Yann Martel, Rob van Essen, George Orwell, Michel Tremblay, Nicholas Mosley, Ingeborg Bachmann, Leendert Witvliet, Arseny Tarkovsky, Larry Kramer

De Canadese schrijver Yann Martel werd op 25 juni 1963 geboren in Salamanca. Zie ook alle tags voor Yann Martel op dit blog.

UIt: The High Mountains of Portugal

« Tomás decides to walk.
From his modest flat on Rua São Miguel in the ill-famed Alfama district to his uncle’s stately estate in leafy Lapa, it is a good walk across much of Lisbon. It will likely take him an hour. But the morning has broken bright and mild, and the walk will soothe him. And yesterday Sabio, one of his uncle’s servants, came to fetch his suitcase and the wooden trunk that holds the documents he needs for his mission to the High Mountains of Portugal, so he has only himself to convey.
He feels the breast pocket of his jacket. Father Ulisses’ diary is there, wrapped in a soft cloth. Foolish of him to bring it along like this, so casually. It would be a catastrophe if it were lost. If he had any sense he would have left it in the trunk. But he needs extra moral support this morning, as he does every time he visits his uncle.
Even in his excitement he remembers to forgo his regular cane and take the one his uncle gave him. The handle of this cane is made of elephant ivory and the shaft of African mahogany, but it is unusual mainly because of the round pocket mirror that juts out of its side just beneath the handle. This mirror is slightly convex, so the image it reflects is quite wide. Even so, it is entirely useless, a failed idea, because a walking cane in use is by its nature in constant motion, and the image the mirror reflects is therefore too shaky and fleeting to be helpful in any way. But this fancy cane is a custom-made gift from his uncle, and every time he pays a call Tomás brings it.
He heads off down Rua São Miguel onto Largo São Miguel and then Rua de São João da Praça before turning onto Arco de Jesus—the easy perambulation of a pedestrian walking through a city he has known his whole life, a city of beauty and bustle, of commerce and culture, of challenges and rewards. On Arco de Jesus he is ambushed by a memory of Dora, smiling and reaching out to touch him. For that, the cane is useful, because memories of her always throw him off balance.
“I got me a rich one,” she said to him once, as they lay in bed in his flat.
“I’m afraid not,” he replied. “It’s my uncle who’s rich. I’m the poor son of his poor brother. Papa has been as unsuccessful in business as my uncle Martim has been successful, in exact inverse proportion.”

Yann Martel (Salamanca, 25 juni 1963)


De Nederlandse schrijver en vertaler Rob van Essen werd op 25 juni 1963 geboren in Amstelveen. Zie ook alle tags voor Rob van Essen op dit blog.

Uit: Visser

“Anders denk je maar dat Ajax morgen tegen fc Zwoldrecht komt spelen. Kom op, nog eens.’ Hij zet nog eens in, en een paar jongens beginnen voorzichtig mee te zingen. Er wordt een bierfles naar het podium gegooid die tegen de kale achterwand uit elkaar spat en een paar mensen steken hun middelvinger op naar het podium. Het gezang zwelt aan. Als Jonathan voor de derde keer inzet, wordt er uit volle borst meegezongen. Een aantal jongens in leren jasjes hossen met de armen om elkaars schouders rond. ‘Fascisten, fascisten!’ gilt iemand. Midden in de zaal wordt geduwd en getrokken. Wegereef begint iets in Jacobs oor te schreeuwen en Jacob werkt zich door de zingende menigte bij hen vandaan, verder naar voren. `Het zijn de moslims!’ roept een student die vlak voor het podium staat. Jonathan buigt zich naar hem toe. ‘Natuurlijk niet!’ roept hij terwijl het gezang en de vechtpartijen in de zaal gewoon doorgaan. Hij schreeuwt iets over vlieglessen en wolkenkrabbers.


beginnen een paar andere studenten te zingen,

`0, o, o, kutkankermoslims, Kutkankermóslims, 0, o, o, kutkankermoslims.’

Als het groepje Marokkaanse jongens op hen af komt, vallen ze stil. Jonathan zet weer in, gevolgd door een groot deel van de zaal.

`Kutkankerjoden,’ 0, o, o, kutkankerjoden.’

De Marokkanen delen klappen uit aan de studenten. Jacob krijgt een fles bier in zijn handen gedrukt door Clarissa. ‘Het gaat over jou!’ roept ze. ‘Hij is goed, hè?’ Achter Clarissa staan een kale jongen in een lange leren jas en een jongen met een rode hanenkam tegen elkaar te schreeuwen.”


Rob van Essen (Amstelveen, 25 juni 1963)


De Britse schrijver George Orwell (pseudoniem van Eric Arthur Blair) werd op 25 juni 1903 geboren in Motihari, India. Zie ook alle tags voor George Orwell op dit blog.

Uit: 1984

“Winston stroked his nose gently with a paper clip. In the cubicle across the way Comrade Tillotson was still crouching secretively over his speakwrite. He raised his head for a moment: again the hostile spectacle-flash. Winston wondered whether Comrade Tillotson was engaged on the same job as himself. It was perfectly possible. So tricky a piece of work would never be entrusted to a single person; on the other hand, to turn it over to a committee would be to admit openly that an act of fabrication was taking place. Very likely as many as a dozen people were now working away on rival versions of what Big Brother had actually said. And presently some master brain in the Inner Party would select this version or that, would re-edit it and set in motion the complex processes of cross-referencing that would be required, and then the chosen lie would pass into the permanent records and become truth.
Winston did not know why Withers had been disgraced. Perhaps it was for corruption or incompetence. Perhaps Big Brother was merely getting rid of a too-popular subordinate. Perhaps Withers or someone close to him had been suspected of heretical tendencies. Or perhaps—what was likeliest of all—the thing had simply happened because purges and vaporizations were a necessary part of the mechanics of government. The only real clue lay in the words “refs unpersons,” which indicated that Withers was already dead. You could not invariably assume this to be the case when people were arrested. Sometimes they were released and allowed to remain at liberty for as much as a year or two years before being executed. Very occasionally some person whom you had believed dead long since would make a ghostly reappearance at some public trial where he would implicate hundreds of others by his testimony before vanishing, this time forever. Withers, however, was already an unperson. He did not exist; he had never existed. Winston decided that it would not be enough simply to reverse the tendency of Big Brother’s speech. It was better to make it deal with something totally unconnected with its original subject.”


George Orwell (25 juni 1903 – 21 januari 1950)


De Canadese schrijver Michel Tremblay werd geboren in Quebec op 25 juni 1942. Zie ook alle tags voor Michel Tremblay op dit blog.

Uit: Un ange cornu avec des ailes de tôle

« On dit que désirer est plus jouissant que posséder.

C’est faux pour les livres. Quiconque a senti cette chaleur au creux de l’estomac, cette bouffée d’excitation dans la région du cœur, ce mouvement du visage – un petit tic de la bouche, peut-être, un pli nouveau au front, les yeux qui fouillent, qui dévorent- au moment où on tient enfin le livre convoité, où on l’ouvre en le faisant craquer mais juste un peu pour “l’entendre”, quiconque a vécu ce moment de bonheur incomparable comprendra ce que je veux dire. Ouvrir un livre demeure l’un des gestes les plus jouissifs, les plus irremplaçables de la vie.

J’aime les livres, je I’ ai assez dit jusqu’ici, j’aime les palper,les feuilleter,les humer; j’aime les presser contre moi et les mordre; j’aime les malmener, les sentir vieillir entre mes doigts, les tacher de café- sans toutefois faire exprès-, y écraser de petits insectes, l’été, et les dépose n ‘importe où ils risquent de se salir, mais quand je vois pour la première fois un de mes livres à moi, un enfant que j’ai pensé,pondu, livré, l’émotion est tellement plus forte, la joie tellement plus vive, que le monde s ‘arrête littéralement de tourner. Je ressens une petite secousse comme lorsqu’un ascenseur s’arrête, mes genoux se dérobent, mon coeur tape du pied comme ma grand-mère Tremblay sur le balcon de la rue Fabre quand j ‘étais enfant, et chaque fois – ce livre-ci sera le quarantième -, je pense à maman qui n’a jamais su que j ‘écrivais, qui est partie doublement trop tôt: parce que je I’aimais et parce que je n’ai jamais pu lui confier les deux secrets de ma vie, mon orientation sexuelle et… Qu’aurait-elle dit en ouvrant le premier livre de son fils qui I’avait si souvent exaspérée?”


Michel Tremblay (Quebec, 25 juni 1942)


De Engelse schrijver Nicholas Mosley werd geboren op 25 juni 1923 geboren in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Nicholas Mosley op dit blog.

Uit: Efforts At Truth

“So I got the idea of trying to do some autobiographical writing that would examine what I was saying in my early novels, what was written in letters at the time, and what I remembered of my life, and consider what relation there was between the sort of novels I was writing and the sort of life I was leading. Because one of the things that had come to interest me was the way in which so many writers of my generation, and of a later generation in particular, were writing about life as an absolutely hopeless business where no one made any communication with anyone else and life was a very dismal affair, and yet they – these people, some of whom I knew – seemed to be leading a happy life, they seemed to be able to make communication with other people, they seemed to be okay. And yet they were writing about life as if it were an awful mess. So I was interested in that. Then, when I looked back on my early novels, I found that I was doing the same sort of thing. After I came back from the war, I wrote Spaces of the Dark, which is about a young man who has returned from the war, where things had gone wrong for him, and for whom things kept on going wrong at home. This wasn’t like my own experience. My own experience was that I’d got through the war okay, I’d been lucky. And when I got home I had a nice time. When I was twenty-four I married, and we were happy, and we went off on a long sort of working honeymoon. I was going to write my first novel, which I did.
Anyway, that was one of the things that interested me. Why do these people write novels about life being a mess, when in fact their lives, to a very large extent, don’t seem to be a mess. Then I wondered whether novel writing was actually putting up some sort of smokescreen, some sort of protection: you had to say life was a mess, because if you said life was not a mess then perhaps your luck would run out and you would become a mess. This would be rather like touching wood: you have to sort of get the worst out in novels, as some sort of self-protection. And yet at the same time, I thought my own novels – which were to a certain extent doing this – were also some desperate way of trying to break through the smokescreens and protections that one put up in ordinary life, or ordinary life put up around one. And so I thought I’d try to write about that.“


Nicholas Mosley (Londen, 25 juni 1923)


De Oostenrijkse dichteres Ingeborg Bachmann werd geboren op 25 juni 1926 in Klagenfurt. Zie ook alle tags voor Ingeborg Bachmann op dit blog.


Schwarzer walzer

Das Ruder setzt auf den Gong mit dem schwarzen Walzer ein,
Schatten mit stumpfen Stichen nähn die Gitarren ein.

Unter der Schwelle erglänzt im Spiegel mein finstres Haus,
Leuchter treten sich sanft die flammenden Spitzen aus.

Ueber die Klänge verhängt: Eintracht von Welle und Spiel;
immer entzieht sich der Grund mit einem anderen Ziel.

Schuld ich dem Tag das Marktgeld und den blauen Ballon –
Steinrumpf und Vogelschwinge suchen die Position

zum Pas de deux ihrer Nächte, lautlos mir zugewandt,
Venedig, gepfählt und geflügelt, Abend- und Morgenland.

Nur Mosaiken wurzeln und halten im Boden fest,
Säulen umtanzen die Bojen, Fratzen- und Freskenrest.

Kein August war geschaffen, die Löwensonne zu sehn,
schon am Eingang des Sommers liesz sie die Mähne wehn.

Denk dir abgöttische Helle, den Prankenschlag auf den Bug
und im Gefolge des Kiels den törichten Maskenzug,

überm ersäuften Parkett zu Spitze geschifft ein Tuch,
brackiges Wasser, die Liebe und ihren Geruch,

Introduktion, dann den Auftakt zur Stille und nichts nachher,
Pauken schlagende Ruder und die Coda vom Meer!


Aanroeping van de grote beer

Grote Beer, daal af, ruige nacht,
wolkenpelsdier met je oude ogen,
door het struikgewas breken glinsterend
je poten met de klauwen,
waakzaam hoeden wij de kudden,
echter in de ban van jou, en wantrouwen
je vermoeide flanken en je scherpe,
halfontblote tanden,
oude beer.

Een denneappel: jullie wereld.
Jullie: de schubben eraan.
Ik drijf ze, rol ze
van de dennen in het begin
naar de dennen aan het einde,
snuffel aan ze, proef ze in mijn bek
en pak ze met mijn poten.

Vrees of vrees niet!
Gooi in het kerkezakje en geef
de blinde man een goed woord,
dat hij de beer aan de lijn houdt.
En kruid de lammeren goed.

Het kan gebeuren dat deze beer
zich losrukt, niet meer dreigt
en op alle denneappels jaagt die van de bomen
zijn gevallen, van de grote, gevleugelde dennen
die uit het paradijs neerstortten.


Vertaald door Paul Beers en Isolde Quadflieg


Ingeborg Bachmann (25 juni 1926 – 17 oktober 1973)
Hier tussen Hans Magnus Enzensberger en Gunter Grass


De Nederlandse dichter en schrijver Leendert Witvliet werd geboren in Werkendam op 25 juni 1936. Zie ook alle tags voor Leendert Witvliet op dit blog.


Al die oude gedichten

Obligate woorden,
woorden met spleen
in een schimmig en gestoken landschap
van nevel, mist en nutteloze regen,
de landerige herhaling van het nakijken.

Hoe door het opgeschoven raam
de lucht van de zomer binnendreef,
vergankelijk als geluiden
en het spokende relaas
van de gespleten vage man bij de molen,
die lucht aan flarden draaide.


hoe we liggen en niet liggen
in droomloos geworden ruimte.


Voor F.

Avonden in de tuin
een schemerlamp op de tafel
vader en moeder en vrienden kaartten
muggen dansten om de lamp
de lucht rook naar grolsch.
Achter de tuindeuren
wachtten de kinderen.
Alles was vrede
en iedereen was er nog,
al was het aan de rand.


Leendert Witvliet (Werkendam, 25 juni 1936)


De Russische dichter en vertaler Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkovsky werd geboren op 25 juni 1907 in Elisavetgrad. Zie ook alle tags voor Arseny Tarkovsky op dit blog.


After The War

Like a tree on top of forest grass
Spreads its leafy hands through the leaves
And, leaning on a shrub, propagates
Its branches sideways, widthwise —
So I shot up gradually. My muscles
Swelled, my rib cage expanded. From the blue
Goblet with prickly alcohol, my lungs
Filled to the smallest alveoli, and my heart
Took blood from the veins and veins
Returned the blood, and took the blood again
And it was like a transfiguration
Of simple happiness and simple grief
In a prelude and fugue for organ.
I would be sufficient for all living things,
Both plants and people,
Who’d been dying somewhere near
And somewhere at the other end of the earth
In unimaginable suffering, like Marsyas,
Who was flayed alive. If I’d given them my life,
I would not become any poorer
In life, in myself, in my blood.
But I myself became like Marsyas. I’d long lived
Among the living, and became like Marsyas


Vertaald door Philip Metres en Dimitri Psurtsev


Arseny Tarkovsky (25 juni 1907 – 27 mei 1989)


De Amerikaanse schrijver, columnist en homoactivist  Larry Kramer werd geboren in Bridgeport, Connecticut op 25 juni 1935. Zie ook alle tags voor Larry Kramer op dit blog.

Uit: Faggots

« I know it, too.” Sammy continued to marvel at such com-mon sense. Then he recollected the fairy business and asked: “Do you … do you look at me in the showers as much as I look at you?” “Yes. I do.” And Dunnie, again giving himself the look of the loved in that tilted mirror, further said: “I think sometimes we’re lucky to know certain things early, like being shown what’s in the crystal ball at the beginning of your life instead of at the end. I know I want to be looked at by everybody and to pass around my beauty … ,” at this point he took Sammy’s damp hand and used it to make his further illustrative point, “… and have everybody touching me all over and letting me do the same to them and … maybe we better not tell anybody about this Poor Sammy. He was not only on scholarship but was also getting very excited. His schoolmate, between reaching for the maternal brownies, was massaging his penis, now bulging mightily within Sammy’s only pair of gray-flannel trousers, which he had begged his mother and father to buy for him on the trip to Philadelphia at the start of term and he had summoned up all his cour-age to ask for them and to say that every boy in class had at least one pair except him and his dad had mumbled something about how the fucking scholarship Sammy had should include a gray-flannel-pants allowance but had bought them for the boy anyway and Sammy had never been able to wear them without a slight tinge of guilt and if Dunnie rubbed him anymore he might explode white stuff all over the gray and then he’d have to throw the pants away. “Please, Dunnie, could I … please… take off my gray flannels?” And that of course had been the beginning of the end, or of the beginning. It was only seconds before both boys were completely naked and opening themselves to the joys and conflicts redolent in this early tender moment of exploring themselves in the body of another, holding on to each other’s dickies as if they were holding on to their own. It was as if each were rather hungry from some already precocious deprivation now being at last fulfilled, their little hands grabbing their little things, Dunnie even returning kisses and not worrying that the lips, too, were Jewish. Unfortunately, Sammy could not contain his involuntary reflexes for too long and his little load of white stuff melded not with the gray flannels from the Broth-ers Brooks but with the brownies from the Mother Rosen. It came so suddenly, the spurt of liquid, that he looked down upon himself as it quivered out, then just sat there studying the improbable com-bination of semen and chocolate. Dunnie was also looking at the brownies rather strangely.”


Larry Kramer (Bridgeport, 25 juni 1935)
Hier met echtgenoot David Webster (links)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 25e juni ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2017 deel 2.

George Orwell, Yann Martel, Rob van Essen, Michel Tremblay, Nicholas Mosley, Ingeborg Bachmann, Arseny Tarkovsky

De Britse schrijver George Orwell (pseudoniem van Eric Arthur Blair) werd op 25 juni 1903 geboren in Motihari, India. Zie ook alle tags voor George Orwell op dit blog.

Uit: 1984

“On occasion he had even been entrusted with the rectification of The Times leading articles, which were written entirely in Newspeak. He unrolled the message that he had set aside earlier. It ran:
times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling
In Oldspeak (or standard English) this might be rendered:
The reporting of Big Brother’s Order for the Day in The Times of December 3rd 1983 is extremely unsatisfactory and makes references to non-existent persons. Rewrite it in full and submit your draft to higher authority before filing.
Winston read through the offending article. Big Brother’s Order for the Day, it seemed, had been chiefly devoted to praising the work of an organization known as FFCC, which supplied cigarettes and other comforts to the sailors in the Floating Fortresses. A certain Comrade Withers, a prominent member of the Inner Party, had been singled out for special mention and awarded a decoration, the Order of Conspicuous Merit, Second Class.
Three months later FFCC had suddenly been dissolved with no reasons given. One could assume that Withers and his associates were now in disgrace, but there had been no report of the matter in the Press or on the telescreen. That was to be expected, since it was unusual for political offenders to be put on trial or even publicly denounced. The great purges involving thousands of people, with public trials of traitors and thought-criminals who made abject confession of their crimes and were afterwards executed, were special show-pieces not occurring oftener than once in a couple of years. More commonly, people who had incurred the displeasure of the Party simply disappeared and were never heard of again. One never had the smallest clue as to what had happened to them. In some cases they might not even be dead. Perhaps thirty people personally known to Winston, not counting his parents, had disappeared at one time or another.”


George Orwell (25 juni 1903 – 21 januari 1950)

Lees verder “George Orwell, Yann Martel, Rob van Essen, Michel Tremblay, Nicholas Mosley, Ingeborg Bachmann, Arseny Tarkovsky”

Yann Martel, Rob van Essen, Michel Tremblay, Nicholas Mosley, Ingeborg Bachmann, Arseny Tarkovsky, George Orwell

De Canadese schrijver Yann Martel werd op 25 juni 1963 geboren in Salamanca. Zie ook alle tags voor Yann Martel op dit blog.

Uit: Life of Pi

“My brother Ravi once told me that when Mamaji was born he didn’t want to give up on breathing water and so the doctor, to save his life, had to take him by the feet and swing him above his head round and round.
“It did the trick!” said Ravi, wildly spinning his hand above his head. “He coughed out water and started breathing air, but it forced all his flesh and blood to his upper body. That’s why his chest is so thick and his legs are so skinny.”
I believed him. (Ravi was a merciless teaser. The first time he called Mamaji “Mr. Push” to my face I left a banana peel in his bed.)
Even in his sixties, when he was a little stooped and a lifetime of counter-obstetric gravity had begun to nudge his flesh downwards, Mamaji swam thirty lengths every morning at the pool of the Aurobindo Ashram.

Scene uit de film “Life of Pi” uit 2012

He tried to teach my parents to swim, but he never got them to go beyond wading up to their knees at the beach and making ludicrous round motions with their arms, which, if they were practising the breaststroke, made them look as if they were walking through a jungle, spreading the tall grass ahead of them, or, if it was the front crawl, as ifthey were running down a hill and flailing their arms so as not to fall. Ravi was just as unenthusiastic.
Mamaji had to wait until I came into the picture to find a willing disciple. The day I came of swimming age, which, to Mother’s distress, Mamaji claimed was seven, he brought me down to the beach, spread his arms seaward and said, “This is my gift to you.”
“And then he nearly drowned you,” claimed Mother.“

Yann Martel (Salamanca, 25 juni 1963)

Lees verder “Yann Martel, Rob van Essen, Michel Tremblay, Nicholas Mosley, Ingeborg Bachmann, Arseny Tarkovsky, George Orwell”

Rob van Essen, Yann Martel, Michel Tremblay, Nicholas Mosley, Ingeborg Bachmann, Arseny Tarkovsky, George Orwell, Claude Seignolle

De Nederlandse schrijver en vertaler Rob van Essen werd op 25 juni 1963 geboren in Amstelveen. Zie ook alle tags voor Rob van Essen op dit blog.

Uit: Hier wonen ook mensen

“Walter had deze mensen zelf bij elkaar gezocht. Soms vroeg hij zich af waar ze over spraken tijdens de lange rit, of ze elkaar in de loop der tijd beter hadden leren kennen, of ze informeerden naar elkaars gezondheid, of ze bij elkaar over de vloer kwamen. Wanneer ze aan het werk waren, sprak hij nauwelijks met hen. Meestal stond hij uren voor het raam en keek toe hoe de monnik het grind harkte. Elk jaar kocht hij een nieuw busje voor ze.
Ze spraken ook nauwelijks met hem. Blijkbaar wisten ze wel wie hij was, want de Mexicaanse vrouw had ooit een poster van de Frutzles voor hem uitgerold en gevraagd of hij die wilde signeren. Hij deed dat, achteloos, alsof hij het elke dag deed. Hij vroeg zich af of ze de volgende keer met ander materiaal (bekers, t-shirts, schoolspullen) zou komen, maar ze hield het bij die poster, die blijkbaar voor gebruik in eigen kring was. In ieder geval dook er op internet nergens een aanbieding op van een door de maker zelf gesigneerde Frutzlesposter.
Veel andere mensen kwamen niet langs. Walter haalde zelf zijn post op in de dichtstbijzijnde nederzetting. Verzoeken voor interviews wimpelde hij af. De enige andere vaste gast was de Finse architect die dit huis had ontworpen en bedongen had dat hij één keer per jaar met een groepje studenten mocht langskomen. De studenten luisterden bedachtzaam knikkend naar de uitleg van de architect, namen zo nu en dan een foto en glimlachten bescheiden wanneer ze Walters blik vingen. De architect was telkens weer een jaar ouder, maar de studenten zagen er ongeacht hun herkomst elk jaar hetzelfde uit en goten hun bewondering voor het huis in exact dezelfde termen als hun voorgangers.”

Rob van Essen (Amstelveen, 25 juni 1963)

Lees verder “Rob van Essen, Yann Martel, Michel Tremblay, Nicholas Mosley, Ingeborg Bachmann, Arseny Tarkovsky, George Orwell, Claude Seignolle”

Yann Martel, Michel Tremblay, Nicholas Mosley, Ingeborg Bachmann, Arseny Tarkovsky, George Orwell, Claude Seignolle

De Canadese schrijver Yann Martel werd op 25 juni 1963 geboren in Salamanca. Zie ook alle tags voor Yann Martel op dit blog.

Uit:Life of Pi

„I still smart a little at the slight. When you’ve suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling. My life is like a memento mori painting from European art: there is always a grinning skull at my side to remind me of the folly of human ambition. I mock this skull. I look at it and I say, “You’ve got the wrong fellow. You may not believe in life, but I don’t believe in death. Move on!” The skull snickers and moves ever closer, but that doesn’t surprise me. The reason death sticks so closely to life isn’t biological necessity—it’s envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud. The pink boy also got the nod from the Rhodes Scholarship committee. I love him and I hope his time at Oxford was a rich experience. If Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, one day favours me bountifully, Oxford is fifth on the list of cities I would like to visit before I pass on, after Mecca, Varanasi, Jerusalem and Paris.

Scene uit de film “Life of Pi” uit 2012

I have nothing to say of my working life, only that a tie is a noose, and inverted though it is, it will hang a man nonetheless if he’s not careful.
I love Canada. I miss the heat of India, the food, the house lizards on the walls, the musicals on the silver screen, the cows wandering the streets, the crows cawing, even the talk of cricket matches, but I love Canada. It is a great country much too cold for good sense, inhabited by compassionate, intelligent people with bad hairdos. Anyway, I have nothing to go home to in Pondicherry.
Richard Parker has stayed with me. I’ve never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. That pain is like an axe that chops at my heart.”

Yann Martel (Salamanca, 25 juni 1963)

Lees verder “Yann Martel, Michel Tremblay, Nicholas Mosley, Ingeborg Bachmann, Arseny Tarkovsky, George Orwell, Claude Seignolle”

Yann Martel, Michel Tremblay, Nicholas Mosley, Ingeborg Bachmann, Arseny Tarkovsky, George Orwell

De Canadese schrijver Yann Martel werd op 25 juni 1963 geboren in Salamanca. Zie ook alle tags voor Yann Martel op dit blog.


Uit: Life of Pi


“The three-toed sloth lives a peaceful, vegetarian life in perfect harmony with its environment. “A good-natured smile is forever on its lips,” reported Tirler (1966). I have seen that smile with my own eyes. I am not one given to projecting human traits and emotions onto animals, but many a time during that month in Brazil, looking up at sloths in repose, I felt I was in the presence of upside-down yogis deep in meditation or hermits deep in prayer, wise beings whose intense imaginative lives were beyond the reach of my scientific probing.

Sometimes I got my majors mixed up. A number of my fellow religious-studies students – muddled agnostics who didn’t know which way was up, who were in the thrall of reason, that fool’s gold for the bright – reminded me of the three-toed sloth; and the three-toed sloth, such a beautiful example of the miracle of life, reminded me of God.



Scene uit de film “Life of Pi” uit 2012



I never had problems with my fellow scientists. Scientists are a friendly, atheistic, hard-working, beer-drinking lot whose minds are preoccupied with sex, chess and baseball when they are not preoccupied with science.

I was a very good student, if I may say so myself. I was tops at St. Michael’s College four years in a row. I got every possible student award from the Department of Zoology. If I got none from the Department of Religious Studies, it is simply because there are no student awards in this department (the rewards of religious study are not in mortal hands, we all know that). I would have received the Governor General’s Academic Medal, the University of Toronto’s highest undergraduate award, of which no small number of illustrious Canadians have been recipients, were it not for a beef-eating pink boy with a neck like a tree trunk and a temperament of unbearable good cheer.”




Yann Martel (Salamanca, 25 juni 1963)

Lees verder “Yann Martel, Michel Tremblay, Nicholas Mosley, Ingeborg Bachmann, Arseny Tarkovsky, George Orwell”

Michel Tremblay, Yann Martel, Nicholas Mosley, Claude Seignolle

De Canadese schrijver Michel Tremblay werd geboren in Quebec op 25 juni 1942. Zie ook alle tags voor Michel Tremblay op dit blog.


Uit: Les belles-sœurs

“(Les cinq femmes se lèvent et se tournent vers le public. L’éclairage change.)

LES CINQ FEMMES, ensemble – Quintette : Une maudite vie plate ! Lundi !

LISETTE DE COURVAL – Dès que le soleil a commencé à caresser de ses rayons les petites fleurs dans les champs et que les petits oiseaux ont ouvert leurs petits becs pour lancer vers le ciel leurs petits cris…

LES QUATRE AUTRES – J’me lève, pis j’prépare le déjeuner ! Des toasts, du café, du bacon, des œufs.J’ai d’la misère que l’yable à réveiller mon monde.Les enfants partent pour l’école, mon mari s’en va travailler.

MARIE-ANGE BROUILLETTE – Pas le mien, y’est chômeur.Y reste couché.

LES CINQ FEMMES – Là, là, j’travaille comme une enragée, jusqu’à midi.J’lave.Les robes, les jupes, les bas, les chandails, les pantalons, les canneçons, les brassières, tout y passe !Pis frotte, pis tord, pis refrotte, pis rince… C’t’écoeurant, j’ai les mains rouges, j’t’écoeurée.J’sacre.A midi, les enfants reviennent.Ça mange comme des cochons, ça revire la maison à l’envers, pis ça repart ! L’après-midi, j’étends.Ça, c’est mortel !J’haïs ça comme une bonne !Après, j’prépare le souper.Le monde reviennent, y’ont l’air bête, on se chicane !Pis le soir, on regarde la télévision !Mardi !

LISETTE DE COURVAL – Dès que le soleil…

LES QUATRE AUTRE FEMMES – J’me lève, pis j’prépare le déjeuner.Toujours la même maudite affaire ! Des toasts, du café, des œufs, du bacon… J’réveille le monde, j’les mets dehors.Là, c’est le repassage.J’travaille, j’travaille, j’travaille.Midi arrive sans que je le voye venir pis les enfants sont en maudit parce que j’ai rien préparé pour le dîner.J’leu fais des sandwichs au béloné.J’travaille toute l’après-midi, le souper arrive, on se chicane.Pis le soir, on regarde la télévision !Mercredi !C’est le jour du mégasinage !J’marche toute la journée, j’me donne un tour de rein à porter des paquets gros comme ça, j’reviens à la maison crevée ! Y faut quand même que je fasse à manger.Quand le monde arrivent, j’ai l’air bête !Mon mari sacre, les enfants braillent… Pis le soir, on regarde la télévision !Le jeudi pis le vendredi, c’est la même chose !J’m’esquinte, j’me désâme, j’me tue pour ma gang de nonos !Le samedi, j’ai les enfants dans les jambes par-dessus le marché !Pis le soir, on regarde la télévision !Le dimanche, on sort en famille : on va souper chez la belle-mère en autobus.Y faut guetter les enfants toute la journée, endurer les farces plates du beau-père, pis manger la nourriture de la belle-mère qui est donc meilleure que la mienne au dire de tout le monde !Pis le soir, on regarde la télévision !Chus tannée de mener une maudite vie plate ! Une maudite vie plate ! Une maudite vie plate ! Une maud…

(L’éclairage redevient normal.Elles se rassoient brusquement.)”


Michel Tremblay (Quebec, 25 juni 1942)

Lees verder “Michel Tremblay, Yann Martel, Nicholas Mosley, Claude Seignolle”

Yann Martel, Arseny Tarkovsky, Heinrich Seidel, Nicholas Mosley, Claude Seignolle

De Canadese schrijver Yann Martel werd op 25 juni 1963 geboren in Salamanca. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2008 en ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2009 en ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2010


Uit: Life of Pi

“The sloth is at its busiest at sunset, using the word busy here in the most relaxed sense. It moves along the bough of a tree in its characteristic upside-down position at the speed of roughly 400 metres an hour. On the ground, it crawls to its next tree at the rate of 250 metres an hour, when motivated, which is 440 times slower than a motivated cheetah. Unmotivated, it covers four to five metres in an hour.

The three-toed sloth is not well informed about the outside world. On a scale of 2 to 10, where 2 represents unusual dullness and 10 extreme acuity, Beebe (1926) gave the sloth’s senses of taste, touch, and its sense of smell a rating of 3. If you come upon a sleeping three-toed sloth in the wild, two or three nudges should suffice to awaken it; it will then look sleepily in every direction but yours.Why it should look about is uncertain since the sloth sees everything in a Magoo-like blur.Beebe reported that firing guns next to sleeping or feeding sloths elicited little reaction.And the sloth’s slightly better sense of smell should not be overestimated.They are said to be able to sniff and avoid decayed branches, but Bullock (1968) reported that sloths fall to the ground clinging to decayed branches “often”.

How does it survive you might ask.

Precisely by being so slow.Sleepiness and slothfulness keep it out of harm’s way, away from the notice of jaguars, ocelots, harpy eagles and anacondas. A sloth’s hairs shelter an algae that is brown during the dry season and green during the wet season, so the animal blends in with the surrounding moss and foliage and looks like a nest of white ants or of squirrels, or like nothing at all but part of a tree.”


Yann Martel (Salamanca, 25 juni 1963)

Lees verder “Yann Martel, Arseny Tarkovsky, Heinrich Seidel, Nicholas Mosley, Claude Seignolle”

Yann Martel, Arseny Tarkovsky, Heinrich Seidel, Nicholas Mosley, Claude Seignolle, Hans Marchwitza, Georges Courteline, Friederike Kempner

De Canadese schrijver Yann Martel werd op 25 juni 1963 geboren in Salamanca. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2008 en ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2009.

Uit: Beatrice and Virgil


(Virgil and Beatrice are sitting at the foot of the tree.
They are looking out blankly.

VIRGIL: What I’d give for a pear.


VIRGIL: Yes. A ripe and juicy one.


BEATRICE: I’ve never had a pear.


BEATRICE: In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever set eyes on one.

VIRGIL: How is that possible? It’s a common fruit.

BEATRICE: My parents were always eating apples and carrots. I guess they didn’t like pears.

VIRGIL: But pears are so good! I bet you there’s a pear tree right around here. (He looks about.)

BEATRICE: Describe a pear for me. What is a pear like?

VIRGIL: (settling back) I can try. Let’s see . . . To start with, a pear has an unusual shape. It’s round and fat on the bottom, but tapered on top.

BEATRICE: Like a gourd.

VIRGIL: A gourd ? You know gourds but you don’t know pears? How odd the things we know and don’t. At any rate, no, a pear is smaller than an average gourd, and its shape is more pleasing to the eye. A pear becomes tapered in a symmetrical way, its upper half sitting straight and centred atop its lower half. Can you see what I mean?

BEATRICE: I think so.

VIRGIL: Let’s start with the bottom half. Can you imagine a fruit that is round and fat?

BEATRICE: Like an apple?

VIRGIL: Not quite. If you look at an apple with your mind’s eye, you will notice that the girth of the apple is at its widest either in the middle of the fruit or in the top third, isn’t that so?

BEATRICE: You’re right. A pear is not like this?




Yann Martel (Salamanca, 25 juni  1963)



De Russische dichter en vertaler Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkovsky werd geboren op 25 juni 1907 in Elisavetgrad. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2008.en ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2009.



The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky


Now the summer has passed.

It might never have been.

It is warm in the sun,

But it isn’t enough.


All that might’ve occurred

Like a five-fingered leaf

Fluttered into my hands,

But it isn’t enough.


Neither evil nor good

Has yet vanished in vain,

It all burned and was light,

But it isn’t enough.


Life has been as a shield,

And has offered protection.

I have been most fortunate,

But it isn’t enough.


The leaves were not burned.

The boughs were not broken,

The day clear as glass,

But it isn’t enough.




Arseny Tarkovsky (25 juni 1907 – 27 mei 1989)


De Duitse dichter, schrijver en ingenieur Heinrich Seidel werd geboren op 25 juni 1842 in Perlin, Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Das Lesen


Du Kirchlein grau, aus Feldstein aufgebaut,
Von tausend leichten Schwalben froh umschwirrt,
Du Kirchhof grün mit den zerfallnen Hügeln
Und deiner Linden hold vertrautem Rauschen,
Ich kenn’ dich wohl und oft zur Abendzeit,
Wenn eine Stille wird in meinen Herzen,
Und manch Erinnern durch die Seele geht,
Tauchst du empor, du Spielplatz meiner Kindheit!
Wie oft mit einem neuen Buch voll Märchen,
Das mir ein Goldschatz däuchte wonniglich,
Im Schatten lag ich lesend zwischen Gräbern.
Ringsum der Sommertag – der wusste nichts
Von Tod und Sterben – Blumen liess er blühn,
Und Voge1sang war seine lust’ge Stimme!
Der wusste nichts von Mären und Geschichten:
“Die Welt ist schön” das war sein Ein und Alles
Er neckte mich, der lustige Geselle!
Er schickte seinen Sonnenschein in’s Kraut,
Der klopfte mit dem leichten Strahlenfinger
Alljegliches Gethier heraus, das lustig
Sein Wesen treibt im wohldurchsonnten Gras.
Da hüpfte mir ein Heupferd, grossgeaugt,
Mit keckem Sprung hin auf das weisse Blatt
Und drehte sich, und hopp! da sass es schon
Am nächsten Grashalm, der sich schwankend neigte.
Er schickte kleines kribbelndes Gethier,
Das froh auf mir spazieren ging und indiskret
Nicht Grenzen kannte seiner frechen Märsche.
Er schickte mir der Mücken singend Volk,
Das zierlich, feingebeint und zartgeflügelt,
Aetherisch fast, doch nichts als Blutdurst kennt
Er schickte mir die leichten Gaukeltruppen,
Der Schmetterlinge flatterndes Geplänkel –
Das Pfauenauge und den bunten Fuchs –
Citronenfalter gelb mit rothen Pünktchen!
Es lockte mich der Fink im Lindenbaum
Mit seines Liedes schmetternder Fanfare;
Hinschoss die Schwalbe mit gesenktem Flug
Und rief: “Quiwit, komm mit!” Es kam der Wind,
Der Sommerwind, der duftgetränkte, lose
Uind blättert’ um verschmitzt das Buch, allein
Es liess mich nicht – im Zauberbann befangen
Phantastischer Gebilde – las ich fort.
Ich sah nur ihn, den tapfren Königssohn.
Ich sah nur sie, die strahlende Prinzessin,
Ich litt sie all’, die unerhörten Leiden,
Ich kämpfte all’ die fürchterlichen Kämpfe.
Es liess mich nicht das Buch, bis ich’s bezwungen,
Und wie im Traume ging ich dann einher
Und sah die Welt durch einen Nebelschleier
Und trug das Haupt voll lichter Phantasieen
Und heitrer Wunder. – Einmal nur, ach einmal,
So denk’ ich oft, wenn müde und verdrossen
Mein Auge jetzt durch Bücherzeilen schweift,
Und all’ die kleinen Teufel kritisch meckern,
Ach einmal noch möcht’ so ich lesen können
Wie damals in der gläubigen Kinderzeit!




Heinrich Seidel (25. Juni 1842 – 7. November 1906)


Zie voor onderstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2009.

De Engelse schrijver Nicholas Mosley werd geboren op 25 juni 1923 geboren in Londen.


De Franse schrijver Claude Seignolle werd geboren op 25 juni 1917 in Périgueux.


De Duitse dichter en schrijver Hans Marchwitza werd geboren in Scharley op 25 juni 1890. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2007.


De Franse schrijver en dramaturg Georges Courteline (eig. Georges Victor Marcel Moineaux ) werd geboren op 25 juni 1858 in Tours.


De Duitse dichteres Friederike Kempner werd geboren  op 25 juni 1836 te Optatow in de provincie Posen.

Ingeborg Bachmann, Larry Kramer, Ariel Gore, Michel Tremblay, George Orwell, Yann Martel, Arseny Tarkovsky, Nicholas Mosley, Claude Seignolle, Hans Marchwitza, Georges Courteline, Heinrich Seidel, Friederike Kempner

De Oostenrijkse dichteres Ingeborg Bachmann werd geboren op 25 juni 1926 in Klagenfurt. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2006 en ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2008.

Die große Fracht

Die große Fracht des Sommers ist verladen,
das Sonnenschiff im Hafen liegt bereit,
wenn hinter dir die Möwe stürzt und schreit.
Die große Fracht des Sommers ist verladen.

Das Sonnenschiff im Hafen liegt bereit,
und auf die Lippen der Galionsfiguren
tritt unverhüllt das Lächeln der Lemuren.
Das Sonnenschiff im Hafen liegt bereit.

Wenn hinter dir die Möwe stürzt und schreit,
kommt aus dem Westen der Befehl zu sinken;
doch offnen Augs wirst du im Licht ertrinken,
wenn hinter dir die Möwe stürzt und schreit.


Abschied von England

Ich habe deinen Boden kaum betreten,
schweigsames Land, kaum einen Stein berührt,
ich war von deinem Himmel so hoch gehoben,
so in Wolken, Dunst und in noch Ferneres gestellt,
daß ich dich schon verließ,
als ich vor Anker ging.

Du hast meine Augen geschlossen
mit Meerhauch und Eichenblatt,
von meinen Tränen begossen,
hieltst du die Gräser satt;
aus meinen Träumen gelöst,
wagten sich Sonnen heran,
doch alles war wieder fort,
wenn dein Tag begann.
Alles blieb ungesagt.

Durch die Straßen flatterten die großen grauen Vögel
und wiesen mich aus.
War ich je hier?

Ich wollte nicht gesehen werden.

Meine Augen sind offen.
Meerhauch und Eichenblatt?
Unter den Schlangen des Meers
seh ich, an deiner Statt,
das Land meiner Seele erliegen.

Ich habe seinen Boden nie betreten.




Schweigt mit mir, wie alle Glocken schweigen!

In der Nachgeburt der Schrecken
sucht das Geschmeiß nach neuer Nahrung.
Zur Ansicht hängt karfreitags eine Hand
am Firmament, zwei Finger fehlen ihr,
sie kann nicht schwören, daß alles,
alles nicht gewesen sei und nichts
sein wird. Sie taucht ins Wolkenrot,
entrückt die neuen Mörder
und geht frei.

Nachts auf dieser Erde
in Fenster greifen, die Linnen zurückschlagen,
daß der Kranken Heimlichkeit bloßliegt,
ein Geschwür voll Nahrung, unendliche Schmerzen
für jeden Geschmack.

Die Metzger halten, behandschuht,
den Atem der Entblößten an,
der Mond in der Tür fällt zu Boden,
laß die Scherben liegen, den Henkel …

Alles war gerichtet für die letzte Ölung.
(Das Sakrament kann nicht vollzogen werden.)


Ingeborg Bachmann (25 juni 1926 – 17 oktober 1973)


De Amerikaanse schrijver, columnist en homoactivist Larry Kramer werd geboren in Bridgeport, Connecticut op 25 juni 1935. Hij werd genomineerd voor een Academy Award, was finalist voor een Pulitzer-prijs en ontving tweemaal een Obie Award. Als antwoord op de Aids-crisis richtte hij Gay Men’s Health Crisis op, de grootste organisatie van zijn soort op de wereld. Hij schreef The Normal Heart, het eerste serieuze artistieke onderzoek naar de Aids-crisis. Hij richtte later ACT UP op, een protestorganisatie die wordt geaccrediteerd voor het veranderen van het volksgezondheidbeleid en de openbare voorlichting van Hiv en Aids. Kramer woont momenteel in New York City en Connecticut.

Uit: Yale’s Conspiracy of Silence

„Here are some of the things that I have uncovered about our history in writing my new book, The American People:
That Jamestown was America’s first community of homosexuals, men who came to not only live with each other as partners but to adopt and raise children bought from the Indians. Some even arranged wedding ceremonies for themselves.
That George Washington was gay, and that his relationships with Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette were homosexual. And that his feelings for Hamilton led to a government and a country that became Hamiltonian rather than Jeffersonian.
That Meriwether Lewis was in love with William Clark and committed suicide when their historic journey was over and he wouldn’t see Clark anymore.
That Abraham Lincoln was gay and had many, many gay interactions, that his nervous breakdown occurred when he and his lover, Joshua Speed, were forced to part, and that his sensitivity to the slaves came from his firsthand knowledge of what it meant to be so very different. And that the possibility exists that Lincoln was murdered because he was gay and John Wilkes Booth, who was gay, knew this.
That Franklin Pierce, who became one of America’s worst presidents, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, who became one of our greatest writers, as roommates at Bowdoin College had interactions that changed them both forever and, indeed, served as the wellspring for what Hawthorne came to write about. Pierce was gay. And Hawthorne? Herman Melville certainly wanted him to be.”


Larry Kramer (Bridgeport, 25 juni 1935)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster en journaliste Ariel Gore werd geboren op 25 juni 1970 in  Carmel, Californië. Zij is de uitgeefster en redacteur van Hip Mama, een periodiek over politieke en culturele aspecten van het moederschap. In 2000 verscheen haar autobiografische Atlas of the Human Heart, in 2006 de roman The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show.

Uit: Traveling Death and Resurrection Show

“Whoosh. Car tires through puddles. Gasoline rainbows. Picture this: Two beat-up candy apple red hatchbacks trailing a wildflower-painted caravan down a sogged main street that creeps southward along the waterfront.
Madre Pia shouts through a cracked megaphone from the back of the caravan as we roll into town: “The lost will be saved, the saved will be amazed!” She’s a vision, Madre is. Three hundred pounds of blithe drag queen cloaked in her old-school nun’s habit, great bellowing penguin. “Tonight only, ladies and gentlemen! Saint Cat will manifest the wounds of Christ.”
Rain-wet asphalt and dull brick buildings welcome us to empty streets. Steely June sky. We haven’t seen the sun in weeks. Northwestern springtime: damp, damp.
“Come and see for yourself,” Madre implores the rows of Victorian houses that cling like swallows’ nests to an inland hill. “Mary Magdalen will perform her death-defying midair acrobatics. Six p.m. tonight. Astoria’s own River Theater!”
A solitary freckled face peers out from a fogged pizza parlor window, kind bewildered reassurance that we haven’t stumbled into a ghost town.
Madre lowers the megaphone to clearher throat, then lifts it to her berry mouth again. “Barbaro the great fire spitter all the way from Venice, Italy!”


Ariel Gore (Carmel, 25 juni 1970)


De Canadese schrijver Michel Tremblay werd geboren in Quebec op 25 juni 1942. Na het beëindigen van zijn middelbare schooltijd ging hij op 18-jarige leeftijd naar the Graphic Arts Institute van Quebec, waar hij het beroep van typograaf leerde. Daar begon hij korte verhalen te schrijven, zoals ‘Stories for Late Night Drinkers’, die dan later werden gepubliceerd. In 1964 won hij met het toneelstuk ‘Le Train’ een wedstrijd voor jonge schrijvers. In 1965, schreef Michel Tremblay ‘Les Belles-Soeurs’, dat 1968 voor het eerst werd uitgevoerd door The Théatre du Rideau Vert in Montreal. Les Belles-Soeurs werd onmiddellijk door critici, alsook door het publiek uitgeroepen tot ‘het belangrijkste evenement binnen het theater van Quebec’.  Veel van zijn stukken zijn in het buitenland goed ontvangen, zoals onder meer de producties van Les Belles-Soeurs in Chicago and Glasgow en in 1973 werd Hosanna in Quebec alsook in Parijs voor volle zalen gespeeld. Zijn theaterstukken zijn onder meer opgevoerd in België, Zwitserland, Japan. Tremblay’s werk bevat 24 toneelstukken, 3 musicals, 12 verhalen en een collectie van sprookjes, korte verhalen enfilmscripts.

Uit: The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant (Vertaald door Sheila Fischman)

“In the five years he’d been sleeping in the same room with her, Richard had spent an incalculable number of hours watching his grandmother die. In fact, every time he examined her in her sleep, grumbling, scarcely breathing, mouth open to reveal bare white gums as sharp as knives, Richard expected to see her expire. She was an exhausted flickering candle, a dismantled gasping clock, a motor at the end of the road, a dog grown too old, a servant who had finished serving and was dying of boredom, a useless old woman, a beaten human being, his grandmother. If she wanted to do anything in the house, her daughter-in-law, the fat woman, or her daughter-in-law, Albertine, very attentively would anticipate her intentions: “You just rest…you’ve done enough work in your life.. .sit down, Momma, your leg. . .” The old woman would lay down the dishcloth or the wooden spoon, swallowing so she wouldn’t explode. Richard had often seen his grandmother weep with rage, leaning against the window in her room that looked out on the outside staircase. He’d even heard her curse the two women, cast impotent sp
ells on them; he’d seen her stick out her tongue and pretend to be kicking them. From morning to night, she wandered from her bedroom to the dining room, from the dining room to her bedroom, a superfluous object of attention in this house where everyone and everything had assigned tasks or at least some use–except for her.”


Michel Tremblay (Quebec, 25 juni 1942)


De Britse schrijver George Orwell (pseudoniem van Eric Arthur Blair) werd op 25 juni 1903 geboren in Motihari, India. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2006 en ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2008.

Uit: The Road To Wigan Pier

“The first sound in the mornings was the clumping of the mill-girls’ clogs down the cobbled street. Earlier than that, I suppose, there were factory whistles which I was never awake to hear.

There were generally four of us in the bedroom, and a beastly place it was, with that denied impermanent look of rooms that are not serving their rightful purpose. Years earlier the house had been an ordinary dwelling-house, and when the Brookers had taken it and fitted it out as a tripe-shop and lodging-house, they had inherited some of the more useless pieces of furniture and had never had the energy to remove them. We were therefore sleeping in what was still recognizably a drawing-room. Hanging from the ceiling there was a heavy glass chandelier on which the dust was so thick that it was like fur. And covering most of one wall there was a huge hideous piece of junk, something between a sideboard and a hall-stand, with lots of carving and little drawers and strips of looking-glass, and there was a once-gaudy carpet ringed by the slop-pails of years, and two gilt chairs with burst seats, and one of those old-fashioned horsehair armchairs which you slide off when you try to sit on them. The room had been turned into a bedroom by thrusting four squalid beds in among this other wreckage.

My bed was in the right-hand corner on the side nearest the door. There was another bed across the foot of it and jammed hard against it (it had to be in that position to allow the door to open) so that I had to sleep with my legs doubled up; if I straightened them out I kicked the occupant of the other bed in the small of the back. He was an elderly man named Mr Reilly, a mechanic of sorts and employed ‘on top’ at one of the coal pits. Luckily he had to go to work at five in the morning, so I could uncoil my legs and have a couple of hours’ proper sleep after he was gone. In the bed opposite there was a Scotch miner who had been injured in a pit accident (a huge chunk of stone pinned him to the ground and it was a couple of hours before they could lever it off), and had received five hundred pounds compensation. He was a big handsome man of forty, with grizzled hair and a clipped moustache, more like a sergeant-major than a miner, and he would lie in bed till late in the day, smoking a short pipe.”


George Orwell (25 juni 1903 – 21 januari 1950)


De Canadese schrijver Yann Martel werd op 25 juni 1963 geboren in Salamanca. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2008.

Uit: Life of Pi

My suffering left me sad and gloomy.

Academic study and the steady, mindful practice of religion slowly brought me back to life. I have kept up what some people would consider my strange religious practices. After one year of high school, I attended the University of Toronto and took a double-major Bachelor’s degree. My majors were religious studies and zoology. My fourth-year thesis for religious studies concerned certain aspects of the cosmogony theory of Isaac Luria, the great sixteenth-century Kabbalist from Safed. My zoology thesis was a functional analysis of the thyroid gland of the three-toed sloth. I chose the sloth because its demeanour-calm, quiet and introspective-did something to soothe my shattered self.

There are two-toed sloths and there are three-toed sloths, the case being determined by the forepaws of the animals, since all sloths have three claws on their hind paws. I had the great luck one summer of studying the three-toed sloth in situ in the equatorial jungles of Brazil. It is a highly intriguing creature. Its only real habit is indolence. It sleeps or rests on average twenty hours a day. Our team tested the sleep habits of five wild three-toed sloths by placing on their heads, in the early evening after they had fallen asleep, bright red plastic dishes filled with water. We found them still in place late the next morning, the water of the dishes swarming with insects.”


Yann Martel (Salamanca, 25 juni  1963)


De Russische dichter en vertaler Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkovsky werd geboren op 25 juni 1907 in Elisavetgrad. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2008.

First Meetings

We celebrated every moment
Of our meetings as epiphanies,
Just we two in all the world.
Bolder, lighter than a bird’s wing,
You hurtled like vertigo
Down the stairs, leading
Through moist lilac to your realm
Beyond the mirror.

When night fell, grace was given me,
The sanctuary gates were opened,
Shining in the darkness
Nakedness bowed slowly;
Waking up, I said:
‘God bless you!’, knowing it
To be daring: you slept,
The lilac leaned towards you from the table
To touch your eyelids with its universal blue,
Those eyelids brushed with blue
Were peaceful, and your hand was warm.

And in the crystal I saw pulsing rivers,
Smoke-wreathed hills, and glimmering seas;
Holding in your palm that crystal sphere,
You slumbered on the throne,
And – God be praised! – you belonged to me.
Awaking, you transformed
The humdrum dictionary of humans
Till speech was full and running over
With resounding strength, and the word you
Revealed its new meaning: it meant king.
Everything in the world was different,
Even the simplest things – the jug, the basin –
When stratified and solid water
Stood between us, like a guard.

We were led to who knows where.
Before us opened up, in mirage,
Towns constructed out of wonder,
Mint leaves spread themselves beneath our feet,
Birds came on the journey with us,
Fish leapt in greeting from the river,
And the sky unfurled above…

While behind us all the time went fate,
A madman brandishing a razor.


Arseny Tarkovsky (25 juni 1907 – 27 mei 1989)


De Engelse schrijver Nicholas Mosley werd geboren op 25 juni 1923 geboren in Londen. Hij kreeg zijn opleiding aan Eton en in Oxford. Hij is de oudste zoon van Oswald Mosley en zeer kritisch ten opzichte van zijn vader. Nicholas Mosley uitte dat in zijn boek Beyond the Pale: Sir Oswald Mosley and Family 1933-1980 uit1983, en in een BBC-documentaire in 1997.

Uit: Hopeful Monsters

Sometimes when I sat with my father on the sofa in his study and he had been reading to me stories or articles about science from children’s magazines, I would, at the end of whatever voyage of discovery or imagination we had been on (I was, I suppose, quite a precocious little girl) ask my father about the work he was doing at the university. He told me something of his regular work of lecturing and teaching, but I do not remember much about this. Then he told me of the work that really interested him at this time, which was outside his regular curriculum, and was to do with his efforts to understand, and to put into some intelligible language, the theories that were being propounded about physics at this time by one of his colleagues at the university – a Professor Einstein. I do not think that my father knew Einstein very well, but he venerated him, and he was enough of a mathematician to be able to try to grapple with some of his theories. I, of course, could have comprehended little of the substance of what my father said: but because of his enthusiasm it was as if, on some level, I was caught up in his efforts. I had a picture of Professor Einstein as some sort of magician: there was a photograph of him on the chimney-piece of my father’s study which was a counter-balance to my mother’s photograph of Karl Marx on the chimney-piece of the dining-room. Professor Einstein’s head, set rather loosely on his shoulders, seemed to have a life of its own: Karl Marx’s head seemed to have been jammed down on to his shoulders with a hammer. I would say to my father as we sat above the wonders of the world in our airship “What is it that is so special about the theories of Professor Einstein?”


Nicholas Mosley (Londen, 25 juni 1923)


De Franse schrijver Claude Seignolle werd geboren op 25 juni 1917 in Périgueux. Hij heeft zich zijn leven lang bezig gehouden met lege
ndes en folklore uit het Zuidwesten van Frankrijk. Zijn belangrijkste romans zijn Le Rond des sorciers, Marie la Louve, La Malvenue, Le Bahut noir, La Brume ne se lèvera plus, Le Diable en Sabots, Le Gâloup, Le Chupador

Uit: Récits Cruels

„Toute la soirée, et malgré la satisfaction qu’elle devait secrétement éprouver, elle ne montra nulle ivresse de joie, ni aise de plaisir. On l’eût dite anéantie par tant de bonheur. Et lorsque, montés à notre chambre nuptiale, tard, très tard, nous fûmes enfin livrès l’un à l’autre, elle se jeta à mes pieds, m’étreignit les jambes et eut d’amères et incompréhensibles sanglots. Je la relevai tendrement et la déposai sur notre lit : ce parterre de dentelles et de broderies, où passait la fragrance de quelques secrètes lavandes.

Je la relevai tendrement et la déposai sur notre lit : ce parterre de dentelles et de broderies, où passait la fragrance de quelques secrètes lavandes. Elle m’attira et se blottit entre mes bras, me montrant qu’elle avait peur ; qu’il fallait que je la protège ; que je pouvais tout pour elle ; que…

Mais, grisé et fouetté par son comportement de petit animal craintif, je commençai à la dévêtir. Sa peau était aussi douce que ses pleurs. Je frôlai de mes lèvres son cou qui dégageait une légère senteur poivrée. M’attardai à goûter ses joues, veloutées d’un duvet de frissons. Parvins à sa bouche qu’elle me refusa d’abord en détournant la tête, mais qui je conquis et qui me rendit ardemmet mes baisers.“


Claude Seignolle (Périgueux, 25 juni 1917)


De Duitse dichter en schrijver Hans Marchwitza werd geboren in Scharley op 25 juni 1890. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2007.

Uit: Sturm auf Essen

“Du, wenn du doch daran gedacht hättest, noch einige Lumpen mitzubringen, ich hätte den Kindern paar Hosen draus zusammengestoppelt. Hast nicht dran gedacht…!”

Der Krieg kaut an den Wänden, knackend, schreckend. Draußen flattert Schnee.

An einem Dezembertag war auch Franz Kreusat zurückgekommen. Er hatte, nach der bewegten Wiedersehensszene mit der Mutter, seinen verdreckten Soldatenmantel und den Schal abgeworfen und saß stumm und grübelnd am Tisch. „Zu Haus!” Er sagte es mehrere Male zu sich selbst, um sich an den Gedanken zu gewöhnen, dass er tatsächlich wieder daheim sei. Dieses Glück hatte er sich lange nicht mehr vorstellen können, er hatte daran nicht mehr geglaubt. Er blickte sich halb um, das Gesicht in die Hand gestützt: es war ihre alte Küche. Da stand der gelbe Geschirrschrank, da hing der kleine Spiegel am selben Fleck. Da in der Ecke stand sein Tischchen. Nein, es war kein Traum, er war zu Haus.

„Komm, iss was!” sagte die noch erregt umhertrippelnde Mutter. Sie hatte noch, Gott sei Dank, ein paar Kartöffelchen im Haus gehabt und hatte ihm diese mit einer Messerspitze Fett, der nur selten vorhandenen Kostbarkeit, in dem Pfännchen gebraten. „Komm, iss…!” ermahnte sie und tupfte mit der Schürze die jetzt immer so leicht fließenden Tränen weg. „Komm, iss… Träum nicht!”

Der alte Kreusat, ein großer Mann, aber welk und dürr wie ein kranker, dorrender Baum, saß auf der kleinen Fußbank am Herd und schnaubte. Als ihm der Sohn die Hand gegeben – denn für eine Umarmung fühlten sich beide zu scheu -, hatte der alte Mann geschluckt. Jahrelange heimliche Angst und Sichverfluchen, dass er den Jungen nicht gehindert habe, als er freiwillig wegrannte; der Rest dieser Angst hielt ihm noch die Kehle zu.”


Hans Marchwitza (25 juni 1890 – 17 januari 1965)
De schrijver temidden van FDJ jeugd in 1959


De Franse schrijver en dramaturg Georges Courteline (eig. Georges Victor Marcel Moineaux ) werd geboren op 25 juni 1858 in Tours. Net als zijn vader, Jules Moineaux, is hij bekend geworden als humoristisch schrijver. Via vader Moineaux verwierf hij een zorgeloos baantje en zo werd Georges kantoorklerk bij het Ministerie van Godsdienstzaken. Zijn taak bestond uit het kopiëren van beleidsstukken en verslagen en jaarlijks moest hij 4000 pagina’s overschrijven. Dit geestdodend handwerk maakte hem niet enthousiast om zich uit te sloven voor promoties. Wel leverde het de stof voor een roman en een toneelstuk: Messieurs les ronds-de-cuir uit 1893 is een humoristisch relaas over irritante figuren en duizelingwekkende reglementen op de burelen van ministeries.

Uit: Messieurs les ronds-de-cuir

„À l’angle du boulevard Saint-Germain et de la rue de Solférino, un régiment de cuirassiers qui regagnait au pas l’École militaire força Lahrier à s’arrêter. Il demeura les pieds au bord du trottoir, ravi au fond de ce contretemps imprévu qui allait retarder de quelques minutes encore l’instant désormais imminent de son arrivée au bureau, conciliant ainsi ses goûts de flâne avec le cri indigné de sa conscience.

Simplement – car l’énorme horloge du ministère de la Guerre sonnait la demie de deux heures – il pensa :

— Diable ! encore un jour où je n’arriverai pas à midi.

Et les mains dans les poches, achevant sa cigarette, il attendit la fin du défilé.

Au-dessus de lui, c’était l’éblouissement d’un après-dîner adorable. Comme il advient tous les ans, Paris, qui s’était endormi au bruit berceur d’une pluie battante, s’était réveillé ce matin-là avec le printemps sur la tête, un printemps gai, charmant, exquis, tout frais débarqué de la nuit sans avoir averti de sa venue, en bon provincial qui arrive du Midi, tombe sur les gens à l’improviste et s’amuse de leur surprise. Par-delà les toits des maisons, derrière les hautes cheminées, le ciel d’avril s’étendait d’un bleu profond et sans un nuage, perdu au loin dans une grisaille brumeuse.“


Georges Courteline (25 juni 1858 – 25 juni 1929)


De Duitse dichter, schrijver en ingenieur Heinrich Seidel werd geboren op 25 juni 1842 in Perlin, Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Hij studeerde aan het Polytechnikum in Hannover en in Berlijn. Vanaf was hij als ingenieur betrokken bij de bouw van het Berlijnse treinstation Anhalter Bahnhof. In 1880 gaf hij zijn beroep op om zich geheel aan het schrijven te wijden. In zijn bekendste, nog steeds herdrukte werk Leberecht Hühnchen is hij de beschrijver van het eenvoudige geluk.

Das Sonett

So recht geeignet ist für spitz verzwickte
Verschnörkelte Ideen die verzwackte
Sonettenform, und für modern befrackte
Gedanken eine wunderbar geschickte

Und wer von Weisheit nur ein Körnlein pickte
Und von Ideen nur ein Ideelein packte,
Der zwängt es gerne in die höchst vertrackte
Sonettenhaut, die viel und oft geflickte.

Die Freude dann, wenn das Glück ihm glückte
Und schwitzend er sein Nichts zusammen stückte,
Darob er manche Stunde mühsam hockte!

Doch hilft’s ihm nimmer, dass er drückt’ und druckte,
Weil gähnend ob dem künstlichen Produkte
Die Menschheit ruhig einschläft, die verstockte!


Heinrich Seidel (25 juni 1842 – 7 november 1906)


De Duitse dichteres Friederike Kempner werd geboren  op 25 juni 1836 te Optatow in de provincie Posen. Ze droeg wel de bijnaam der silesische Schwan, maar zij avanceerde al gauw tot moeder van de onvrijwillige humor, die ze in tal van verzen aan het papier toevertrouwde. Daarmee heeft ze haar tijdgenoten en nakomende generaties zodanig opgevrolijkt dat haar werk in tal van edities en oplagen is verschenen. Friederike Kempner overleed op 23 februari 1904 in Friederikenhof bij Reichtal.


Amerika, du Land der Träume
Du Wunderwelt, so lang und breit
Wie schön sind deine Kokosbäume
Und deine rege Einsamkeit.


Abdel-Kaders Traum

Wolkenloses himmlisches Gewölbe,
Unter mächtigen Palmen Purpurzelt,
Eine Reiter-Karawane hält,
Auf dem Boden Wüstensand, der gelbe.

Krachend unterirdisches Gewölbe,
Fünfzehnhundert Leichen, tiefentstellt, –
Jede Leiche war ein wackrer Held, –
Speit die Flamme rasselnd aus, die gelbe.

Solch’ ein Traumbild Abdelkader grüßte,
Trunken er der Heimat Boden küßte:
«Allah, Allah« – ruft er, – »meine Wüste!«

»Pellissier, Dein fürchterlicher Brand!« –
Plötzlich sich der Held im Traum ermannt,
Seine Blicke trafen Kerkerswand! –



Willst gelangen Du zum Ziele,
Wohlverdienten Preis gewinnen,
Muß der Schweiß herunter rinnen
Von der Decke bis zur Diele!


Friederike Kempner (25 juni 1836 – 23 februari 1904)