Robert W. Service, Roddy Doyle, Thomas Pynchon, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder, Rocko Schamoni, Gerrit Kamphuis


Dolce far niente


Old man door Mark Liptrott, z. j.


My Rocking-Chair

When I am old and worse for wear
I want to buy a rocking-chair,
And set it on a porch where shine
The stars of morning-glory vine;
With just beyond, a gleam of grass,
A shady street where people pass;
And some who come with time to spare,
To yarn beside my rocking-chair.

Then I will light my corn-cob pipe
And dose and dream and rarely gripe.
My morning paper on my knee
I won’t allow to worry me.
For if I know the latest news
Is bad,–to read it I’ll refuse,
Since I have always tried to see
The side of life that clicks with glee.

And looking back with days nigh done,
I feel I’ve had a heap of fun.
Of course I guess that more or less
It’s you yourself make happiness
And if your needs are small and few,
Like me you may be happy too:
And end up with a hope, a prayer,
A chuckle in a rocking-chair.


Robert W. Service (16 januari 1874 – 11 september 1958)
St. John’s Minster in Preston, Lancashire, de geboorteplaats van Robert W. Service


De Ierse schrijver Roddy Doyle werd geboren in Dublin op 8 mei 1958. Zie ook alle tags voor Roddy Doyle op dit blog.

Uit: The Snapper

“–It’s shockin’, said Jimmy Sr again,—so it is. Wha’ do you think o’ this?
He was talking to Veronica.
–I don’t know, said Veronica.
–Is tha’ the best yeh can do, Veronica?
–Well, what do YOU think?
Jimmy Sr creased his face and held it that way for a second.
–I don’t know, he said.—I should give ou’, I suppose. An’ throw a wobbler or somethin’. But—what’s the point?
Veronica nodded. She looked very tired now.
Jimmy Sr continued.
–If she was—
He turned to Sharon.
–You should’ve come to us earlier—before, yeh know—an’ said you were goin’ to get pregnant.
The three of them tried to laugh.
–Then we could’ve done somethin’ abou’ it.—My God, though.
No one said anything. Then Jimmy Sr spoke to Sharon again.
–You’re absolutely sure now? Positive?
–Yeah, I am. I done—
–Did, said Veronica.
–I did the test.
–The test? said Jimmy Sr.—Oh.—Did yeh go in by yourself?
–Yeah, said Sharon.
–Did yeh? Fair play to yeh, said Jimmy Sr.—I’d never’ve thought o’ tha’.
Sharon and Veronica looked at each other, and grinned quickly.
Jimmy Sr got down to business.
–Who was it?
–Wha’?—Oh. I don’t know.
–Ah now, Jaysis—!
–No, I do know.
–Well, then?
–I’m not tellin’.
Jimmy Sr could feel himself getting a bit angry now. That was better.”


Roddy Doyle (Dublin, 8 mei 1958)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Thomas Pynchon werd op 8 mei 1937 geboren in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Thomas Pynchon op dit blog.

Uit: V

“Beatrice brought beer. There was a piercing yelp from one of the back tables, she flinched, beer slopped over the edge of the glass. “God,” she said, “it’s Ploy again.” Ploy was now an engine-man on the mine sweeper Impulsive and a scandal the length of East Main. He stood five feet nothing in sea boots and was always picking fights with the biggest people on the ship, knowing they would never take him seriously. Ten months ago (just before he’d transferred off the Scaffold) the Navy had decided to remove all of Ploy’s teeth. Incensed, Ploy managed to punch his way through a chief corpsman and two dental officers before it was decided he was in earnest about keeping his teeth. “But think,” the officers shouted, trying not to laugh, fending off his tiny fists: “root canal work, gum abscesses….” “No,” screamed Ploy.
They finally had to hit him in the bicep with a Pentothal injection. On waking up, Ploy saw apocalypse, screamed lengthy obscenities. For two months he roamed ghastly around the Scaffold, leaping without warning to swing from the overhead like an orangutan, trying to kick officers in the teeth. He would stand on the fantail and harangue whoever would listen, flannelmouthed through aching gums. When his mouth had healed he was presented with a gleaming, regulation set of upper and lower plates. “Oh God,” he bawled, and tried to jump over the side. But was restrained by a gargantuan Negro named Dahoud. “Hey there, little fellow,” said Dahoud, picking Ploy up by the head and scrutinizing this convulsion of dungarees and despair whose feet thrashed a yard above the deck. “What do you want to go and do that for?” “Man, I want to die, is all,” cried Ploy. “Don’t you know,” said Dahoud, “that life is the most precious possession you have?” “Ho, ho,” said Ploy through his tears. “Why?” “Because,” said Dahoud, “without it, you’d be dead.” “Oh,” said Ploy. He thought about this for a week. He calmed down, started to go on liberty again. His transfer to the Impulsive became reality. Soon, after Lights Out, the other snipes began to hear strange grating sounds from the direction of Ploy’s rack. This went on for a couple-three weeks until one morning around two somebody turned on the lights in the compartment and there was Ploy, sitting crosslegged on his rack, sharpening his teeth with a small bastard file. Next payday night, Ploy sat at a table in the Sailor’s Grave with a bunch of other snipes, quieter than usual. Around eleven, Beatrice swayed by, carrying a tray full of beers. Gleeful, Ploy stuck his head out, opened his jaws wide, and sank his newly filed dentures into the barmaid’s right buttock. Beatrice screamed, glasses flew parabolic and glittering, spraying the Sailor’s Grave with watery beer. It became Ploy’s favorite amusement.”


Thomas Pynchon (Glen Cove, 8 mei 1937)


De Engelse schrijfster Pat Barker werd geboren in Thornaby-on-Tees op 8 mei 1943. Zie ook alle tags voor Pat Barker op dit blog.

Uit: Noonday

“Closing the front door quietly behind her, Elinor took a moment to absorb the silence. Facing her, directly opposite the front door, where nobody could possibly miss it, was a portrait of her brother, Toby, in uniform. It had been painted, from photographs, several years after his death and was frankly not very good. Everybody else seemed to like it, or at least tolerate it, but Elinor thought it was a complete travesty. Item: one standard-issue gallant young officer, Grim Reaper for the use of. There was nothing of Toby there at all. Nigel Featherstone was the artist: and he was very well regarded; you saw his portraits of judges, masters of colleges, politicians and generals everywhere, but she’d never liked his work. Her own portrait of Toby was stronger – not good, she didn’t claim that – but certainly better than this. She resented not having been asked to paint this family portrait: his own sister, after all. And every visit to her sister’s house began with her standing in front of it. When he was alive, Toby’s presence had been the only thing that made weekends with the rest of her family bearable. Now, this portrait – that blank, lifeless face – was a reminder that she was going to have to face them alone.
She caught the creak of a leather armchair from the open door on her left. Oh, well, better get it over with. She went into the room and found Tim, her brother-in-law, sitting by the open window. As soon as he saw her he stood up and let his newspaper slide, sighing, to the floor. `Elinor.’ He pecked her proffered cheek. ‘Too early for a whisky?’ Evidently it wasn’t: there was a half-empty glass by his side. She opened her mouth to refuse but he’d already started to pour. ‘How was the train?’ `Crowded. Late.’ ‘Aren’t they all?’ When she’d first met Tim he might’ve been a neutered tomcat for all the interest he aroused in her. She’d thought him a nonentity, perhaps influenced in that – as in so much else – by Toby, who hadn’t liked Tim, or perhaps hadn’t found much in him to either like or dislike. And yet Tim had gone on to be a successful man; powerful, even. Something in Whitehall, in the War Office. Which was strange, because he’d never actually seen active service.”


Pat Barker (Thornaby-on-Tees, 8 mei 1943)


De Amerikaanse dichter Gary Snyder werd geboren op 8 mei 1930 in San Francisco. Zie ook alle tags voor Gary Snyder op dit blog.


Night Song of the Los Angeles Basin

pollen dust blows
Swirl of light strokes writhing
knot-tying light paths,

calligraphy of cars.

Los Angeles basin and hill slopes
Checkered with streetways. Floral loops
Of the freeway express and exchange.

Dragons of light in the dark
sweep going both ways
in the night city belly.
The passage of light end to end and rebound,
—ride drivers all heading somewhere—
etch in their traces to night’s eye-mind

calligraphy of cars.

Vole paths. Mouse trails worn in
On meadow grass;
Winding pocket-gopher tunnels,
Marmot lookout rocks.
Houses with green watered gardens
Slip under the ghost of the dry chaparral,

shrine to the L. A. River
The jinja that never was there
is there.
Where the river debouches
the place of the moment
of trembling and gathering and giving
so that lizards clap hands there
—just lizards
come pray, saying
“please give us health and long life.”

A hawk,
a mouse.

Slash of calligraphy of freeways of cars.

Into the pools of the channelized river
the Goddess in tall rain dress
tosses a handful of meal.

Gold bellies roil
mouth-bubbles, frenzy of feeding,
the common ones, the bright-colored rare ones
show up, they tangle and tumble,
godlings ride by in Rolls Royce
wide-eyed in brokers’ halls
lifted in hotels
being presented to, platters
of tidbit and wine,
snatch of fame,

churn and roil,

meal gone the water subsides.

A mouse,
a hawk.

The calligraphy of lights on the night
freeways of Los Angeles

will long be remembered.

late-rising moon.


Changing Diapers

How intelligent he looks!
on his back
both feet caught in my one hand
his glance set sideways,
on a giant poster of Geronimo
with a Sharp’s repeating rifle by his knee.

I open, wipe, he doesn’t even notice
nor do I.
Baby legs and knees
toes like little peas
little wrinkles, good-to-eat,
eyes bright, shiny ears
chest swelling drawing air,

No trouble, friend,
you and me and Geronimo
are men.


Gary Snyder (San Francisco, 8 mei 1930)


De Duitse schrijver, entertainer, muzikant, acteur en clubeigenaar Rocko Schamoni (pseudoniem van Tobias Albrecht) werd geboren op 8 mei 1966 in Lütjenburg. Zie ook alle tags voor Rocko Schamoni op dit blog.

Uit: Fünf Löcher Im Himmel

„Ab und zu blieb er stehen, um die Hand am Koffergriff zu wechseln. Er bog in eine Seitengasse ein, lief sie hinunter, beobachtete schweigend die Häuser und Wohnungen, an denen er vorbeikam, die Kneipen und Läden und die überall geparkten Autos. Sein Gesichtsausdruck blieb regungslos. Straße für Straße lief er hinunter und Viertel für Viertel, manchmal setzte er sich für einen Moment auf eine Bank oder eine Mauer, rauchte eine Zigarette und starrte dabei in das Nichts zwischen den Sternen.
Schließlich, nach Stunden, erreichte er den Stadtrand. Die Häuser wurden flacher, es gab kaum noch Geschäfte und Kneipen, nur noch endlose Wohnsiedlungen, von kleinen Straßen und Wegen durchzogen, ab und zu einen Zeitungskiosk, die Außenhaut eines gigantischen Organismus.
Paul kam zu einer Schrebergartensiedlung. Die Nacht war halb vorüber, und es hatte zu nieseln begonnen, langsam zog die feuchte Kälte in seine Kleidung. Er fand eine Hütte, die verlassen aussah, die Parzelle war verwildert, die Gartenpforte hing schief in den Angeln. Vorsichtig betrat er das Grundstück, das von einer hohen Buchsbaumhecke umgeben war, und arbeitete sich zur Eingangstür der Hütte vor. Sie war verschlossen. Paul lehnte sich langsam, aber mit dem ganzen Gewicht seines Körpers dagegen und hielt den Griff gedrückt, irgendwann hörte er ein knackendes Geräusch, das morsche Holz des Türrahmens gab nach, und Paul trat ein. Er leuchtete mit dem Feuerzeug in den Raum. Vor ihm lag ein ziemlich verwahrlostes, kleines, aber komplett eingerichtetes Zimmer. Er schloss die Tür hinter sich und zündete die Kerze an, die auf einem Campingtisch in der Mitte des Raumes stand. Er setzte sich auf das Sofa dahinter und atmete tief durch. Eine Weile beobachtete er den Dunst, den seine Atemluft in der Kälte bildete, dann schlief er ein, und sein Kopf sank auf die Brust.
Ein Knurren weckte Paul. Er schlug die Augen auf. Ein paar Sonnenstrahlen schienen ihm durch das verstaubte Wohnzimmerfenster ins Gesicht. Es knurrte wieder, hell und unangenehm rasselnd. Langsam griff Paul nach dem Messer in seiner Manteltasche, er öffnete die Klinge mit dem Daumen und zog es vorsichtig heraus. Dann beugte er sich vor, um den Raum überblicken zu können. In der Ecke neben dem Kühlschrank hockte ein Tier, er konnte es im Schatten kaum erkennen, vielleicht ein Marder. Langsam erhob sich Paul und griff dabei mit der anderen Hand nach einem schweren gläsernen Aschenbecher vor ihm auf dem Tisch. Der Marder knurrte, bewegte seinen Kopf drohend vor und zurück. Je näher Paul kam, desto nervöser wurde das Tier, langsam hob er die Hand mit dem Aschenbecher, doch plötzlich brach der Marder fauchend aus der Ecke hervor, sprang blitzschnell an ihm hinauf, biss wütend in den Mantel und stürzte quiekend durch den Raum und unter das Sofa. Nervöses Geraschel war zu hören, dann herrschte für einige Sekun-den absolute Ruhe. Vorsichtig hob Paul mit der linken Hand das Sofa an, in der anderen hielt er den Aschenbecher. Aber der Marder war verschwunden. Paul durchsuchte die Schränke nach etwas Essbarem, er fand ein paar alte Teebeutel und zwei abgelaufene Konservendosen mit Erbsensuppe, die er sich auf dem Herd aufwärmte. Er sah sich ein bisschen um, entdeckte eine elektrische Heizung und drehte sie auf.“


Rocko Schamoni (Lütjenburg, 8 mei 1966)


De Nederlandse dichter en essayist Gerrit Kamphuis werd geboren in Zwolle op 8 mei 1906. Zie ook alle tags voor Gerrit Kamphuis op dit blog.


Veronica’s Doek

Dit hoofd. bloedrig bezweet en vuil,
de starend-groote schrik der oogen
en stekels scheurend in het hooge
Voorhoofd, verminkt door schram en buil.
Geen deernis en geen mededoogen,
afschuw van zooveel walglijk leed
Is in het neerslaan onzer oogen.

Maar God, waarom voor hem zoo wreed,
terwijl met ons Gij waart bewogen?

Doch geen, die uw geheimen weet
dan dat: Gij zijt met ons bewogen.


Twee vrienden

Het luide licht zweeg tot een schaduw grijs
En loom. De avond hief de donkre hulling
Van zijn mantel. En traag werd de vervulling
Der dingen stil, en ’t zong een zachte wijs.

Wij gingen eenzaam langs het duistre water
En dachten ieder aan het leven om ons heen
En in ons hart; en elk wist zich alleen –
Toen hebben wij gesproken over nu en later.

Maar ’t was vergeefs; het somberdreigend duister
Kon nimmer aan ons moede hart ontgaan –
Later, in een spiegel, zag elk ’t ontdaan
Gelaat en hoorde zijn vervreemd gefluister.


Gerrit Kamphuis (8 mei 1906 – 25 april 1998)
Midden jaren 1920


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 8e mei ook mijn blog van 8 mei 2019 en ook mijn blog van 8 mei 2018 en ook mijn blog van 8 mei 2016 deel 3.

Roddy Doyle, Thomas Pynchon, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder, Gertrud Fussenegger, Edmund Wilson, Alain-René Lesage, Sophus Schandorph, Romain Gary

De Ierse schrijver Roddy Doyle werd geboren in Dublin op 8 mei 1958. Zie ook alle tags voor Roddy Doyle op dit blog.

Uit: The Snapper

“–You’re wha’? said Jimmy Rabbitte Sr.
He said it loudly.
–You heard me, said Sharon.
Jimmy Jr was upstairs in the boys’ room doing his D.J. practice. Darren was in the front room watching Police Academy II on the video. Les was out. Tracy and Linda, the twins, were in the front room annoying Darren. Veronica, Mrs Rabbitte, was sitting opposite Jimmy Sr at the kitchen table.
Sharon was pregnant and she’d just told her father that she thought she was. She’d told her mother earlier, before the dinner.
-Oh — my Jaysis, said Jimmy Sr.
He looked at Veronica. She looked tired. He looked at Sharon again.
–That’s shockin’, he said.
Sharon said nothing.
–Are yeh sure? said Jimmy Sr.
–Yeah. Sort of.
Jimmy Sr wasn’t angry. He probably wouldn’t be either, but it all seemed very unfair.
–You’re only nineteen, he said.
–I’m twenty.
–You’re only twenty.
–I know what age I am, Daddy.
–Now, there’s no need to be gettin’ snotty, said Jimmy Sr.
–Sorry, said Sharon.
She nearly meant it.
–I’m the one tha’ should be gettin’ snotty, said Jimmy Sr.
Sharon made herself smile.
She was happy with the way things were going so far.“


Roddy Doyle (Dublin, 8 mei 1958)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Thomas Pynchon werd op 8 mei 1937 geboren in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Thomas Pynchon op dit blog.

Uit: V

„Dog into wolf, light into twilight, emptiness into waiting presence, here were your underage Marine barfing in the street, barmaid with a ship’s propeller tattooed on each buttock, one potential berserk studying the best technique for jumping through a plate glass window (when to scream Geronimo? before or after the glass breaks?), a drunken deck ape crying back in the alley because last time the SP’s caught him like this they put him in a strait jacket. Underfoot, now and again, came vibration in the sidewalk from an SP streetlights away, beating out a Hey Rube with his night stick; overhead, turning everybody’s face green and ugly, shone mercury-vapor lamps, receding in an asymmetric V to the east where it’s dark and there are no more bars. Arriving at the Sailor’s Grave, Profane found a small fight in progress between sailors and jarheads. He stood in the doorway a moment watching; then realizing he had one foot in the Grave anyway, dived out of the way of the fight and lay more or less doggo near the brass rail. “Why can’t man live in peace with his fellow man,” wondered a voice behind Profane’s left ear. It was Beatrice the barmaid, sweetheart of DesDiv 22, not to mention Profane’s old ship, the destroyer USS Scaffold. “Benny,” she cried. They became tender, meeting again after so long. Profane began to draw in the sawdust hearts, arrows through them, sea gulls carrying a banner in their beaks which read Dear Beatrice. The Scaffold-boat’s crew were absent, this tin can having got under way for the Mediterranean two evenings ago amid a storm of bitching from the crew which was heard out in the cloudy Roads (so the yarn went) like voices off a ghost ship; heard as far away as Little Creek. Accordingly, there were a few more barmaids than usual tonight, working tables all up and down East Main. For it’s said (and not without reason) that no sooner does a ship like the Scaffold single up all lines than certain Navy wives are out of their civvies and into barmaid uniforms, flexing their beer-carrying arms and practicing a hooker’s sweet smile; even as the N.O.B. band is playing “Auld Lang Syne” and the destroyers are blowing stacks in black flakes all over the cuckolds-to-be standing manly at attention, taking leave with rue and a tiny grin.”


Thomas Pynchon (Glen Cove, 8 mei 1937)
Down Town Glen Cove, Long Island


De Engelse schrijfster Pat Barker werd geboren in Thornaby-on-Tees op 8 mei 1943. Zie ook alle tags voor Pat Barker op dit blog.

Uit: Noonday

„Elinor was halfway up the drive when she sensed she was being watched. She stopped and scanned the upstairs windows—wide open in the heat as if the house were gasping  for breath—but there was nobody looking down. Then, from the sycamore tree at the end of the gar- den, came a rustling  of leaves. Oh, of course: Kenny. She was tempted to ignore him, but that seemed unkind, so she went across the lawn and peered up into the branches.
No reply. There was often no reply.
Kenny had arrived almost a year ago now, among the first batch of evacuees, and, although this area had since been reclassified—“neutral” rather than “safe”—here he remained. She felt his gaze heavy on the top of her head, like a hand, as she stood squinting up into the late-afternoon sunlight.
Kenny spent  hours up there, not reading his comics, not building a tree house, not dropping conkers on people’s heads—no, just watching. He had a red notebook in which he wrote down car numbers, the time people arrived, the time they left . . . Of course, you forgot what it was like to be his age: probably every visitor was a German spy. Oh, and he ate himself, that was the other thing. He was forever nibbling his fingernails, tearing at his cuticles, picking scabs off his knees and licking up the blood. Even pulling hair out of his head and sucking it. And, despite being a year at the village school, he hadn’t made friends. But then, he was the sort of child who attracts bullying, she thought, guiltily conscious of her own failure to like him.
“Kenny? Isn’t it time for tea?”
Then, with a great crash of leaves  and branches, he dropped at her feet and stood looking up at her, scowling, for all the world like a small, sour, angry crab apple.
“Where’s Paul?”
“I’m afraid he couldn’t come, he’s busy.”
“He’s always busy.”
“Well, yes, he’s got a lot to do. Are you coming in now?” Evidently that didn’t deserve a reply.
He turned his back on her and ran off through the arch into the kitchen garden.“


Pat Barker (Thornaby-on-Tees, 8 mei 1943)


De Amerikaanse dichter Gary Snyder werd geboren op 8 mei 1930 in San Francisco. Zie ook alle tags voor Gary Snyder op dit blog.


Above Pate Valley

We finished clearing the last
Section of trail by noon,
High on the ridge-side
Two thousand feet above the creek
Reached the pass, went on
Beyond the white pine groves,
Granite shoulders, to a small
Green meadow watered by the snow,
Edged with Aspen—sun
Straight high and blazing
But the air was cool.
Ate a cold fried trout in the
Trembling shadows. I spied
A glitter, and found a flake
Black volcanic glass—obsidian—
By a flower. Hands and knees
Pushing the Bear grass, thousands
Of arrowhead leavings over a
Hundred yards. Not one good
Head, just razor flakes
On a hill snowed all but summer,
A land of fat summer deer,
They came to camp. On their
Own trails. I followed my own
Trail here. Picked up the cold-drill,
Pick, singlejack, and sack
Of dynamite.
Ten thousand years.

Kyoto: March

A few light flakes of snow
Fall in the feeble sun;
Birds sing in the cold,
A warbler by the wall. The plum
Buds tight and chill soon bloom.
The moon begins first
Fourth, a faint slice west
At nightfall. Jupiter half-way
High at the end of night-
Meditation. The dove cry
Twangs like a bow.
At dawn Mt. Hiei dusted white
On top; in the clear air
Folds of all the gullied green
Hills around the town are sharp,
Breath stings. Beneath the roofs
Of frosty houses
Lovers part, from tangle warm
Of gentle bodies under quilt
And crack the icy water to the face
And wake and feed the children
And grandchildren that they love.


Gary Snyder (San Francisco, 8 mei 1930)


De Oostenrijkse schrijfster Gertrud Fussenegger werd geboren op 8 mei 1912 in Pilsen. Zie ook alle tags voor Gertrud Fussenegger op dit blog.

Uit: Das verschüttete Antlitz

„Damals war es Abend und Herbst.
Öde und unwirtlich sind die Hochflächen des
nordböhmischen Landes. Kahl sind sie, weil der Wind über sie hinfegt.Wo eine Straße läuft, stehen die dürren, schwarzberindeten Zwetschgenbäume in unabsehbaren Reihen. Die Bäche und Flüsse haben tiefe Täler ausgewaschen, dort drängt sich der Wald zu dichten Schöpfen zusammen, dort klappern Mühlen und rattern Sägen; dort werden in kleinen Fabriken baumwollene Strümpfe gewirkt und billiger Drell gewoben.
Auf steilen Kehren kriecht ein Omnibus zum Rand einer Schlucht empor. Er ist nicht groß, ein
schwärzlicher Kasten, der auf plumpen Rädern rumpelt. Der Motor tuckert, die Gänge kreischen. Oben auf der Ebene gewinnt er an Fahrt.
Drinnen ist es dunkel.DerWagen stößt und rüttelt, die Luft riecht süßlich nach Benzin, scharf und verdorben nach Atem und Kleiderdunst. Man ist schon eine Stunde unterwegs, irgendwo am Horizont schwimmen Lichter herauf, die Lampen einer größeren Ortschaft. Dort ist die Fahrt zu Ende. Aber zuvor hält der Wagen noch einmal an. Der Fahrer dreht das Licht auf.»AmWrschek«, sagt er. »Da wollte wer aussteigen.«
Auf der letzten Bank sitzt, in das Eck gelehnt, ein Mann und schläft. Der Hut ist ihm ins Gesicht gerutscht. »Der ist es«, ruft ein Knabe. »Der dort!« Jemand steht auf, stößt den Schlafenden an. »He – Sie!« Der Mann fährt empor. »AmWrschek! Da sind wir, aussteigen!«
»Wird’s bald?« murmelt der Fahrer ungeduldig.
Jemand beginnt zu kichern.Es ist immer lächerlich, wenn ein Mensch aus dem Schlaf geweckt wird und nicht begreift, was man von ihm will. Auch dieser Mensch wirkt lächerlich, er stiert ein paar Sekunden ganz verloren vor sich hin, dann schnellt er empor, schnellt sich vorwärts; der Gang zwischen den Sitzen ist mit Gepäck verrammelt, der Mann stolpert, die Leute grinsen. Endlich ist er vorn, da ruft eine Frau: »Ihren Mantel, Sie haben ja Ihren Mantel vergessen.« – Ach ja. Der Mann kehrt um. Er muß zurück, den Mantel vom Haken nehmen und wieder nach vorne gehen.Der Fahrer läßt den Motor wütend aufbrüllen, der Wagen zittert und stampft, als wäre auch er ungeduldig über den torkelnden Fahrgast. Kaum ist der hinaus, ruckt der Wagen an. Die Tür wird von innen zugeschlagen.“


Gertrud Fussenegger (8 mei 1912 – 19 maart 2009)


De Amerikaanse schrijver en criticus Edmund Wilson werd geboren op 8 mei 1895 in Red Bank, New Jersey. Zie ook alle tags voor Edmund Wilson op dit blog.

Uit:The Sixties

“I set out to go to the memorial service for Louise Bogan at 3 at the National Institute [ of Arts and Letters ] ; but I stopped to see the doctor on the way and he told me I ought not to go, because I would give people my infection. So I went back to the club and went to bed. I was trying to read Conrad’s “Secret Agent” — very boring, full of the old-fashioned psychologizing of the Henry James era. Some of these novels of Conrad’s present a challenge to the reader to get through them. I had a similar experience with “Nostromo,” which I read part of in the hospital. [ Wilson had a heart attack in March. ] I was well enough on Saturday to go with [ the writer ] Penelope [ Gilliatt ] to Fellini’s “Satyricon” — long and elaborate, a rather unpleasant effect, a piling up of horrors and monstrosities. Naples, Fla., Winter 1972
At Wellfleet, before I left, I found myself surrounded by my books and other belongings, but was now alienated from them, couldn’t really connect with them. Uncomfortable. Talcottville, Spring 1972
T’ville, May 31-June 5. Rather a desolate stay: Mrs. Stabb, Mrs. Seelman nursing me.
Millers and Glyn Morris [ friends ] madly working for McGovern. Democrats up here in hiding, people in big places Republicans. Two movies: “Godfather” and “French Connection,” bang bang. Painful getting in and out of theaters. Ned Miller harangued me about diet as if he had had a religious conversion.”


Edmund Wilson (8 mei 1895 – 14 juni 1972)
Hier met zijn zoontje Reuel in 1949


De Franse schrijver Alain-René Lesage werd geboren op 8 mei 1668 in Sarzeau. Zie ook alle tags voor Alain-René Lesage op dit blog.

Uit: Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane

« A cette vue, qui me fit trembler pour le bien de l’Église, je m’arrêtais tout court ; je serrai promptement mes ducats, je tirai quelques réaux, et, m’approchant du chapeau disposé à recevoir la charité des fidèles effrayés, je les jetai dedans l’un après l’autre, pour montrer au soldat que j’en usais noblement. Il fut satisfait de ma générosité, et me donna autant de bénédictions que je donnai de coups de pied dans les flancs de ma mule, pour m’éloigner promptement de lui ; mais la maudite bête, trompant mon impatience, n’en alla pas plus vite. La longue habitude qu’elle avait de marcher pas à pas sous mon oncle lui avait fait perdre l’usage du galop.
Je ne tirai pas de cette aventure un augure trop favorable pour mon voyage. Je me représentai que je n’étais pas encore à Salamanque, et que je pourrais bien faire une plus mauvaise rencontre. Mon oncle me parut très imprudent de ne m’avoir pas mis entre les mains d’un muletier. C’était sans doute ce qu’il aurait dû faire ; mais il avait songé qu’en me donnant sa mule mon voyage me coûterait moins, et il avait plus pensé à cela qu’aux périls que je pouvais courir en chemin. Ainsi, pour réparer sa faute, je résolus, si j’avais le bonheur d’arriver à Peñaflor, d’y vendre ma mule, et de prendre la voie du muletier pour aller à Astorga, d’où je me rendrais à Salamanque par la même voiture. Quoique je ne fusse jamais sorti d’Oviédo, je n’ignorais pas le nom des villes par où je devais passer : je m’en étais fais instruire avant mon départ.
J’arrivai heureusement à Peñaflor : je m’arrêtai à la porte d’une hôtellerie d’assez bonne apparence. Je n’eus pas mis pied à terre, que l’hôte vint me recevoir fort civilement. Il détacha lui-même ma valise, la chargea sur ses épaules, et me conduisit à une chambre, pendant qu’un de ses valets menait ma mule à l’écurie. Cet hôte, le plus grand babillard des Asturies, et aussi prompt à conter sans nécessité ses propres affaires que curieux de savoir celles d’autrui, m’apprit qu’il se nommait André Corcuelo ; qu’il avait servi longtemps dans les armées du roi en qualité de sergent, et que, depuis quinze moins, il avait quitté le service pour épouser une fille de Castropol qui, bien que tant soit peu basanée, ne laissait pas de faire valoir le bouchon.”


Alain-René Lesage (8 mei 1668 – 17 november 1747)


De Deense schrijver Sophus Schandorph werd geboren op 8 mei 1836 in Ringstedt. Zie ook alle tags voor Sophus Schandorph op dit blog.

Uit: Stina Becomes a Farmer’s Wife (Vertaald door Sally Ryan)

“Why, that’s a darned shame,” said the farmer. But when Stina continued holding the bread toward him, he took it with an attempt to be polite–”Those are really very fine sandwiches.” He half rose in the seat and began to fumble in his coat-tail pocket. As his arms were short, he had some trouble in hauling out a black, hammered pint bottle. A blue checked cotton handkerchief came out with it
. “Shall we make the nightingale chirp?” he asked, chuckling inwardly without moving his lips. He produced a strident noise by rubbing the moist cork against the bottle, which he then offered to Stina. She gave him an indignant glance and rejected the proffered bottle by a gesture. The farmer laughed as before, and said, “Why–it ain’t brandy. It’s sweet punch extract.”
This information altered matters. Stina took a swallow from the bottle, and grunted something which was meant to be thanks. The man took a long pull, and exclaimed with voluptuous delight, “Ah–ah–that cools one off a sight in such a heat. It’s a tidy drink.”
Stina nodded and licked her lips. A much softer “Ah” than that of the man was evidence of the enjoyment which the sweet drink had given her.
They continued their ride over the white road, without the least change in the surroundings or the situation. A couple of times the farmer moved nearer to Stina, as if by way of experiment, but each time she squeezed farther into the opposite corner of the seat.
They came to a hill. Now the horses had to walk slowly. From the top of the hill a village could be seen, topped by the white church tower with tiled, white-washed step-gables. Here and there were some farms, separated from the road by dunghills and blackish brown pools of water.
“Whoa !” said Stina when they had reached a cottage with green window-frames and a wilted rose-bush growing along the wall.
“Oh, is that where it is?” said the farmer. “Whoa! Do you understand Danish, you red fox ?”
This latter remark was addressed to the near horse, which had not been willing to obey orders at once, but seemed impressed by this appeal to its nationality.
A little girl in a pink calico dress appeared in the door, which consisted of an upper and a lower part, both open.”


Sophus Schandorph (8 mei 1836 – 1 januari 1901)
Portret door P.S. Krøyer, 1895


De Franse schrijver, vertaler regisseur en diplomaat Romain Gary werd geboren op 8 mei 1914 in Vilnius, Litouwen. Zie ook alle tags voor Romain Gary op dit blog.

Uit: La vie devant soi

« L’entrée de l’immeuble menait à un deuxième immeuble, plus petit à l’intérieur et dès que j’y suis entré, j’ai entendu des coups de feu, des freins qui grinçaient, une femme qui hurlait et un homme qui suppliait « Ne me tuez pas ! Ne me tuez pas! » et j’ai même sauté en l’air tellement c’était trop près. Il y a eu tout de suite une rafale de mitraillette et l’homme a crié « Non! », comme toujours lorsqu’on meurt sans plaisir. Ensuite il y a eu un silence encore plus affreux et c’est là que vous n’allez pas me croire. Tout a recommencé comme avant, avec le même mec qui ne voulait pas être tué parce qu’il avait ses raisons et la mitraillette qui ne l’écoutait pas. Il a recommencé trois fois à mourir malgré lui comme si c’était un salaud comme c’est pas permis et qu’il fallait le faire mourir trois fois pour l’exemple. Il y eut un nouveau silence pendant lequel il est resté mort et puis ils se sont acharnés sur lui une quatrième fois et une cinquième et à la fin il me faisait même pitié parce qu’enfin tout de même. Après ils l’ont laissé tranquille et il y eut une voix de femme qui a dit « mon amour, mon pauvre amour », mais d’une voix tellement émue et avec ses sentiments les plus sincères que j’en suis resté comme deux ronds de flan et pourtant je ne sais même pas ce que ça veut dire. Il n’y avait personne dans l’entrée sauf moi et une porte avec une lampe rouge allumée. Je suis à peine revenu de l’émotion qu’ils ont recommencé tout le bordel avec « mon amour, mon amour » mais chaque fois sur un autre ton, et puis ils ont remis ça encore et encore. Le mec a dû mourir cinq ou six fois dans les bras de sa bonne femme tellement c’était pour lui le pied de sentir qu’il y avait là quelqu’un à qui ça faisait de la peine. »


Romain Gary (8 mei 1914 – 2 december 1980)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 8e mei ook mijn blog van 8 mei 2016 deel 3.

Roddy Doyle, Thomas Pynchon, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder, Gertrud Fussenegger, Edmund Wilson, Romain Gary, Alain-René Lesage, Sophus Schandorph

De Ierse schrijver Roddy Doyle werd geboren in Dublin op 8 mei 1958. Zie ook alle tags voor Roddy Doyle op dit blog.


“Gloria Kelly lay in bed. She was wide awake. She knew her brother, Raymond, was too. She could tell by the way he was breathing. It was awake breath. He was lying there, thinking and listening. Sleep breath was different. It was longer and lighter, less in and out.
‘Rayzer?’ she whispered,
Raymond didn’t answer. But she didn’t care.
She liked sharing the bedroom. Although she knew Raymond didn’t. She didn’t care about that either. She could like it in secret. She didn’t have to tell him.
She’d been moved into Raymond’s room when their Uncle Ben had come to live with them. For a while. That was what her mam and dad had said. Uncle Ben would be staying ‘for a while’. At first her mother had called it ‘a little while’. But the ‘little’ had disappeared when Uncle Ben kept staying, and Gloria began to think that her bedroom wasn’t hers any more. And Raymond, she supposed, began to think the same thing. His room had become their room.
She looked into her room sometimes, when her Uncle Ben wasn’t in there. He hadn’t done anything to it. He hadn’t touched her pictures or her other stuff. It was still pink, nearly everything in it. The only really new thing in the room was her Uncle Ben’s smell. It was kind of an adult smell. A mixture of soap and sweatiness. There were none of his clothes lying around, and just one book that wasn’t hers. She’d looked at the cover but it had looked boring, about a war or something. Except for the fact that she didn’t sleep or play in there any more, it was still Gloria’s room. So maybe her Uncle Ben really was only staying for a while – but the while was a bit longer than they’d expected.
He still wouldn’t answer.
She didn’t like her bed. It wasn’t a real bed. It was just a mattress on the floor. She’d liked it at first. It had been fun, nearly like camping. But not now. Her face was sometimes right against the wall, low down, at the skirting board, nearly where it joined the floor. It was cold there. Always – even when the rest of the room was warm. And she could hear things sometimes – she thought she could. Behind the skirting board.”


Roddy Doyle (Dublin, 8 mei 1958)

Lees verder “Roddy Doyle, Thomas Pynchon, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder, Gertrud Fussenegger, Edmund Wilson, Romain Gary, Alain-René Lesage, Sophus Schandorph”

Roddy Doyle, Thomas Pynchon, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder, Gertrud Fussenegger, Edmund Wilson, James Worthy

De Ierse schrijver Roddy Doyle werd geboren in Dublin op 8 mei 1958. Zie ook alle tags voor Roddy Doyle op dit blog.

Uit:Two More Pints

“Wha’ d’yeh think of the poll?
He’s alrigh’. He pulls a reasonable pint.
I meant, the election poll.
Ah, fuck the-. Go on.
Michael D.’s leadin’.
Followed by Mitchell.
No. The Dragons’ Den fella.
Fuckin’ hell. How did tha’ happen?
Well, he’s scutterin’ on abou’ community an’ disability an’ tha’. But, really, he’s an 01’ Fianna Fail hack. Up to his entrepreneurial bollix in it. Annyway, my theory.
Go on
People still love Fianna Fail.
But they’d hammer them if they had a candidate.
Exactly. But they can vote for this prick without havin’ to admit it.
But I think Michael D. will get there.
How come?
He was goin’ on abou’ the President not bein’ a handmaiden to the government.
What’s a handmaiden?
I’m not sure. But if I was lookin’ for one in the Golden Pages, I wouldn’t be stoppin’ at the Michaels.
Annyway, he suddenly stops, an’ says he broke his kneecap when he fell durin’ a fact-findin’ mission in Colombia.
Wha’ does tha’ tell yeh?
He was ou’ of his head.
Exactly. Fact-findin’ mission me hole. He’s lettin’ us know – he’s one o’ the lads.
Well, that’s me decided.
Me too.”

Roddy Doyle (Dublin, 8 mei 1958)

Lees verder “Roddy Doyle, Thomas Pynchon, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder, Gertrud Fussenegger, Edmund Wilson, James Worthy”

Roddy Doyle, Thomas Pynchon, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder, Gertrud Fussenegger, Edmund Wilson, James Worthy

De Ierse schrijver Roddy Doyle werd geboren in Dublin op 8 mei 1958. Zie ook alle tags voor Roddy Doyle op dit blog.

Uit:Two More Pints

“– Have yeh made your mind up yet?
– A pint – same as always. I haven’t had to make me mind up since –
– I meant the election.
– Ah, shove it.
– Well, it’s either tha’ or the Greek default.
– Alrigh’ – fuck it. Who’s goin’ to
– Hard to say. They’re all shite.
– I seen Mary Davis’s Sex an’ the City posters.
– There yeh go. An’ Mitchell. He said you can see the house he grew up in – in Inchicore, like – from the window of the Áras. An’ he’s goin’ to look out at it every mornin’.
– An’ shout, Fuck you, Inchicore.
– He could get the queen to do it with him the next time she’s over.
– A bondin’ exercise.
– Exactly. She probably never gets the chance to say “fuck” at home.
– Talkin’ abou’ fuck an’ the queen. What’s McGuinness up to?
– Says he’ll only pay himself the average industrial wage.
– The fuckin’ eejit.
– I’m with yeh. He says he’ll employ six young people with the money left over.
– Cuttin’ the grass an’ washin’ diesel. What about the Senator?
– Ah Jaysis. It looks like Greece is goin’ to miss its deficit target an’ has fuck-all chance of avertin’ bankruptcy.“

Roddy Doyle (Dublin, 8 mei 1958)

Lees verder “Roddy Doyle, Thomas Pynchon, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder, Gertrud Fussenegger, Edmund Wilson, James Worthy”

Thomas Pynchon, Roddy Doyle, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder, Gertrud Fussenegger, James Worthy

De Amerikaanse schrijver Thomas Pynchon werd op 8 mei 1937 geboren in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Thomas Pynchon op dit blog.

Uit: Bleeding Edge

„It’s the first day of spring 2001, and Maxine Tarnow, though some still have her in their system as Loeffler, is walking her boys to school. Maybe they’re past the age where they need an escort, maybe Maxine doesn’t want to let go just yet. It’s only a couple blocks, it’s on her way to work, she enjoys it, so?
This morning, all up and down the streets, what looks like every Callery Pear tree on the Upper West Side has popped overnight into identical white clouds of pear blossoms. As Maxine watches, sunlight finds its way past rooflines and water tanks to the end of the block and into one particular tree, which all at once is filled with light.
“Mom?” Ziggy in the usual hurry. “Yo.”
“Guys, check it out, that tree?”
Otis takes a minute to look. “Awesome, Mom.”
“Doesn’t suck,” Zig agrees. The boys keep going, Maxine enjoys the tree half a minute more before catching up. At the corner by long-implanted reflex she drifts into a pick so as to stay between them and any driver whose idea of sport is to come around the corner and run you over.
Sunlight reflected from apartment windows has begun to show up in blurry patterns on the fronts of the buildings across the street. Two-part buses, new on the routes, creep the crosstown blocks like giant insects. Steel shutters are being rolled up, early trucks are double-parking, guys are out with hoses cleaning off their piece of sidewalk. Unhoused people sleep in doorways, scavengers with huge plastic sacks full of empty beer and soda cans head for the markets to cash them in, work crews wait in front of buildings for the super to show up. Runners are bouncing up and down at the curb waiting for the lights to change. Cops are in coffee shops dealing with bagel deficiencies. Kids, parents, and nannies wheeled and afoot are heading in all different directions for schools in the neighborhood. Half the kids seem to be on new Razor scooters, so to the list of things to keep alert for, add ambush by rolling aluminum.”

Thomas Pynchon (Glen Cove, 8 mei 1937)

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Thomas Pynchon, Roddy Doyle, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder, Gertrud Fussenegger

De Amerikaanse schrijver Thomas Pynchon werd op 8 mei 1937 geboren in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Thomas Pynchon op dit blog.


Uit: Against the Day


July Fourth started hot and grew hotter, early light on the peaks descending, occupying, the few clouds bright and shapely and unpromising of rain, nitro beginning to ooze out of dynamite sticks well before the sun had cleared the ridge. Among stockmen and rodeo riders, today was known as “Cowboy’s Christmas,” but to Webb Traverse it was more like Dynamite’s National Holiday, though you found many of the Catholic faith liked to argue that that ought to be the Fourth of December, feast of St Barbara, patron saint of artillerymen, gunsmiths, and by not that big of a stretch, dynamiters too.

Everybody today, drovers and barkeeps, office clerks and hardcases, gentle elderly folks and openmouth reckless youth, would be seized sooner or later by the dynamitic mania prevailing. They would take little fractions of a stick, attach cap and fuse, light them up and throw them at each other, drop it in reservoirs and have all-day fish fries, blast picturesque patterns in the landscape that’d be all but gone next day, put it lit into empty beer barrels to be rolled down mountainsides, and take bets on how close to town before it all blew to bits – a perfect day all round for some of that good Propaganda of the Deed stuff, which would just blend right in with all the other percussion.

Webb staggered up out of his bedroll after one of those nights when he did not so much sleep as become intermittently conscious of time. Already warm-up blasts could be heard up and down the valley. Today’s would be a fairly routine job, and Webb was looking forward to a little saloon time at the end of it. Zarzuela was out by the fence waiting, having known Webb long enough to have an idea that whatever the day held in store, it would include explosion, which the colt was used to and even looked forward to.”



Thomas Pynchon (Glen Cove, 8 mei 1937)


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Thomas Pynchon, Roddy Doyle, Gertrud Fussenegger, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder

De Amerikaanse schrijver Thomas Pynchon werd op 8 mei 1937 geboren in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Thomas Pynchon op dit blog.

Uit: The Crying of Lot 49

„It took her till the middle of Huntley and Brinkley to remember that last year at three or so one morning there had come this long-distance call, from where she would never know (unless now he’d left a diary) by a voice beginning in heavy Slavic tones as second secretary at the Transylvanian Consulate, looking for an escaped bat; modulated to comic-Negro, then on into hostile Pachuco dialect, full of chingas and maricones; then a Gestapo officer asking her in shrieks did she have relatives in Germany and finally his Lamont Cranston voice, the one he’d talked in all the way down to Mazatlan. “Pierce, please,” she’d managed to get in, “I thought we had — “

“But Margo,”earnestly, “I’ve just come from Commissioner Weston, and that old man in the fun house was murdered by the same blowgun that killed Professor Quackenbush,” or something.

“For God’s sake,” she said. Mucho had rolled over and was looking at her.

“Why don’t you hang up on him,” Mucho, suggested, sensibly.

“I heard that,” Pierce said. “I think it’s time Wendell Maas had a little visit from The Shadow.” Silence, positive and thorough, fell. So it was the last of his voices she ever heard. Lamont Cranston. That phone line could have pointed any direction, been any length. Its quiet ambiguity shifted over, in the months after the call, to what had been revived: memories of his face, body, things he’d given her, things she had now and then pretended not to’ve heard him say. It took him over, and to the verge of being forgotten. The shadow waited a year before visiting. But now there was Metzger’s letter. Had Pierce called last year then to tell her about this codicil? Or had he decided on it later, somehow because of her annoyance and Mucho’s indifference? She felt exposed, finessed, put down. She had never executed a will in her life, didn’t know where to begin, didn’t know how to tell the law firm in L. A. that she didn’t know where to begin.“

Thomas Pynchon (Glen Cove, 8 mei 1937)

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Thomas Pynchon, Roddy Doyle, Gertrud Fussenegger, Pat Barker

De Amerikaanse schrijver Thomas Pynchon werd op 8 mei 1937 geboren in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York.


Uit:Gegen den Tag (Vertaald door Dirk van Gunsteren Nikolaus Stingl)


“Vorspring und Achterleine loswerfen!»

«Frischauf jetzt … langsam und vorsichtig … sehr schön! Fertig machen zum Ablegen!»

«Windy City, wir kommen!»

«Hurra! Wir fliegen!»

Unter derlei lebhaften Ausrufen stieg das wasserstoffbetriebene Luftschiff Inconvenience, seine Gondel mit patriotischen Fähnchen geschmückt, an Bord eine fünfköpfige Besatzung – allesamt Mit-

glieder jenes berühmten, unter dem Namen Freunde der Fährnis bekannten aeronautischen Clubs –, zügig in den Morgen auf und wurde alsbald vom Südwind erfasst.

Nachdem das Schiff Reiseflughöhe erreicht hatte und alles, was an Erscheinungen auf dem Boden zurückgeblieben, auf beinahe mikroskopische Größe zusammengeschrumpft war, verkündete Randolph St. Cosmo, der Schiffskommandant: «Wegtreten von Manöverstation», und die Jungs, jeder in der schmucken, aus rotweiß gestreiftem Blazer und himmelblauer Hose bestehenden Sommeruniform, gehorchten munter.

Ihr Ziel an diesem Tag war die Stadt Chicago und die jüngst dort eröffnete Weltausstellung. Seit ihre Befehle eingegangen waren, hat-

te das «Gemunkel» unter den aufgeregten und neugierigen Mannschaften wenig anderes zum Gegenstand gehabt als die sagenhafte «Weiße Stadt», ihr gewaltiges Riesenrad, ihre alabasternen Tempel des Handels und der Industrie, ihre funkelnden Lagunen und die tausend anderen vergleichbaren Wunder wissenschaftlicher wie künstlerischer Art, die ihrer dort harrten.

«Junge, Junge!», rief Darby Suckling, während er sich über die Halteleinen beugte und zusah, wie sich der weite Bogen des amerikanischen Herzlandes tief unten in einem verschwimmenden Wirbel von Grün hinzog, sodass seine flachsblonden Locken im Wind an der Gondel entlangflogen wie ein leewärts flatterndes Banner.”



Thomas Pynchon (Glen Cove, 8 mei 1937)

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Thomas Pynchon, Roddy Doyle, Gertrud Fussenegger, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder, Romain Gary, Edmund Wilson, Peter Benchley

De Amerikaanse schrijver Thomas Pynchon werd op 8 mei 1937 geboren in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York.


Uit: V


Christmas Eve, 1955, Benny Profane, wearing black levis, suede jacket, sneakers and big cowboy hat, happened to pass through Norfolk, Virginia. Given to sentimental impulses, he thought he’d look in on the Sailor’s Grave, his old tin can’s tavern on East Main Street. He got there by way of the Arcade, at the East Main end of which sat an old street singer with a guitar and an empty Sterno can for donations. Out in the street a chief yeoman was trying to urinate in the gas tank of a ’54 Packard Patrician and five or six seamen apprentice were standing around giving encouragement. The old man was singing, in a fine, firm baritone:


Every night is Christmas Eve on old East Main,
Sailors and their sweethearts all agree.
Neon signs of red and green
Shine upon the friendly scene,
Welcoming you in from off the sea.
Santa’s bag is filled with all your dreams come true:
Nickel beers that sparkle like champagne,
Barmaids who all love to screw,
All of them reminding you
It’s Christmas Eve on old East Main.


“Yay chief,” yelled a seaman deuce. Profane rounded the corner. With its usual lack of warning, East Main was on him.

Since his discharge from the Navy Profane had been roadlaboring and when there wasn’t work just traveling, up and down the east coast like a yo-yo; and this had been going on for maybe a year and a half. After that long of more named pavements than he’d care to count, Profane had grown a little leery of streets, especially streets likethis. They had in fact all fused into a single abstracted Street, which come the full moon he would have nightmares about. East Main, a ghetto for Drunken Sailors nobody knew what to Do With, sprang on your nerves with all the abruptness of a normal night’s dream turning to nightmare. “



Thomas Pynchon (Glen Cove, 8 mei 1937)
Boekomslag “V”


De Ierse schrijver Roddy Doyle werd geboren in Dublin op 8 mei 1958.


Uit: A Star Called Henry


My mother looked up at the stars. There were plenty of them up there. She lifted her hand. It swayed as she chose one. Her finger pointed.
— There”s my little Henry up there. Look it.
I looked, her other little Henry sitting beside her on the step. I looked up and hated him. She held me but she looked up at her twinkling boy. Poor me beside her, pale and red-eyed, held together by rashes and sores. A stomach crying to be filled, bare feet aching like an old, old man”s. Me, a shocking substitute for the little Henry who”d been too good for this world, the Henry God had wanted for himself. Poor me.
And poor Mother. She sat on that step and other crumbling steps and watched her other babies joining Henry. Little Gracie, Lil, Victor, another little Victor. The ones I remember. There were others, and early others sent to Limbo; they came and went before t
hey could be named. God took them all. He needed them all up there to light the night. He left her plenty, though. The ugly ones, the noisy ones, the ones He didn”t want — the ones that would never stay fed.
Poor Mother. She wasn”t much more than twenty when she gazed up at little twinkling Henry but she was already old, already decomposing, ruined beyond repair, good for some more babies, then finished.
Poor Mammy. Her own mother was a leathery old witch, but was probably less than forty. She poked me, as if to prove that I was there.
— You”re big, she said.
She was accusing me, weighing me, planning to take some of me back. Always wrapped in her black shawl, she always smelt of rotten meat and herrings — it was a sweat on her. Always with a book under the shawl, the complete works of Shakespeare or something by Tolstoy. Nash was her name but I don”t know what she called herself before she married her dead husband.“



Roddy Doyle (Dublin, 8 mei 1958)


De Amerikaanse dichter Gary Snyder werd geboren op 8 mei 1930 in San Francisco.

How Poetry Comes to Me

It comes blundering over the
Boulders at night, it stays
Frightened outside the
Range of my campfire
I go to meet it at the
Edge of the light


For All

Ah to be alive
on a mid-September morn
fording a stream
barefoot, pants rolled up,
holding boots, pack on,
sunshine, ice in the shallows,
northern rockies.

Rustle and shimmer of icy creek waters
stones turn underfoot, small and hard as toes
cold nose dripping
singing inside
creek music, heart music,
smell of sun on gravel.

I pledge allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island,
and to the beings who thereon dwell
one ecosystem
in diversity
under the sun
With joyful interpenetration for all.



Gary Snyder (San Francisco, 8 mei 1930)


De Oostenrijkse schrijfster Gertrud Fussenegger werd geboren op 8 mei 1912 in Pilsen. Gertrud Fussenegger overleed op 19 maart van dit jaar op 96-jarige leeftijd.


Uit: Die Brüder von Lasawa


„Mit Zdenko sprach er, obwohl sie fast den ganzen Tag miteinander verbrachten, sehr wenig. Er hatte es in jener ersten Stunde, da er ihn beim Ballspiel getroffen, nicht über sich gebracht, dem Endlich-Gefundenen zu gestehen, wie lange er ihn gesucht, wie viele Wege er um seinetwillen gemacht hatte, ja, daß er nur seinetwegen, um den Bruder zu gewinnen, den Perwög-Namen ausgeschlagen, das Muttererbe fortgeworfen, die Heimat verlassen habe. Er gab auf Zdenkos Frage, wieso er hieher nach Wien gekommen sei, eine beiläufige Antwort, als hätte ihn Abenteuerei und Laune und vielleicht noch ein Auftrutzen gegen die großväterliche Herrschaft zu dieser Wanderung verführt. Auch hatte er nicht gesagt, daß er in Lasawa gewesen, und schließlich auch die Fahrt mit dem wahnsinnigen Mädchen verschwiegen. Zdenko drang auch nicht mit Fragen in ihn. Nur sein Blick ruhte oft, verstohlen forschend, auf dem jüngeren Bruder. Hie und da erkundigte er sich nach dem Handel, nach den Bräuchen der Landleute und Bürger in Tirol. Er war auf einer Fahrt einmal durch das Inntal gekommen, hatte sogar in Hall gerastet und daran gedacht, daß sein Vater hier eine zweite Frau genommen habe. “Und du bist nicht zu uns gekommen?” fragte Christof.“



Gertrud Fussenegger (8 mei 1912 – 19 maart 2009)


De Engelse schrijfster Pat Barker werd geboren in Thornaby-on-Tees op 8 mei 1943.


Uit: Another World


Cars queue bumper to bumper, edge forward, stop, edge forward again. Resting his bare arm along the open window, Nick drums his fingers. The Bigg Market on a Friday night. Litter of chip cartons, crushed lager cans, a gang of lads with stubble heads and tattooed arms looking for trouble — and this is early, it hasn’t got going yet. Two girls stroll past, one wearing a thin, almost transparent white cotton dress. At every stride her nipples show, dark circles beneath the cloth, fish rising. One of the lads calls her name: `Julie!’ She turns, and the two of them fall into each other’s arms.

    Nick watches, pretending not to.


What is love’s highest aim?
Four buttocks on a stem.


Can’t remember who said that — some poor sod made cynical by thwarted lust. Nothing wrong with the aim, as far as Nick can see — just doesn’t seem much hope of achieving it any more. And neither will these two, or not yet. The boy’s mates crowd round, grab him by the belt, haul him off her. `Jackie-no-balls
,’ the other girl jeers. The boy thrusts his pelvis forward, makes wanking movements with his fist.

    Lights still red. Oh, come on. He’s going to be late, and he doesn’t want to leave Miranda waiting at the station. This is the first visit to the new house. Fran wanted to put it off, but then Barbara went into hospital and that settled it. Miranda had to come, and probably for the whole summer. Well, he was pleased, anyway.



Pat Barker (Thornaby-on-Tees, op 8 mei 1943)


De Franse schrijver, vertaler regisseur en diplomaat Romain Gary werd geboren op 8 mei 1914 in Vilnius, Litouwen.

Uit: Romain Gary, le caméléon (Biografie door Myriam Anissimov)

„Une partie de la famille Owczynski était établie dans la capitale polonaise et y vivait plutôt bourgeoisement. Mina avait à Varsovie son frère, Abraham Borukh, celui qui s’appelait Boleslaw, et exerçait la profession d’avocat malgré le numerus clausus. Il avait fait ses études à la faculté de Varsovie, où les étudiants juifs se faisaient rosser par leurs condisciples chrétiens et étaient parqués sur des bancs réservés. C’est lui que Gary désigne sous le prénom de Boris, au dos de la photo datée de 1949 prise quelques mois avant sa mort.
Borukh-Abraham avait épousé à vingt-deux ans sa cousine Myriam (Maria) Owczynska, la fille de solomon Owczynski, agée de dix-sept ans, originaire de Sweciany. Les jeunes gens s’étaient unis sous la khoupa le 22 avril 1912 à Wilno devant le rabbin Rubinstein qui avait déjà marié Mina et Arieh-Leïb


L’avocat de Jean Seberg avait réussi à la convaincre qu’un procès aux Etats-Unis n’avait aucune chance d’aboutir car, selon le droit anglo-saxon, elle devait apporter la preuve au juge que la mort de sa fille avait été causée par deux lignes mensongères de l’article paru dans . Au contraire, en France, Me Cournot et le bâtonnier Paul Arrighi, les conseils de Gary et Seberg, pouvaient l’emporter en invoquant l’atteinte à la vie privée. Le 25 octobre, la XVIIe chambre correctionnelle, présidée par M. Bracquemond, rejeta leur demande d’affirmer que la mort de Nina était imputable à l’article de Newsweek, mais leur donna raison sur le second motif, ‘le viol de la vie privée’. Le magazine américain avait accusé Romain Gary de diffamation pour son article publié dans France-Soir. Il fut acquitté eu égard aux circonstances.“


Romain Gary (9 mei 1914 – 2 december 1980)



De Amerikaanse schrijver en criticus Edmund Wilson werd geboren op 8 mei 1895 in Red Bank, New Jersey.


Uit: Edmund Wilson: A Life in Literature (Biografie door Lewis M. Dabney)


On a brisk afternoon in September 1922, a conservatively dressed young man with red hair sat on the upper deck of a Fifth Avenue bus in Manhattan, engrossed in a manuscript. A friend at the literary magazine The Dial had put a long poem into his hands. The Dial was interested in publishing it, and the editors hoped that the young man—Edmund Wilson—would write an essay to elucidate the poem. By the time he reached Greenwich Village, Wilson had completed a first reading of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. Decades later he would recall being “bowled over,” and his essay called the poem “simply one triumph after another.” This recognition of Eliot followed Wilson’s account, in The New Republic, of Joyce’s Ulysses as a masterpiece fusing naturalism and symbolism, re-creating the mind “straining always to perpetuate and perfect itself” and the body “always laboring and throbbing to throw up some beauty from its darkness.” He believed the general reader could absorb these works that challenged existing literary forms and commandeered in new ways the powers of language. Both Eliot and Joyce, he thought, occasionally tried one’s patience, but he was committed to making them more accessible.
Edmund Wilson was twenty-seven. He was fortunate to come on the scene as a critic when he did, but he had trained for this moment. At fifteen he had been sure of hisliterary vocation, and he absorbed all that liberal education had to offer both at the Hill School and at Princeton, where extraordinary teachers encouraged his curiosity and enthusiasm for books and about ideas. He emerged from his parents’ uncongenial marriage with emotional scars, but his confidence in his abilities was strong, and he was seasoned by a year as a hospital orderly in France during World War I. Though he hated the suffering he saw, he liked being on a footing of relative equality with Americans of diverse backgrounds, and returned to his country skeptical of institutions and of rank and social privilege. He joined Vanity Fair as an editorial assistant, immediately became its managing editor, and began publishing criticism there as well as in other magazines.“



Edmund Wilson (8 mei 1895 – 14 juni 1972)


Zie voor alle bovenstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 8 mei 2007 en ook mijn blog van 8 mei 2008 en ook mijn blog van 8 mei 2009.


De Amerikaanse schrijver Peter Benchley werd geboren in New York City op 8 mei 1940.  Benchley studeerde in 1961 af aan de Harvard-universiteit, met als hoofdvak Engels. Hij is met name bekend geworden door zijn roman Jaws over een zeer gevaarlijke witte haai waar ook een eveneens bekende, gelijknamige speelfilm over is gemaakt. Later in zijn leven betreurde Benchley het dat hij witte haaien in zijn boeken als moorddadige beesten had afgeschilderd en zette hij zich in voor natuurbehoud.


Uit: Jaws


‘The boat was sinking. The stern was completely submerged, and the bow was rising.
The fish rolled off the stern and slid beneath the waves. The rope, attached to the dart Quint had stuck into the fish, followed.
Suddenly, Quint lost his footing and fell backward into the water. “The knife!” he cried, lifting his left leg above the surface, and Brody saw the rope coiled around Quint’s foot.
The fish came closer. It was only a few feet away, and Brody could see the conical snout. He screamed, an ejaculation of hopelessness, and closed his eyes, waiting for an agony he could not imagine.
Nothing happened. He opened his eyes. The fish was nearly touching him, only a foot or two away, but it had stopped. And then, as Brody watched, the steelgray body began to recede downward into the gloom. It seemed to fall away, an apparition evanescing into darkness.
Brody put his face into the water and opened his eyes. Through the stinging saltwater mist he saw the fish sink in a slow and peaceful spiral, trailing behind it the body of Quint – arms out to the sides, head thrown back, mouth open in a mute protest’



Peter Benchley (8 mei 1940  – 11 februari 2006)

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 8e mei ook
mijn vorige blog van vandaag.