father replied.“

 

 

Chaim Potok (17 februari 1929 – 23 juli 2002)

 

 

Lees verder “Chaim Potok, Mori Ōgai, Gustavo Bécquer, Georg Britting, Andrew Paterson, Margaret Truman”

Shahrnush Parsipur, Sadegh Hedayat, Mo Yan,Yevgeni Grishkovetz, Frederik Hetmann, Emmy Hennings, Chaim Potok, Gustavo Bécquer

De Iraanse schrijfster Shahrnush Parsipur werd geboren op 17 februari 1946 in Teheran. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2009.

 

Uit: Touba and the Meaning of Night (Vertaald door Kamran Talattof and Havva Houshmand)

 

„He remembered the chaos of war in the city of Herat, and the flood of deserters, the hunger, and the inflated food prices. He remembered how he had thought that if only he could spread his body on the earth so it would cover these four walls, if only he could for one second take her with love and aggressiveness, then all wars would end. People would become calm. They would look after their own business, and there would never be famine. And after that loving domination, he would have only to give orders, and the lady would submit. She might give birth, she might not; she might bear fruit, she might not. Whether the sky poured rain or not, everything would be at his command.

When his father died after a long illness, he was left with the responsibility for the many women in the family, those who did their weaving in the basement of the house. They were from the city of Kashan, where weaving was a tradition. His brothers were all in the carpet business, but he had turned to the sciences. Every time he entered the house and announced his arrival by invoking the name of God, the women would run to different corners to cover their hair. Haji enjoyed their imposed silence when he was there, and, without knowing how or why, he cared for their affairs. He would arrange for the girls’ marriages and find wives for their sons. In order to take care of everyone’s needs he spent his own youth without a wife. Unknowingly, he had married the lady earth. And though he did not confess it, he feared her. He was afraid of her chaotic laws and her famines. At the age of fifty when he finally married his illiterate wife, he actually enjoyed her ignorance and simplicity. A single sharp glance was enough to put the woman in her place, and the turning wheel of life’s activity continued.

After the incident of the Englishman, having paced the yard of his home for many long days, Haji Adib finally came to the conclusion that women do eventually lose their innocence. In fact, the lady was never asleep, nor even half asleep. Rather, she was always awake and spinning in frenzy. It was just this turning that caused the seasons to follow one another, floods to occur, and droughts to descend. The rhythmic sound of the shuttle comb on the loom now implied something different.“

 

Parsipur

Shahrnush Parsipur (Teheran, 17 februari 1946)

 

De Iraanse schrijver Sadegh Hedayat werd geboren op 17 februari 1903 in Teheran. Hij stamde uit een adelijke familie met groot aanzien. Zijn oergrootvader Mirza Reza Qoli Khan Hedayat was een beroemde geschiedschrijver, dicher en opvoeder van prinsen in het Iran van de 19e eeuw. Hedayat bezocht het gymnasium in Teheran, maar hij moest deze na een jaar wegens een oogziekte al weer verlaten. Hij bezocht daarna de Franse missieschool St. Louis, waar hij de Franse taal en literatuur leerde kennen. Hij begon later aan diverse studies in Frankrijk. Depressief en vol twijfels aan zichzelf deed hij in 1929 een zelfmoordpoging in de rivier de Marne. Deze mislukte echter. Zonder zijn studies te voltooien keerde hij naar Iran terug en had hij allelei baantjes voordat hij weer naar Frankrijk terug ging. Hij bleef zijn hele leven de westerse literatuur bestuderen als ook de Iraanse geschiedenis en folklore. Hij publiceerde talrijke short stories, novellen, een toneelstuk, twee historische drama’s, satires en kritieken. Zijn belanrijkste boek is wel „De blinde uil“ uit 1937.

 

Uit: Myth of Creation (Vertaald door Ali Sadri)

 

„In the middle of an elaborate assembly O is seated on a throne shrouded with jewels. He is an old man leaning lazily against gold-threaded pillows covered with precious stones. He has a long beard, silver hair, round spectacles and is warring loose clothing also covered with jewels. A black slave holding an umbrella stands over him while a fair-skinned young maiden fans him.

The four archangels stand at attention encircling the throne. On the right stand Gabriel and Michael while on the left Izrael and Raphael. All except Izrael are dressed like Roman soldiers fully equipped with suits of armor, shields, helmets, and knee-high boots; their long swords hanging from their waists, and their wings resting on their backs. Izrael on the other hand, his face resembling death, hangs a long, black cloak on his back and instead of a sword, holds a sickle in his hand.

Behind them a group of mermaids and virgins with tight-fitting head-covers gaze at the assembly and the slaves in turn gawk at the virgins with lustful eyes. In one corner of the room Lucifer stands erect with exaggeratingly arched eyebrows and pointed beard wearing a red cloak, coned hat, and a wide heavy sword on his belt.

In the middle of the room, the provocatively dressed virgins sing and dance moving sinuously about. One in a translucent dress dances flirtatiously and sidesteps towards the throne. O takes out a coin from his belt and throws it to her. The musicians and the jesters stop simultaneously as O half rises from his throne and gives the be-silent signal. He produces a piece of paper from his side and begins to read.

“Behold, this is the truth and nothing but the truth,” he swallows. “In spite of old age and infirmity, I’ve been busy for the past few days. The first day I created light, then I created the earth, then the sky, then the sea, rocks, mud, etc.” He pauses for a breath. “Now I would like to demonstrate my power and leave behind an everlasting legacy. From my will, shall roam upon earth–which is a member of the solar system–multitude of beasts that will be governed by Adam. From mud, I shall make Adam and the beasts.”

 

sadegh_hedayat_01

Sadegh Hedayat (17 februari 1903 – 9 april 1951)

 

De Chinese schrijver Mo Yan werd geboren op 17 februari 1955 in Gaomi in de provincie Shandong. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2009.

 

Uit: Frog (Vertaald door Howard Goldblatt)

 

„Sir, I was the second child my midwife aunt delivered.

When my mother’s time came, my grandmother did what tradition called for her to do: She washed her hands, changed clothes, and lit three sticks of incense, which she stuck in a burner in front of the ancestral tablets. Then she kowtowed three times and sent all the males in the family outside. It was not my mother’s first delivery: two boys and a girl preceded me. You’re an old hand at this, my grandmother said, you don’t need any help. Just take your time. My mother replied: Mother, I don’t feel so good about this one, there’s something different. My grandmother wouldn’t hear of it. How different can it be? she said. You don’t expect to have a unicorn, do you?

My mother’s feeling did not betray her. My brothers and sister all came out headfirst. Me? Leg first.

My grandmother was scared witless when she saw that tiny calf of mine emerge. There’s a popular saying in the countryside that goes: If a leg is foremost, then you owe a ghost. Owe a ghost? What does that mean? It means that someone in the family had an outstanding debt in a previous life, and that the person owed returns as a newborn baby intent on making life hard on the woman in labor. Either mother and child die together or the child hangs around till a certain age, then dies, leaving the family destitute and devastated. So Grandma tried her best to appear calm. This one, she said, is born to run – a lackey. He’ll grow up to be an official’s go-fer. Now, don’t worry, she said, I know just what to do. She went out into the yard, where she picked up a copper basin, brought it back inside, stood at the foot of the bed, and beat it like a cymbal with a rolling pin – Bong! Bong! Come out, she shouted, come out now! Lao ye wants you to deliver a feathered urgent message, so you’re in for a whipping if you don’t come out right this minute!

Sensing that something was seriously wrong, Mother tapped on the window with the bed whisk and shouted to my sister, who was waiting anxiously out in the yard, Man – my sister’s name – go fetch your aunt, and hurry!“

 

MoYan

Mo Yan (Gaomi, 17 februari 1955)

 

De Russische schrijver, regisseur en acteur Yevgeni Grishkovetz werd geboren op 17 februari 1969 in Kemerovo. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2009.

Uit: Das Hemd (Vertaald door Beate Rausch)

 

„Autos fuhren vorüber. Viele! Ich hob die Hand. Ein Taxi hielt.
»Guten Abend. Zur Ostoschenka?« fragte ich und musterte Auto und Fahrer. ›In Ordnung‹, dachte ich.
»Bitte sehr«, sagte der kräftige Mann am Steuer. Er hatte langes Haar, war glattrasiert und trug eine runde Brille. Er hatte einen hellen Pullover an. Er lächelte.
»Wissen Sie, wie man da hinkommt?«
»Sie werden es nicht glauben! Das weiß ich!« antwortete er. »Da mußte ich schon öfter hin. So ungefähr …«, er tat so, als würde er es überschlagen und im Kopf rechnen, »eine Million Mal.«
Ich nahm auf dem Rücksitz Platz, und wir fuhren los. Der Fahrer schaltete Musik ein. Nicht laut, sondern … angenehm. Er hatte eine gute Anlage im Auto, das hörte man an der Klangqualität. Er hatte irgendeinen Jazz eingelegt. Ich verstehe nichts davon … von Jazz. Für mich ist das eine einzige endlose und verschlungene Komposition. Aber jetzt war es angenehm. Ich schloß leicht die Augen, dadurch zerfielen die Lichter der Stadt und der Autos ringsum und wurden zu langen Strahlen. Und da – das Taxi, die Lichtstreifen, der Jazz, der langhaarige Fahrer mit seiner runden Brille, der Geruch des Wagens, ich werde beschattet … Amerika!!!
»Stört Sie die Musik? Soll ich vielleicht leiser stellen?« fragte der Fahrer. »Nur das Radio mach ich nicht an. Ich höre kein Radio.«
»Alles wunderbar! Mir gefällt’s. Danke«, antwortete ich.
»Wenn Sie rauchen wollen, bitte, aber Radio auf keinen Fall!« Er hatte eine tiefe und sehr angenehme Stimme.
»Danke, ich rauche nicht. Aber was haben Sie denn gegen Radio?«
 

grishkovetz

Yevgeni Grishkovetz (Kemerovo, 17 februari 1969)

 

De Duitse schrijver Frederik Hetmann (eig. Hans-Christian Kirsch) werd geboren op 17 februari 1934 in Breslau. Hij groeide op in Neder-Silezië, vluchtte na de oorlog eerst naar Thüringen en in 1949 naar het westen. Hij studeerde in Frankfurt am Main, München en  Madrid pedagogie, Engels, Romanistiek, filosofie en politicologie. Sinds 1962 werkte hij als zelfstandig schrijver. In 1972 werd hij lector en uitgever bij de Otto-Maier-Verlag, maar dat beroep gaf hij zes jaar later al weer op om zich aan het schrijven te wijden. Hij werd bekend met zijn verzamelingen en vertalingen van sprookjes, mythen en sagen en zijn biografieën. Ook schreef hij roman in het fantasy-genre.

 

Uit: Reisender mit schwerem Gepäck. Leben und Werk des Walter Benjamin

 

„Eine zentrale Frage im Werk Benjamins, die wahrscheinlich auch in nachdenklicheren Stunden eines jeden, der diese Zeilen liest, schon einmal aufgetaucht ist, lautet: Was lässt sich über den Verlauf der Geschichte sagen? Oder, um es konkreter auszudrücken: Hat die Menschheit, deren Teil wir alle sind, trotz aller Kriege und anderer Gewalttaten noch eine Zukunft? Und welches wären die Voraussetzungen, um als Zeitgenossen in der Gegenwart zu einer Zukunft, in der es für den Menschen noch Hoffnung auf ein Leben ohne Not und Verfolgung geben sollte, beizutragen?

Benjamins Vorschlag dazu ist es – und diesem Thema gilt ein Hauptstrang seines Denkens, bei dem er kurz vor seinem tragischen Ende noch zu entscheidenden Aussagen gelangte – auf eine ganz bestimmte Art und Weise, die Vergangenheit zu betrachten und aus dieser Betrachtung Konsequenzen für die Gegenwart und die Zukunft zu ziehen.

Wir werden sehen, wie er entdeckt und darstellt, dass die Wurzeln für die Probleme des 20. und auch des 21. Jahrhunderts sich schon im 19. Jahrhundert abzeichnen und dort vor allem in der Fortschrittsgläubigkeit und in der Verherrlichung und Glorifizierung der Warenwelt liegen. Waren werden seither zu einem Fetisch. Dass Waren nicht mehr nur allein zur Befriedigung eines Lebensbedürfnisses oder eines Wunsches dienen, sondern selbst zu magisch verklärten Gegenständen geworden sind, ist heute für jeden selbst einsichtig, der auch nur für eine

Viertelstunde die Werbung im Fernsehen anschaut. Also wäre das eine trivialselbstverständliche

Einsicht? Für uns ist es das wohl geworden. Komplizierter wird es schon, wenn man sich fragt, wie es zu dieser Verzauberung der Warenwelt gekommen ist und welche Konsequenzen sie hat.

Man hat gesagt, Benjamins Bedeutung als Philosoph habe in seiner Fähigkeit bestanden, zwei scheinbar so weit von einander entfernt liegende philosophische Systeme wie das des Marxismus und das der jüdischen Mystik zu einer offenen Philosophie der Zukunft zu verbinden. Man kann dies, je nach eigenem Standpunkt, positiv oder negativ deuten, und man hat es getan.“

 

hetmann_t

Frederik Hetmann (17 februari 1934 – 1 juni 2006)

 

De Duitse dichteres, schrijfster en caberetiere Emmy Hennings werd geboren op 17 februari 1885 in Flensburg. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2009.

 

Nach dem Cabaret

 

Ich gehe morgens früh nach Haus.

Die Uhr schlägt fünf, es wird schon hell,

Doch brennt das Licht noch im Hotel.

Das Cabaret ist endlich aus.

In einer Ecke Kinder kauern,

Zum Markte fahren schon die Bauern,

Zur Kirche geht man still und alt.

Vom Turme läuten ernst die Glocken,

Und eine Dirne mit wilden Locken

Irrt noch umher, übernächtig und kalt.

Lieb mich von allen Sünden rein.

Sieh, ich hab manche Nacht gewacht.

 

 

Gesang zur Dämmerung

für Hugo Ball

 

Oktaven taumeln Echo nach durch graue Jahre.

Hochaufgetürmte Tage stürzen ein.

Dein will ich sein –

Im Grabe wachsen meine gelben Haare

Und in Holunderbäumen leben fremde Völker

Ein blasser Vorhang raunt von einem Mord

Zwei Augen irren ruhelos durchs Zimmer

Gepenster gehen um beim Küchenbord.

Und kleine Tannen sind verstorbene Kinder

Uralte Eichen sind die Seelen müder Greise

Die flüstern die Geschichte des verfehlten Lebens.

Der Klintekongensee singt eine alte Weise.

Ich war nicht vor dem bösen Blick gefeit

Da krochen Neger aus der Wasserkanne,

Das bun
te Bild im Märchenbuch, die rote Hanne

Hat einst verzaubert mich für alle Ewigkeit.

 

HenningsBall

Emmy Hennings (17 februari 1885 – 10 augustus 1948)
Hier met haar echtgenoot Hugo Bal

 

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Chaim Potok werd geboren in New York City op 17 februari 1929. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2007 Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2009.

 

Uit: The Chosen

 

Danny’s block was heavily populated by the followers of his father, Russian Hasidic Jews in somber garb, whose habits and frames of reference were born on the soil of the land they had abandoned. They drank tea from samovars, sipping it slowly through cubes of sugar held between their teeth; they ate the foods of their homeland, talked loudly, occasionally in Russian, most often in a Russian Yiddish, and were fierce in their loyalty to Danny’s father.
A block away lived another Hasidic sect, Jews from southern Poland, who walked the Brooklyn streets like specters, with their black hats, long black coats, black beards, and earlocks. These Jews had their own rabbi, their own dynastic ruler, who could trace his family’s position of rabbinic leadership back to the time of the Ba’al Shem Tov, the eighteenth-century founder of Hasidism, whom they all regarded as a God-invested personality.
About three or four such Hasidic sects populated the area in which Danny and I grew up, each with its own rabbi, its own little synagogue, its own customs, it own fierce loyalties. On a Shabbat or festival morning, the members of each sect could be seen walking to their respective synagogues, dressed in their particular garb, eager to pray with their particular rabbi and forget the tumult of the week and the hungry grabbing for money which they needed to feed their large families during the seemingly endless Depression. The sidewalks of Williamsburg were cracked squares of cement, the streets paved with asphalt that softened in the stifling summers and broke apart into potholes in the bitter winters. Many of the houses were brownstones, set tightly together, none taller than three or four stories. In these houses lived Jews, Irish, Germans, and some Spanish Civil War refugee families that had fled the new Franco regime before the onset of the Second World War. Most of the stores were run by gentiles, but some were owned by Orthodox Jews, members of the Hasidic sects in the area. They could be seen behind their counters, wearing black skullcaps, full beards, and long earlocks, eking out their meager livelihoods and dreaming of Shabbat and festivals when they could close their stores and turn their attention to their
prayers, their rabbi, their God.“

 

Potok

Chaim Potok (17 februari 1929 – 23 juli 2002)

 

De Spaanse dichter Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer werd op 17 februari 1836 in Sevilla geboren. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2009.

 

A Light
(Rima LXXI)

 

Do you not see something
shining and weeping
faraway amid the trees
of the intricate woods? It’s a star.

 

Now nearer it appears
visible as if through tulle,
shining on the portico
of the hermitage. It’s a light.

 

This fast race is run.
Disillusionment. The light
we have followed is neither
lamp nor star. It’s a candle.

 

 

Vertaald door Michael Smith

 

 

 

Rhyme LII. The dark-winged swallows will return…

The dark-winged swallows will return
to hang their nests beneath your eaves,
and before your windows once again
beckon with their wings;

but those whose flight restrained
your beauty and my joy to learn,
those who came to know our names…
those…will not return!

The twining honeysuckles will return
your garden walls to climb
and on another afternoon, more lovely still,
again their flowers will bloom;

but those with sparkling drops of dew,
which we’d watch trembling, yearn
and fall, like teardrops of the day…
those…will not return!

From love will come once more the sound
of burning words to ring;
your heart from within its
soundest sleep
perhaps will rise again;

but mute, entranced and kneeling down
as adoring God before His throne,
as I have loved you…accept the truth!
they will not love you so!

 

Becquer

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (17 februari 1836 – 22 december 1870)
Portret, geschilderd door zijn broer Valeriano Bécquer

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 17e februari ook mijn vorige twee blogs van vandaag.

 

Shahrnush Parsipur, Yevgeni Grishkovetz, Mo Yan, Emmy Hennings, Chaim Potok, Gustavo Bécquer, Georg Britting, Andrew Paterson, Ruth Rendell, Pêr-Jakez Helias, Fjodor Sologoeb, Friedrich Klinger, Louisa Lawson, Max Schneckenburger

De Iraanse schrijfster Shahrnush Parsipur werd geboren op 17 februari 1946 in Teheran. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2008.

Uit: The Story of the Men of Sialk Hills

The Sialk Hills civilization had many members. One of these was a man who played the tar and loved his profession very much. This man’s house was located on the western side of the hill. To the right of it was the house of a bearded man. And to the left of his house lived a man who shaved his beard. They were not friends, but they always greeted each other when they met on the street. The tar player had a girlfriend who always reminded him that she was a decent girl. The tar player knew that she was a decent girl, too. That is why he had decided to marry her one of these days. For this reason, he had bought a set of porcelain chimes and had hung them outside his house so when the wind blew they played a nice tune. As a result, the girl came to see him one day and said that they were showing a film that had won international acclaim in a movie theater in the downtown area. She said that it would be nice if they too could go and see it. Then they argued for awhile that since they were not married yet, they might get arrested if they walked together on the street and that they should think of a solution or a trick. This was easily done. The tar player asked his father to lend him his wedding ring, and the girl borrowed her mother’s ring. Then they started walking toward the cinema together.

There was a huge crowd before the theater. On the marquee above the theater door, they had hung the film posters. “The Sad Life Story of the Sufferers,” was written in blinking neon. The tar player had forgotten his glasses. He asked the girl to read him the director’s name. The girl read, “A film by Edward Muntz, the Great Director Who Is Either Dead or Will Be Born in the Future and Die Sometime Afterwards.”

Parsipur

Shahrnush Parsipur (Teheran, 17 februari 1946)

 

De Russische schrijver, regisseur en acteur Yevgeni Grishkovetz werd geboren op 17 februari 1969 in Kemerovo. Daar studeerde hij ook Russische filologie en richtte hij in 1990 het theaterensemble Loge op, waarmee hij in de volgende jaren meer dan twintig stukken ontwikkelde, voortgekomen uit gesprekken en improvisaties met de groep. In 1998 ontstond zijn solostuk Hoe ik een hond gegeten heb dat zijn premiere beleefde tijdens het Internationale Theaterfestival in Moskou.

Uit: Das Hemd (Vertaald door Beate Rausch)

»Sie werden es nicht glauben! Das weiß ich!« antwortete er. »Da mußte ich schon öfter hin. So ungefähr …«, er tat so, als würde er es überschlagen und im Kopf rechnen, »eine Million Mal.«

Ich nahm auf dem Rücksitz Platz, und wir fuhren los. Der Fahrer schaltete Musik ein. Nicht laut, sondern … angenehm. Er hatte eine gute Anlage im Auto, das hörte man an der Klangqualität. Er hatte irgendeinen Jazz eingelegt. Ich verstehe nichts davon … von Jazz. Für mich ist das eine einzige endlose und verschlungene Komposition. Aber jetzt war es angenehm. Ich schloß leicht die Augen, dadurch zerfielen die Lichter der Stadt und der Autos rin
gsum und wurden zu langen Strahlen. Und da – das Taxi, die Lichtstreifen, der Jazz, der langhaarige Fahrer mit seiner runden Brille, der Geruch des Wagens, ich werde beschattet … Amerika!!!

»Stört Sie die Musik? Soll ich vielleicht leiser stellen?« fragte der Fahrer. »Nur das Radio mach ich nicht an. Ich höre kein Radio.«

»Alles wunderbar! Mir gefällt’s. Danke«, antwortete ich.

»Wenn Sie rauchen wollen, bitte, aber Radio auf keinen Fall!« Er hatte eine tiefe und sehr angenehme Stimme.

»Danke, ich rauche nicht. Aber was haben Sie denn gegen Radio?«

Ich dachte, er würde vermutlich antworten, daß er keine Kraft habe, diese schreckliche Musik zu hören, die immer gesendet werde, oder daß die Nachrichten alle negativ seien, wozu sie anhören, wo das Leben auch so schon scheußlich sei. Aber ich bekam eine ganz andere Antwort zu hören.

»Ich mag Radio nicht, ich höre kein Radio. Ich rege mich immer so auf! Ich habe das Gefühl, etwas zu verpassen. Es gibt so viele Radiosender! Und genau diese Vielzahl beunruhigt mich.”

Grishkovetz

Yevgeni Grishkovetz (Kemerovo, 17 februari 1969 )

 

De Chinese schrijver Mo Yan werd geboren op 17 februari 1955 in Gaomi in de provincie Shandong. Mo Yan is een van China’s grootste moderne schrijvers. Op 20-jarige leeftijd ging hij bij het Volks Bevrijdings Leger waar hij al snel zijn schrijversambities kon ontplooien. Van zijn talrijke publicaties zijn ‘Het rode korenveld’, ‘De knoflookliederen’ en ‘De wijnrepubliek’ een paar van zijn meest vertaalde en sucesvolle romans. Op latere leeftijd verliet hij het Volks Bevrijdings Leger omdat hij het niet meer eens was met de Partij. Ondanks dat hij probeert kunst en politiek gescheiden te houden, dus geen stelling in zijn boeken te nemen, sijpelt iets van zijn kritiek door in zijn schrijven. Werd in 1986  ‘Het rode korenveld’ als het beste boek gekozen door lezers van het in Bejing uitgegeven ‘People’s literature’, zijn daarna verschenen romans ‘De wijnrepubliek’ en ‘Grote borsten, brede heupen’ zijn verboden in de Volksrepubliek China.

Uit: Shifu, You’ll Do Anything for a Laugh (Vertaald door Howard Goldbaltt)

„Ding Shikou, or Ten Mouth Ding, had worked at the Municipal Farm Equipment Factory for forty-three years and was a month away from mandatory retirement age when he was abruptly laid off. Now if you put shi (+), the word for ten, inside a kou (??), the word for mouth, you get the word tian (??), for field. The family name Ding can mean a strapping young man. As long as a strapping young man has a field to tend, he’ll never have to worry about having food on the table and clothes on his back. That was his farmer father’s cherished wish for his son when he named him. But Ding Shikou was not destined to own land; instead he found work in a factory, which led to a far better life than he’d have had as a farmer. He was enormously grateful to the society that had brought him so much happiness, and was determined to pay it back through hard work. Decades of exhausting labor had bent him over, and even though he wasn’t yet sixty, he had the look of a man in his seventies.

One morning, like all other workday mornings, he rode to the factory on his 1960s black and obstinate, clunky Grand Defense bicycle, which presented quite a sight among all the sleek lightweight bikes on the street. Young cyclists, male and female, first gave him curious stares, then steered clear of him, the way a fancy sedan gets out of the way of a lumbering tank. As soon as he pedaled through the factory gate, he saw a group of people clustered around the bulletin board. The voices of a couple of women rose above the general buzz, like hens about to lay eggs. His heart fluttered as he realized that what the workers feared most had finally happened.“

 

Mo_Yan

Mo Yan (Gaomi, 17 februari 1955)

 

De Duitse dichteres, schrijfster en caberetiere Emmy Hennings werd geboren op 17 februari 1885 in Flensburg. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2008.

Ich bin so vielfach

Ich bin so vielfach in den Nächten,
Ich steige aus den dunklen Schächten.
Wie bunt entfaltet sich mein Anderssein.

So selbstverloren in dem Grunde,
Nachtwache ich, bin Traumesrunde
Und Wunder aus dem Heiligenschrein.

Es öffnen sich mir viele Pforten.
Bin ich nicht da? Bin ich nicht dorten?
Bin ich entstiegen einem Märchenbuch?

Vielleicht geht ein Gedicht in ferne Weiten,
Vielleicht verwehen meine Vielfachheiten,
Ein einsam flatternd, blasses Fahnentuch

 

Tänzerin

Dir ist als ob ich schon gezeichnet wäre
Und auf der Totenliste stünde.
Es hält mich ab von mancher Sünde.
Wie langsam ich am Leben zehre.
Und ängstlich sind oft meine Schritte,
Mein Herz hat einen kranken Schlag
Und schwächer wird’s mit jedem Tag.
Ein Todesengel steht in meines Zimmers Mitte.
Doch tanz ich bis zur Atemnot.
Bald werde ich im Grabe liegen
Und niemand wird sich an mich schmiegen.
Ach, küssen will ich bis zum Tod.

EMMY_HENNINGS

Emmy Hennings (17 februari 1885 – 10 augustus 1948)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Chaim Potok werd geboren in New York City op 17 februari 1929. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2007 Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2008.

 

Uit: My name is Asher Lev

 

My name is Asher Lev, the Asher Lev, about whom you have read in newspapers and magazines, about whom you talk so much at your dinner affairs and cocktail parties, the notorious and legendary Lev of the Brooklyn Crucifixion.
I am an observant Jew. Yes, of course, observant Jews do not paint crucifixions. As a matter of fact, observant Jews do not paint at all–in the way that I am painting. So strong words are being written and spoken about me, myths are being generated: I am a traitor, an apostate, a self-hater, an inflicter of shame upon my family, my friends, my people; also, I am a mocker of ideas sacred to Christians, a blasphemous manipulator of modes and forms revered by Gentiles for two thousand years.
Well, I am none of those things. And yet, in all honesty, I confess that my accusers are not altogether wrong: I am indeed, in some way, all of those things.
The fact is that gossip, rumors, mythmaking, and news stories are not appropriate vehicles for the communication of nuances of truth, those subtle tonalities that are often the truly crucial elements in a causal chain. So it is time for the defense, for a long session in demythology. But I will not apologize. It is absurd to apologize for a mystery.
And that is what it has been all along–a mystery, of the sort theologians have in mind when they talk about concepts like wonder and awe. Certainly it began as a mystery, for nowhere in my family background was there any indication that I might have come into the world with a unique and disquieting gift. My father was able to trace his family line down through the centuries to the time of the Black Death in 1347, whichdestroyed about half the population of Europe.

 

Potok

Chaim Potok (17 februari 1929 – 23 juli 2002)

 

De Spaanse dichter Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer werd op 17 februari 1836 in Sevilla geboren. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2008.

 

LYRICAL INTERMEZZO NO. 55

 

OFTEN when two are parting,

Each grasps a hand as friend;

And then begins a weeping

And a sighing without end.

 

 

We did not sigh when parting;

No tears between us fell;

The weeping and the sighing

Came after our farewell.

 

 

Vertaald door Chas. G. Leland

 

 

 

THE VIEWLESS ATOMS OF THE AIR

 

THE viewless atoms of the air

Around me palpitate and burn,

All heaven dissolves in gold, and earth

Quivers with new-found joy.

Floating on waves of harmony I hear

A stir of kisses, and a sweep of wings;

Mine eyelids close–“What pageant nears?”

“‘Tis Love that passes by!”

 

 

Vertaald door Mrs. Ward

 

Becquer

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (17 februari 1836 – 22 december 1870)
Portret, geschilderd door zijn broer Valeriano Bécquer

 

De Duitse dichter en schrijver Georg Britting werd op 17 februari 1891 geboren in Regensburg. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2007

Am offenen Fenster bei Hagelwetter

 Himmlisches Eis

Himmlisches Eis
sprang mir auf den Tisch,
rund, silberweiß,
schoß wie ein Fisch

weg von der Hand,
die’s greifen wollt,
schmolz und verschwand.
Blitzend wie Gold

blieb auf dem Holz
nur ein Tropfen dem Blick.
Mächtig die Sonne
sog ihn zurück.

 

Fröhlicher Regen              

Wie der Regen tropft, Regen tropft
an die Scheiben klopft!
Jeder Strauch ist naß bezopft.

Wie der Regen springt!
In den Blättern singt
eine Silberuhr.
Durch das Gras hin läuft,
wie eine Schneckenspur,
ein Streifen weiß beträuft.

Das stürmische Wasser schießt
in die Regentonne,
daß die überfließt,
und in breitem Schwall
auf den Weg bekiest
stürzt Fall um Fall.

Und der Regenriese,
der Blauhimmelhasser,
Silbertropfenprasser,
niesend faßt er in der Bäume Mähnen,
laustvoll schnaubend in dem herrlich
vielen Wasser.

Und er lacht mit fröhlich weißen Zähnen
und mit kugelrunden, nassen Freudentränen.

britting_georg

Georg Britting (7 februari 1891- 27 april 1964)

 

De Australische dichter Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson werd geboren op 17 februari 1864 in  Narambla in New South Wales. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2007

Australian Scenery

 

The Mountains
A land of sombre, silent hills, where mountain cattle go
By twisted tracks, on sidelings deep, where giant gum trees grow
And the wind replies, in the river oaks, to the song of the stream below.
A land where the hills keep watch and ward, silent and wide awake
As those who sit by a dead campfire, and wait for the dawn to break,
Or those who watched by the Holy Cross for the dead Redeemer’s sake.

A land where silence lies so deep that sound itself is dead
And a gaunt grey bird, like a homeless soul, drifts, noiseless, overhead
And the world’s great story is left untold, and the message is left unsaid.

The Plains
A land as far as the eye can see, where the waving grasses grow
Or the plains are blackened and burnt and bare, where the false mirages go
Like shifting symbols of hope deferred — land where you never know.
Land of plenty or land of want, where the grey Companions dance,
Feast or famine, or hope or fear, and in all things land of chance,
Where Nature pampers or Nature slays, in her ruthless, red, romance.

And we catch a sound of a fairy’s song, as the wind goes whipping by,
Or a scent like incense drifts along from the herbage ripe and dry
— Or the dust storms dance on their ballroom floor, where the bones of the cattle lie.

 

P

Andrew Paterson (17 februari 1864 – 5 april 1941)
Paterson op een Australisch $10 biljet

 

De Britse schrijfster Ruth Rendell werd geboren als Ruth Grasemann in Londen op 17 februari 1930. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 17 februari 2008.

 

Uit: A Sight for Sore Eyes

 

They were to hold hands and look at one another. Deeply, into each other’s eyes.
“It’s not a sitting,” she said. “It’s a standing. Why can’t I sit on his knee?”
He laughed. Everything she said amused or delighted him, everything about her captivated him from her dark red curly hair to her small white feet. The painter’s instructions were that he should look at her as if in love and she at him as if enthralled. This was easy, this was to act naturally.
“Don’t be silly, Harriet,” said Simon Alpheton. “The very idea! Have you ever seen a painting by Rembrandt called The Jewish Bride?”
They hadn’t. Simon described it to them as he began his preliminary sketch. “It’s a very tender painting, it expresses the protective love of the man for his young submissive bride. They’re obviously wealthy, they’re very richly dressed, but you can see that they’re sensitive, thoughtful people and they’re in love.”
“Like us. Rich and in love. Do we look like them?”
“Not in the least, and I don’t think you’d want to. Ideas of beauty have changed.”
“You could call it ‘The Red-haired Bride.’ ”
“She’s not your bride. I am going to call it ‘Marc and Harriet in Orcadia Place’–what else? Now would you just stop talking for a bit, Marc?

 

Rendell

Ruth Rendell (Londen, 17 februari 1930)

 

De Franse dichter, schrijver en acteur Pêr-Jakez Helias werd geboren op 17 februari 1914 in Pouldreuzig, Penn-ar-Bed. Helias verzamelde ook volksverhalen uit zijn geboortestreek. Hij schreef zowel in het Frans als in het Bretons. Zijn grootste succes was de roman Le Cheval d’orgueil uit 1975, in 1980 verfilmd door Claude Chabrol.

 

Uit: Le cheval d’orguei

 

” Trop pauvre que je suis pour posséder un autre animal, du moins ‘le Cheval d’Orgueil’ aura-t-il toujours une stalle dans mon écurie “. Ainsi parlait à l’auteur, son petit-fils, l’humble paysan Alain Le Goff qui n’avait d’autre terre que celle qu’il emportait malgré lui aux semelles de ses sabots de bois. ” Quand on est pauvre, mon fils, il faut avoir de l’honneur. Les riches n’en ont pas besoin. ” Et l’honneur consiste à tenir et à faire respecter son rang, si humble soit-il.L’auteur a grandi dans ce sentiment. Avant d’apprendre le français, il a été élevé en milieu bretonnant, dans une société qui vivait selon un code strictement établi. Il n’enseigne pas, il raconte minutieusement comment on vivait dans une “paroisse” bretonnante de l’extrême Ouest armoricain dans la première moitié de ce siècle. Il nous fait partager sa profonde conviction: ceux qui jugent les paysans comme des êtres grossiers sont eux-mêmes des esprits sommaires et naïfs. Il affirme que ce sont des siècles de mépris culturel qui ont fini par déclencher jacqueries et révo
ltes chez les paysans de notre pays. Et puis, un jour,”le Cheval d’Orgueil” a secoué furieusement sa crinière !“

 

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Pêr-Jakez Helias (17 februari 1914 – 13 augustus 1995)

 

De Russische dichter en schrijver Fjodor Sologoeb  (eig. Fjodor Koezmitsj Teternikov) werd geboren in Sint-Petersburg op 17 februari 1863. Van 1875 tot 1878 bezocht Sologoeb het Rozjdestvogymnasium. In juni 1882 studeerde hij af aan instituut van de Heilige Hilarion in Sint-Petersburg. en kreeg hij een betrekking in Kresttsy, een klein stadje in de provincie Novgorod. In 1891 vergezelde hij zijn zuster Olga, die zich voor een medische opleiding had ingeschreven, naar Sint-Petersburg. Hij ontmoette de dichter Minski, een ontmoeting die een grote ommekeer betekende in het leven van Sologoeb. Het was deze dichter die hem introduceerde in de Petersburgse literaire kringen.In 1892 vestigde Sologoeb zich tenslotte definitief in Sint-Petersburg, na tien jaar dienst in de provincie. Hij maakte er onder andere kennis met Dmitri Merezjkovski en diens vrouw Zanaida Gippius. Hij begon mee te werken aan het tijdschrift Severnyj Vestnik, het symbolistische tijdschrift bij uitstek. Een eerste gedicht van Fjodor Teternikov verscheen in het tweede nummer van 1892 en andere volgden in 1893. In 1892 begon hij aan zijn beroemdste werk Melki bes, die echter pas in 1905 zou verschijnen. Reeds in 1902 had hij het werk voltooid, maar tijdschriften weigerden het te publiceren omdat het te bijtend en te vreemd was. Uiteindelijk bleek het tijdschrift Voprosy zjizni (Levensvragen) bereid de roman te plaatsen. In 1907 werd de roman uiteindelijk in zijn geheel uitgegeven en direct haalde hij hoge verkoopcijfers. Reeds in 1909 waren er vijf drukken verschenen en werd het boek bewerkt tot een toneelstuk.

Devil’s Swing

Over the rushing river
Where shaggy fir-trees stand,
The devil himself is pushing
My swing with furry hand.

Pushing, he laughs away,
And up I go,
And down I go,
The seat creaks ominously,
The rope begins to fray,
Rubbing against a bough.

Prolonged the seat-board’s creaking,
As up and down it glides.
With wheezy laughter shaking,
The devil holds his sides.

l hang on, swinging, gliding,
As up I go,
And down I go,
Slithering, slipping, sliding,
My dizzy gaze avoiding
The devil down below.

Above the shady fir-tree,
A voice laughs from the blue:
“You’ve landed on the swing, see! –
Swing, and to hell with you!”

And in the shaggy fir-tree,
A raucous hullabaloo:
“You’ve landed on the swing, see! –
Swing, and to hell with you!”

The devil will not leave it,
The swing will fly apace
Till with a violent buffet
I’m swept clean off my place,

Until the last few strands
Of hemp snap finally,
Until my native land
Comes flying up at me.

I’ll soar above that fir-tree
And bang earth with my head.
So swing the swing on, devil,
Higher, higher… Aah!

Sologub

Fjodor Sologoeb  (17 februari 1863 – 5 december 1927)

 

De Duitse dichter en schrijver Friedrich Maximilian Klinger werd geboren op 17 februari 1752 in Frankfurt am Main. Zijn vader stierf vroeg en zijn moeder moest als was- en vroedvrouw het gezin onderhouden. Toch kon hij met financiële steun van de jonge Goethe het gymnasium bezoeken. Hij begon een studie rechten in Gießen, maar besloot na eerste successen als theaterschrijver de universiteit te verlaten. In 1780 werd hij eerst voorlezer, daarna officier in dienst van de Russische troonopvolger grootvorst Paul. Met hem maakte hij verschillende reizen door Europa. In 1776 verscheen onder de titel Der Wirrwarr zijn drama Sturm und Drang. Andere belangrijke werken uit die tijd zijn Zwillinge en Simsone Grisaldo.

 

Uit: Sturm und Drang

 

WILD. Heida! nun einmal in Tumult und Lärmen, daß die Sinnen herumfahren wie Dachfahnen beim Sturm. Das wilde Geräusch hat mir schon so viel Wohlsein entgegengebrüllt, daß mir’s würklich ein wenig anfängt besser zu werden. So viel Hundert Meilen gereiset um dich in vergessenden Lärmen zu bringen – Tolles Herz! du sollst mir’s danken! Ha! tobe und spanne dich dann aus, labe dich im Wirrwarr! – Wie ist’s euch?

BLASIUS. Geh zum Teufel! Kommt meine Donna nach?

LA FEU. Mach dir Illusion Narr! sollt mir nicht fehlen, sie von meinem Nagel in mich zu schlürfen, wie einen Tropfen Wasser. Es lebe die Illusion! – Ei! ei, Zauber meiner Phantasie, wandle in den Rosengärten von Phyllis’ Hand geführt –

WILD. Stärk dich Apoll närrischer Junge!

LA FEU. Es soll mir nicht fehlen, das schwarze verrauchte Haus gegenüber, mitsamt dem alten Turm, in ein Feenschloß zu verwandeln. Zauber, Zauber Phantasie! – Lauschend. Welch lieblich, geistige Symphonien treffen mein Ohr? – – Beim Amor! ich will mich in ein alt Weib verlieben, in einem alten, baufälligen Haus wohnen, meinen zarten Leib in stinkenden Mistlaken baden, bloß um meine Phantasie zu scheren. Ist keine alte Hexe da mit der ich scharmieren könnte? Ihre Runzeln sollen mir zu Wellenlinien der Schönheit werden; ihre herausstehende schwarze Zähne, zu marmornen Säulen an Dianens Tempel; ihre herabhangende lederne Zitzen, Helenens Busen übertreffen. Einen so aufzutrocknen, wie mich! – He meine phantastische Göttin! – Wild, ich kann dir sagen, ich hab mich brav gehalten die Tour her. Hab Dinge gesehen, gefühlt, die kein Mund geschmeckt, keine Nase gerochen, kein Aug gesehen, kein Geist erschwungen –.“

 

Klinger

Friedrich Maximilian Klinger (17 februari 1752 – 25 februari 1831)

 

De Australische dichteres, schrijfster, uitgeefster en suffragette Louisa Lawson werd geboren op 17 februari 1848 in Mudgee, New South Wales. In 1888 begon zij met het uitgeven van Dawn, het eerste Australische tijdschrift dat door uitsluitend vrouwen gemaakt werd. Het verscheen zeventien jaar lang en behield al die tijd een streng feministische lijn. Na haar pensionering in 1905 publiceerde Lawson The Lonely Crossing and Other Poems.

 

The Hill Of Death

 

No downward path to death we go

Through no dark shades or valleys low,

But up and on o’er rises bright

Toward the dawn of endless light.

 

For not in lowlands can we see

The path that was and that to be,

But on the height, just where the soul

Takes deeper breath to reach the goal.

 

There we can see the winding way

That we have journeyed all our day,

Then t
urn and view with spirits still

Our future home beyond the hill. 

 

lawson_louisa3

Louisa Lawson (17 februari 1848 – 12 augustus 1920)

 

De  Duitse dichter Max Schneckenburger werd geboren op 17 februari 1819 in Talheim bij Tuttlingen. Hij is vooral bekend gebleven als dichter van het lied Die Wacht am Rhein. Schneckenburger schreef het in 1840 toen Frankrijk de linkse Rijnoever bedreigde. Populair werd het echter pas tijdens de Frans-Duitse oorlog van 1870/71,  op muziek gezet door Karl Wilhelm. In de tijd van de Duitse keizers had het de status van – officieus – volkslied.

 

 

Die Wacht am Rhein (Fragment)


Es braust ein Ruf wie Donnerhall,
Wie Schwertgeklirr und Wogenprall:
Zum Rhein, zum Rhein, zum deutschen Rhein,
Wer will des Stromes Hüter sein?
Lieb’ Vaterland, magst ruhig sein,
Fest steht und treu die Wacht am Rhein!

Durch Hunderttausend zuckt es schnell,
Und aller Augen blitzen hell;
Der deutsche Jüngling, fromm und stark,
Beschirmt die heil’ge Landesmark.
Lieb’ Vaterland, magst ruhig sein,
Fest steht und treu die Wacht am Rhein!

 

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Max Schneckenburger (17 februari 1819 – 3 mei 1849)