Brian Friel, August Gailit, Chaim Nachman Bialik, Anne Rivers Siddons, Giovanni Papini, Lascelles Abercrombie, Pierre Garnier, Thomas Warton

De Ierse schrijver Brian Friel werd geboren op 9 januari 1929 geboren in Omagh, Noord-Ierland, in een katholiek onderwijzersgezin. Zie ook alle tags voor Brian Friel op dit blog.

Uit: Fathers and Sons

„Fenichka (laughing) He did not. That’s another of your stories.
Dunyasha Cross my heart, (into pram) Hello, Mitya. How are you today, my little darling? Are you well? (She spreads out under the sun.) Beautiful. This most be the hottest May ever. (eyes closed) Is that the big fiddle he’s playing?
Fenichka You (mow very well it’s called a cello.
Dunyasha Sort of nice, isn’t it? Bit lonely – like himself.
Fenichka Is he lonely?
Dunyasha You should know. Not much good for dancing.
Fenichka I heard you were dancing last night.
Dunyasha Five this morning. Oh, that heat’s lovely.
Fenichka Any good?
Dunyasha You mean did I click? (She sits up.) Tell me this, Fenichka: remember all those young fellows used to be at the dances when you and I went together – all that laughing and all that fun – remember?
Fenichka Yes.
Dunyasha Well, where in God’s name have they gone to, those boys? Or haven’t they young brothers? All you see now are half-drunk louts that say things like, ‘My God, girl, but you’re a powerful armful of meat.’
Fenichka laughs. It’s true. That’s what a big clodhopper said to me last night. And if it’s not the clodhoppers it’s the usual old lechers with their eyes half-closed and their hands groping your burn.

She sees Pavel entering left with a book under his arm. She gets quickly to her feet. Pavel is the typical ‘Europeanized’ Russian of the nineteenth century – wears English clothes, speaks French. His manner is jaded but his emotions function fully and astutely.

Jesus, here comes the Tailor’s Dummy! He must have spotted you.”


Brian Friel (Omagh, 9 januari 1929)
Scene uit een opvoering in Londen, 2014

Lees verder “Brian Friel, August Gailit, Chaim Nachman Bialik, Anne Rivers Siddons, Giovanni Papini, Lascelles Abercrombie, Pierre Garnier, Thomas Warton”

Anne Rivers Siddons, Giovanni Papini, Lascelles Abercrombie, Pierre Garnier, Thomas Warton

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Anne Rivers Siddons werd geboren op 9 januari 1936 in Atlanta, Georgia. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 januari 2010. 


Uit: Low Country


„I think I’ll go over to the island for a few days,” I said to my husband at breakfast, and then, when he did not respond, I said, “The light’s beautiful. It can’t last. I hate to waste it. We won’t get this pure gold again until this time next year.”

Clay smiled, but he did not put down his newspaper, and he did not speak. The smile made my stomach dip and rise again, as it has for the past twenty-five years. Clay’s smile is wonderful, slow and unstinting and a bit crooked, and gains much of its power from the surrounding austerity of his sharp, thin face. Over the years I have seen it disarm a legion of people, from two-year-olds in mid-tantrum to Arab sheiks in same. Even though I knew that this smile was little more than a twitch, and with no more perception behind it, I felt my own mouth smiling back. I wondered, as I often do, how he could do that, smile as though you had absolutely delighted him when he had not heard a word you said.

“There is a rabid armadillo approaching you from behind,” I said. “It’s so close I can see the froth. It’s not a pretty sight.”

“I heard you,” he said. “You want to go over to the island because the light’s good. It can’t last.”

I waited, but he did not speak again, or raise his eyes.

Finally I said, “So? Is that okay with you?”

This time he did look up.

“Why do you ask? You don’t need my permission to go over to the island. When did I ever stop you?”
His voice was level and reasonable; it is seldom anything else. I knew that he did not like me to go over to the island alone, though, for a number of reasons that we had discussed and one that we had not, yet.“


Anne Rivers Siddons (Atlanta, 9 januari 1936)


Lees verder “Anne Rivers Siddons, Giovanni Papini, Lascelles Abercrombie, Pierre Garnier, Thomas Warton”

Wilbur Smith, Brian Friel, August Gailit, Kurt Tucholsky, Chaim Nachman Bialik, Anne Rivers Siddons, Giovanni Papini, Lascelles Abercrombie, Pierre Garnier, Thomas Warton

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver Wilbur Addison Smith werd geboren in Broken Hill in Zimbabwe (Rhodesië) op 9 januari 1933. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 januari 2009.


Uit: The Quest


“Two lonely figures came down from the high mountains. They were dressed in travel-worn furs and leather helmets with ear-flaps strapped beneath their chins against the cold. Their beards were untrimmed and their faces weatherbeaten. They carried all their meagre possessions upon their backs. It had taken a hard and daunting journey to reach this spot. Although he led, Meren had no inkling where they were, neither was he sure why they had come so far. Only the old man who followed close behind him knew that, and he had not yet chosen to enlighten Meren.

Since leaving Egypt they had crossed seas and lakes and many mighty rivers; they had traversed vast plains and forests. They had encountered strange and dangerous animals and even stranger and more dangerous men. Then they had entered the mountains, a prodigious chaos of snowy peaks and gaping gorges, where the thin air was hard to breathe. Their horses had died in the cold and Meren had lost the tip of one finger, burned black and rotting by the crackling frosts. Fortunately it was not the finger of his sword hand, nor one of those that released the arrow from his great bow.

Meren stopped on the brink of the last sheer cliff. The old man came up beside him. His fur coat was made from the skin of a snow tiger that Meren had slain with a single arrow as it sprang upon him. Standing shoulder to shoulder, they looked down on a foreign land of rivers and dense green jungles.

‘Five years,’ Meren said. ‘Five years we have been upon the road. Is this the end of the journey, Magus?’

‘Ha, good Meren, surely it has not been that long?’ Taita asked, and his eyes sparkled teasingly under frost-white brows.

In reply Meren unslung his sword scabbard from his back and displayed the lines of notches scratched in the leather. ‘I have recorded every day, should you wish to count them,’ he assured him. He had followed Taita and protected him for more than half his own lifetime, but he was still never entirely certain whether the other was serious or merely jesting with him. ‘But you have not answered my question, revered Magus. Have we reached the end of our journey?’



Wilbur Smith (Broken Hill, 9 januari 1933)


De Duitse schrijver, columnist en journalist Kurt Tucholsky werd geboren in Berlijn op 9 januari 1890. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 januari 2009.


Uit: Berlin! Berlin!


Diese Stadt zieht mit gefurchter Stirne – sit venia verbo! – ihren Karren im ewig selben Gleis. Und merkt nicht, daß sie ihn im Kreise herumzieht und nicht vom Fleck kommt. Der Berliner kann sich nicht unterhalten. Manchmal sieht man zwei Leute miteinander sprechen, aber sie unterhalten sich nicht, sondern sie sprechen nur ihre Monologe gegeneinander.
Die Berliner können auch nicht zuhören. Sie warten nur ganz gespannt
, bis der andere aufgehört hat, zu reden, und dann haken sie ein. Auf diese Weise werden viele berliner Konversationen geführt.
Die Berlinerin ist sachlich und klar. Auch in der Liebe. Geheimnisse hat sie nicht. Sie ist ein braves, liebes Mädel, das der galante Ortsliederdichter gern und viel feiert.
Der Berliner hat vom Leben nicht viel, es sei denn, er verdiente Geld. Geselligkeit pflegt er nicht, weil das zu viel Umstände macht – er kommt mit seinen Bekannten zusammen, beklatscht sich ein bißchen und wird um zehn Uhr schläfrig.
Der Berliner ist ein Sklave seines Apparats. Er ist Fahrgast, Theaterbesucher, Gast in den Restaurants und Angestellter. Mensch weniger. Der Apparat zupft und zerrt an seinen Nervenenden, und er gibt hemmungslos nach. Er tut alles, was die Stadt von ihm verlangt nur leben … das leider nicht.
Der Berliner schnurrt seinen Tag herunter, und wenns fertig ist, dann ists Mühe und Arbeit gewesen. Weiter nichts. Man kann siebzig Jahre in dieser Stadt leben, ohne den geringsten Vorteil für seine unsterbliche Seele.
Früher war Berlin einmal ein gut funktionierender Apparat. Eine ausgezeichnet angefertigte
Wachspuppe, die selbsttätig Arme und Beine bewegte, wenn man zehn Pfennig oben hineinwarf. Heute kann man viele Zehnpfennigstücke hineinwerfen, die Puppe bewegt sich kaum – der Apparat ist eingerostet und arbeitet nur noch träge und langsam. Denn gar häufig wird in Berlin gestreikt. Warum -? So genau weiß man das nicht. Manche Leute sind dagegen, und manche Leute sind dafür. Warum -? So genau weiß man das nicht.
Die Berliner sind einander spinnefremd. Wenn sie sich nicht irgendwo vorgestellt sind, knurren sie sich in der Straße und in den Bahnen an, denn sie haben miteinander nicht viel Gemeinsames. Sie wollen voneinander nichts wissen, und jeder lebt ganz für sich. Berlin vereint die Nachteile einer amerikanischen Großstadt mit denen einer deutschen Provinzstadt. Seine Vorzüge stehen im Baedeker.
In der Sommerfrische sieht der Berliner jedes Jahr, daß man auch auf der Erde leben kann. Er versuchte vier Wochen, es gelingt ihm nicht – denn er hat es nicht gelernt und weiß nicht, was das ist: leben – und wenn er dann wieder glücklich auf dem Anhalter Bahnhof landet, blinzelt er seiner Straßenbahnlinie zu und freut sich, daß er wieder in Berlin ist. Das Leben hat er vergessen.“



Kurt Tucholsky (9 januari 1890 – 21 december 1935)


De Ierse schrijver Brian Friel werd geboren op 9 januari 1929 geboren in Omagh, Noord-Ierland, in een katholiek onderwijzersgezin. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 januari 2009.


Uit: Faith Healer


„GRACE. Abergorlech, Abergynolwyn, Llandefeilog, Llanerchymedd, Aberhosan, Aberporth …

It’s winter, it’s night, it’s raining, the Welsh roads are narrow, we’re on our way to a performance. He always called it a performance, teasing the word with that mocking voice of his — “Where do I perfor
m tonight?” “Do you expect a performance in a place like this?” — as if it were a game he might take part in only if he felt like it, maybe because that was the only way he could talk about it. Anyhow Teddy’s driving as usual, and I’m in the passenger seat, and he’s immediately behind us, the Fantastic Francis Hardy, Faith Healer, with his back to us and the whiskey bottle between his legs, and he’s squatting on the floor of the van — no, not squatting — crouched, wound up, concentrated, and happy — no, not happy, certainly not happy, I don’t think he ever knew what happiness was — but always before a performance he’d be … in complete mastery — yes, that’s close to it — in such complete mastery that everything is harmonized for him, in such mastery that anything is possible. And when you speak to him he turns his head and looks beyond you with those damn benign eyes of his, looking past you out of his completion, out of that private power, out of that certainty that was accessible only to him. God, how I resented that privacy! And he’s reciting the names of all those dying Welsh villages — Aberarder, Aberayron, Llangranog, Llangurig — releasing them from his mouth in that special voice he used only then, as if he were blessing them or consecrating himself. And then, for him, I didn’t exist. Many, many, many times I didn’t exist for him. But before a performance this exclusion — no, it wasn’t an
exclusion, it was an erasion — this erasion was absolute: he obliterated me. Me who tended him, humoured him, nursed him, sustained him — who debauched myself for him. Yes. That’s the most persistent memory. Yes. And when I remember him like that in the back of the van, God how I hate him again —


Kinlochbervie, Inverbervie,

Inverdruie, Invergordon,

Badachroo, Kinlochewe,

Ballantrae, Inverkeithing,

Cawdor, Kirkconnel,

Plaidy, Kirkinner …


(quietly, almost dreamily) Kinlochbervie’s where the baby’s buried, two miles south of the village, in a field of the lefthand side of the road as you go north. Funny, isn’t it, but I’ve never met anybody who’s been to Kinlochbervie, not even Scottish people. But it is a very small village and very remote, right away up in the north of Sutherland, about as far north as you can go in Scotland.“



Brian Friel (Omagh, 9 januari 1929)


De Estlandse schrijver August Gailit werd geboren op 9 januari 1891 in Kuiksilla, Sangaste. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 januari 2009.


Uit: Toomas Nipernaadi


And the meadows are so brown, so brown and so grey, slopes and hollows brimming with early snow. I am flying, and feel as if everything is already past, as if I’ll never see those woods, those meadows and marshes again – this is the last flight, then farewell. In the distant south, my proud
wings will fold forever, and my white neck will droop. Sensing the transience of life, I try to take the last look down, as if wishing to take with me all those places where I’ve flown around so proudly for so many summers. Have you ever heard the song of the swans? It is but a scream, a horrifying, weird, wild scream, as if discarding the last ounce of vitality and joy to the fields below that stare back like a lover grown old.
Grey columns of smoke are ascending from huts and cottages into the crisp autumn air, the dogs bark, caravans move along the roads, rivers and lakes already hide under their icy cover, but all that is so far from me, so far! I still see – but my heart is cold and silent. I cannot, after all, take anything with me, the grave awaits me, and me alone.
Why am I thinking of autumn and transience in mid-summer?
Who knows, dear Anne-Mari – this summer might well be my last journey and my last farewell. What comes next, is something quite different.
These white nights make us sad and crazy.
I’d love to utter only tender words, but my lips reek of rotting corpse. At nights like this, our soul abandons its husk and wanders around restlessly, God only knows along which solitary roads and paths. In which marshes and thickets does it make friends with goblins, ferns and witches, what parties it attends in the company of ghosts! Perhaps it wanders in foreign lands and places where our mind will never take us. Maybe this is why we, northerners, yearn for new countries and new worlds, so that no place feels like home. Even our father’s house is like the shadow of a tree to a gypsy, where he will rest awhile, but never stay. The higher the sun climbs, the more restless we become, we resemble birds caught in a net, eyes bloodshot and mouth full of anguished screams. Our white nights have thus become nights of suffering, anxiety and sadness. The soul has departed, travelling its own course, while the shell, stuck firmly to ground, is distressed and uneasy, because it is rooted to its land like a tree clings with its roots, wishing the soul to return.
This is probably why I cannot keep still either.
I feverishly grasp every thought and plan, totally unable to calm down. One thought chases the other, one venture leads to ten more. I mostly mean well, but it often ends in misery. Just my bad luck, my dear.”



August Gailit (9 januari 1891 – 5 november 1960)


De Hebreeuwse dichter, schrijver en vertaler Chaim Nachman Bialik werd geboren in Radi, Oekraïne, op 9 januari 1873. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 januari 2009.




Wind blew, light drew them all.

New songs revive their mornings.

Only I, small bird, am forsaken

under the Shekhina’s wing.


Alone.  I remain alone.

The Shekhina’s broken wing

trembled over my head.  My heart knew hers:

her fear for her only son.


Driven from every ridge –

one desolate corner left –

in the House of Study she hides in shadow,

and I alone share her pain.


Imprisoned beneath her wing

my heart longed for the light.

She buried her face on my shoulder

and a tear fell on my page.


Dumbly she clung and wept.

Her broken wing sheltered me:

“scattered to the four winds of heaven;

they are gone, and I am alone”.


It was an ancient lament

a suppliant cry I heard

in that lost and silent weeping,

and in that scalding tear.



Vertaald door Ruth Nevo



Chaim Nachman Bialik (9 januari 1873 – 4 juli 1934)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Anne Rivers Siddons werd geboren op 9 januari 1936 in Atlanta, Georgia. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 januari 2009.


Uit: Sweetwater Creek


On a Thanksgiving eve, just before sunset, Emily and Elvis sat on the bank of a hummock where it slid down into Sweetwater Creek. Autumn in the Lowcountry of South Carolina is usually as slow and sweet as thick tawny port, and just as sleepily intoxicating. But this one had been born cold, with frosts searing late annuals in early October and chill nights so clear and still that the stars over the marshes and creeks bloomed like white chrysanthemums. Sweaters came out a full two months early, and furnaces rumbled dustily on in late September. Already Emily was shivering hard in her thin denim jacket, and had pulled Elvis closer for his body heat. In the morning, the spartina grass would be tinkling with a skin of ice and rime and the tidal creek would run as dark and clear as iced tea, the opaque, teeming strata of creek life having died out early or gone south with migratory birds. Emily missed the ribbons of birdsong you could usually hear well after Thanksgiving, but the whistle of quail and the blatting chorus of ducks and other waterfowl rang clearer, and the chuff and cough of deer come close. Emily loved the sounds of the winter animals; they said that life on the marsh would go on.

They sat on the bank overlooking the little sand beach where the river dolphins came to hurl themselves out of the water after the fish they had herded there. The dolphins were long gone to warmer seas, but at low tide the slide marks they wore into the sand were still distinct. They would not fade away until many more tides had washed them.

“There won’t be any of them this late,” Emily told Elvis. Elvis grinned up at her; he knew this. The dolphins were for heat and low tide. Girl and spaniel came almost every day in the summer and fall to watch them. Elvis’s internal clock was better by far than the motley collection of timepieces back in the farmhouse.”



Anne Rivers Siddons (Atlanta, 9 januari 1936)


De Italiaanse schrijver Giovanni Papini werd geboren op 9 januari 1881 in Florence. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 januari 2009.


Uit: Black Book (Il libro nero)


„A dear Maronite priest I met a few days before and that shows sincere appreciation to me, told me this morning:

– You’ve seen all the wonders that are expected to be seen in Constantinople, from Hagia Sophia to the Great Bazaar. But you haven’t seen yet the most peculiar curiosity of this amazing Byzantium: the Museum of the Remains.

– I’ve never heard about it.

– Do you have time? We can go at once. The owner of the museum, Muzafer, is my friend. Let’s go.

Already in one of the oldest and tortuous streets of the imperial sector, the good Maronite let me in by a little door leading to a beautiful courtyard, where a singing fountain let it sound a note of joy. A few moments later, the owner, a venerable Turk, dressed old-fashioned, corpulent and obsequious, accompanied us to visit his small but unique museum.

– My friend Muzafer, the good priest said, has wanted to gather here those complements of life that men, usually, discard or disdain.

In the first room there were displayed in boxes or tasteful cases, glasses of all shapes and colors, old mirrors with iron or horn handles, some misted up, dusty, striated by cracks.

Along with the lenses there were glass eyes, light-blue and chestnut-colored, which showed a motionless and sinister look.

Then we saw a rich collection of teeth and dentures, with old gold straps and gutta-percha palates that seemed to be taken from skulls with squeaking jaws.

The wigs were coming next, for men and women, as black as brushes to shine shoes, blondes as leftovers of corn ears, white, with a dirty and yellowish whiteness, similar to cut-off tails of decrepit horses, almost all of them worm-eaten, miserable trophies of dead coquetry.

In another room, they displayed rows of rubber breasts, elastic girdles, and belts for hernias, unctuous and stripped. In a big glass display case there were aligned crutches of all shapes and sizes, artificial hands, mechanical arms, orthopedic legs, leather and metallic ribs for paralyzed people.“



Giovanni Papini (9 januari 1881 – 8 juli 1956)


De Engelse dichter en criticus Lascelles Abercrombie werd geboren op 9 januari 1881 in Ashton upon Mersey. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 januari 2009 


Hymn to Love 


We are thine, O Love, being in thee and made of thee,

As théou, Léove, were the déep thought

And we the speech of the thought; yea, spoken are we,

Thy fires of thought out-spoken:


But burn’d not through us thy imagining

Like fiérce méood in a séong céaught,

We were as clamour’d words a fool may fling,

Loose words, of meaning broken.


For what more like the brainless speech of a fool,—

The lives travelling dark fears,

And as a boy throws pebbles in a pool

Thrown down abysmal places?


Hazardous are the stars, yet is our birth

And our journeying time theirs;

As words of air, life makes of starry earth

Sweet soul-delighted faces;


As voices are we in the worldly wind;

The great wind of the world’s fate

Is turn’d, as air to a shapen sound, to mind

And marvellous desires.


But not in the world as voices storm-shatter’d,

Not borne down by the wind’s weight;

The rushing time rings with our splendid word

Like darkness fill’d with fires.


For Love doth use us for a sound of song,

And Love’s meaning our life wields,

Making our souls like syllables to throng

His tunes of exultation.


Down the blind speed of a fatal world we fly,

As rain blown along earth’s fields;

Yet are we god-desiring liturgy,

Sung joys of adoration;


Yea, made of chance and all a labouring strife,

We go charged with a strong flame;

For as a language Love hath seized on life

His burning heart to story.


Yea, Love, we are thine, the liturgy of thee,

Thy thought’s golden and glad name,

The mortal conscience of immortal glee,

Love’s zeal in Love’s own glory.


Lascelles Abercrombie (9 januari 1881 – 27 oktober 1938)



De Franse dichter Pierre Garnier werd geboren op 9 januari 1928 in Amiens. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 januari 2009.


Après nous le soleil

Ils sont venus

Avec leurs rêves dans leurs mains

Avec le pommier du jardin debout dans leurs poitrines

Les enfants nus les enfants teints

Les enfants éclairés comme des ballerines

Près de l’âne doré et de la vierge peinte

Près du beau jour qui tinte

Près du soir habillé en carême tzigane

Les enfants qui cueillirent les étoiles des mers

Les cloches qui baignent d’eau pure les déserts

Les soleils obscurcis comme des cathédrales

Les enfants purs les enfants chauds

Aux cris éclatés comme des châtaignes

Au dernier horizon nouveau

Qui est comme un homme qui saigne

Avec leurs noms leurs paysages

Tirant sur la corde des mots

Des yeux de paix sur leurs visages

Des bruits d’étoiles sur leur os.



Pierre Garnier (Amiens, 9 januari 1928)


De Engels dichter en literair criticus Thomas Warton werd geboren in Basingstoke, Hampshire, op 9 januari 1728. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 januari 2009.


Written at Stonehenge 


Thou noblest monument of Albion’s isle!

Whether by Merlin’s aid, from Scythia’s shore,

To Amber’s fatal plain Pendragon bore,

Huge frame of giant-hands, the mighty pile

T’ entomb his Britons slain by Hengist’s guile:

Or Druid priests, sprinkled with human gore,

Taught ‘mid thy massy maze their mystic lore:

Or Danish chiefs, enrich’d with savage spoil,

To Victory’s idol vast, an unhewn shrine,

Rear’d the rude heap: or, in thy hallow’d round,

Repose the kings of Brutus’ genuine line;

Or here those kings in solemn state were crown’d:

Studious to trace thy wondrous origine,

We muse on many an ancient tale renown’d.



Thomas Warton (9 januari 1728 – 21 mei 1790)

Wilbur Smith, Brian Friel, August Gailit, Kurt Tucholsky, Chaim Nachman Bialik, Anne Rivers Siddons, Giovanni Papini, Lascelles Abercrombie, Pierre Garnier, Thomas Warton

De 9e januari kent een vloed van literaire geboortedagen.Vandaar dat er na deze posting nog een tweede volgt. Kom gerust nog eens kijken later vandaag.


De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver Wilbur Addison Smith werd geboren in Broken Hill in Zimbabwe (Rhodesië) op 9 januari 1933. Hij genoot zijn opleiding in Zuid-Afrika waar hij Michaelhouse en Rhodes University doorliep. Zijn eerste roman When the Lion feeds schreef hij terwijl hij werkzaam was voor de Salisbury Inland Revenue, de Rhodesische belastingdienst. Het boek verscheen in 1964 Tegenwoordig woont Smith in Londen maar voelt zich sterk verbonden met de mensen en natuur van het Afrikaanse continent.


Uit: Monsoon


„The three boys came up through the gill behind the chapel, so that they were hidden from the big house and the stables. Tom, the eldest, led them as he always did, but the youngest brother was close on his heels, and when Tom paused where the stream made its first turn above the village he renewed his argument. ‘Why do I always have to be the cat? Why can I never join in the fun, Tom?’
‘Because you are the littlest,’ Tom told him, with lordly authority. He was surveying the tiny hamlet below them, which was now visible in the slot of the ravine. Smoke was rising from the forge in the smithy, and washing flapped in the easterly breeze behind the Widow Evans’s cottage, but there was no sign of human life. At this time of day most of the men would be out in his father’s fields, for the harvest was in full swing, while those women who were not toiling beside them would be at work in the big house.
Tom grinned with satisfaction and anticipation. ‘No one’s spotted us.’ No one to carry reports back to their father.
‘It’s not fair.’ Dorian was not so easily distracted from his argument. His coppery gold curls spilled down on to his forehead, giving him the look of an angry cherub. ‘You never let me do anything.’
‘Who let you fly his hawk last week? I did.’ Tom rounded on him. ‘Who let you fire his musket yesterday? I did. Who let you steer the cutter’

‘Yes, but-‘
‘But me no buts.’ Tom glowered at him. ‘Who’s the captain of this crew, anyway?’
‘You are, Tom.’ Dorian dropped his green eyes under the force of his elder brother’s stare. ‘But, still-‘
‘You can go with Tom in my place, if you want.’ Guy spoke softly for the first time. ‘I’ll play the cat.’
Tom turned to his younger twin, while Dorian exclaimed, ‘Can I, Guy? Will you really?’ It was only when he smiled that his full beauty burst out, like sunlight through parting clouds.
‘No, he won’t!’ Tom cut in. ‘Dorry’s only a baby. He can’t come. He’ll stay on the roof to keep the cat.’
‘I’m not a baby,’ Dorian protested furiously. ‘I’m nearly eleven.’
‘If you’re not a baby, show us your ball hairs,’ Tom challenged him. Since he had sprouted his own, these had become Tom’s yardstick of seniority.



Wilbur Smith (Broken Hill, 9 januari 1933)


De Ierse schrijver Brian Friel werd geboren op 9 januari 1929 geboren in Omagh, Noord-Ierland, in een katholiek onderwijzersgezin. Hij brak een priesterstudie af om onderwijzer te worden, tot het in 1960 mogelijk werd om van de pen te leven. Hij begon met korte verhalen, maar is vooral bekend geworden door zijn toneelstukken over het Ierse leven van vroeger en nu. Reeds zijn eerste internationale succes, ‘Philadelphia, Here I Come’ was een karakteristieke mengeling van naturalisme, humor en fantasie, opgebouwd rond een jonge landverhuizer naar Amerika.  ‘The Freedom of the City’ (1973) is gebaseerd op het drama Noord-Ierland en in ‘Translation’ (1980) dramatiseerde hij de overlevingstijd 150 jaar geleden op het Ierse platteland van het Gaelic dat onder Britse dwang overvleugeld dreigde te worden door het Engels. Het in de verte aan Tsjechov herinnerende ‘Dancing at Lughnasa‘, over drie zusters op het Ierse platteland, was in 1990-1991 een groot succes in Londen en in New York.


Uit: Dancing at Lughnasa: A Play


When the play opens MICHAEL is standing downstage left in a pool of light. The rest of the stage is in darkness. Immediately MICHAEL begins speaking, slowing bring up the lights on the rest of the stage.

Around the stage and at a distance from MICHAEL the other characters stand motionless in formal tableau. MAGGIE is at the kitchen window. CHRIS is at the front door. KATE at extreme stage right. ROSE and GERRY sit on the garden seat. JACK stands beside ROSE. AGNES is upstage left. They hold these positions while MICHAEL talks to the audience.


MICHAEL . When I cast my mind back to that summer of 1936 different kinds of memories offer themselves to me. We got our first wireless set that summer — well, a sort of a set; and it obsessed us. And because it arrived as August was about to begin, my Aunt Maggie — she was the joker of the family — she suggested we give it a name. She wanted to call it Lugh after the old Celtic God of the Harvest. Because in the old days August the First was La Lughnasa, the feast day of the pagan god, Lugh; and the days and week sof harvesting that followed were called the Festival of Lughnasa. But Aunt Kate — she was a national schoolteacher and a very proper woman — she said it would be sinful to christen an inanimate object with any kind of name, not to talk of a pagan god. So we just called it Marconi because that was the name emblazoned on the set.

And about three weeks before we got that wireless, my mother’s brother, my Uncle Jack, came home from Africa for the first time ever. For twenty-five years he had worked in a leper colony there, in a remote village called Ryanga in Uganda. The only time he ever left that village was for about six months during World War One when he was chaplain to the British Army in East Africa. Then back to that grim hospice where he worked without a break for a further eighteen years. And now in his early fifties and in bad health he had come home to Ballybeg — as it turned out — to die.



Brian Friel (Omagh, 9 januari 1929)


De Estlandse schrijver August Gailit werd geboren op 9 januari 1891 in Kuiksilla, Sangaste. Hij ging naar school in Valga en in Tartu. Van 1911 tot 1914 werkte hij als journalist in het tegenwoordige Letland. Aan de Estlandse vrijheidsstrijd tegen de Sovjet Unie nam hij deel als oorlogsverslaggever. Van 1922 tot 1924 leefde Gaillit in Duitsland, Frankrijk en Italië. Daarna vestigde hij zich als zelfstandig schrijver, eerst in Tartu, later in Tallin. Na de bezetting van Estland door de Sovjet Unie in 1944 vluchtte hij met zijn familie naar Zweden, waar hij als schrijver actief bleef.


Uit: Toomas Nipernaadi


It was night – he stopped a while, drew his hand across his forehead, thought briefly, then took the raft over the river. For a long time he walked quietly around the inn, then opened the barn door and stepped inside.
“Anne-Mari,” he whispered, “don’t fear a thief or a burglar, it’s only me. You sleep on, nice and cosy, I mean no harm, just stopped by for a moment, because the soles of my feet seem to be on fire and I cannot find peace anywhere. It’s quite enough if you lend me one ear. You are not angry, Anne-Mari, are you?”
He heard the quiet rustle of hay.
“So you are here,” he continued more cheerfully, “I can feel the warmth of your body and the caressing softness of your hands. You are like a mole under the cover of the earth, and your mischievous eyes sparkle in the darkness. The time will come, Anne-Mari, when I shall carry you in my arms, and your laughter will ring out, loud and clear. And there is no escape, you’re like a perch trapped by its gills – what’s the use, then, of struggling, tossing and twisting. You’d better surrender, praise your kind creator and be happy with your fate!
Today, however, I am sad, feeling like a swan destined to fly south as autumn approaches. The trees have turned a coppery yellow, the purple shrubs are ashamed of their nakedness, their twigs like an old broom bristling towards the sky. Only the rowan trees, full of red clusters of berries, and the dark green branches of firs and pines sway grimly in the howling autumn.



August Gailit (9 januari 1891 – 5 november 1960)


De Duitse schrijver, columnist en journalist Kurt Tucholsky werd geboren in Berlijn op 9 januari 1890 als oudste zoon van de joodse bankier Alex Tucholsky en diens nichtje Doris Tucholsky. Hij studeerde rechten in Berlijn en Genève, maar begon zich al tijdens zijn studie meer te interesseren voor de literatuur. Zo geldt Tucholsky als een van de eersten die het werk van Franz Kafka ontdekten. Zelf had hij succes met zijn eerste eigen literaire pogingen. Tijdens de eerste jaren van WO I werd Tucholsky – die inmiddels gepromoveerd was – ingezet als soldaat aan het oostfront. Deze ervaring heeft een onuitwisbare indruk op de jonge schrijver gemaakt en overtuigde he
m voorgoed van het pacifisme en het antimilitarisme. Na de oorlog begon een uiterst creatieve periode in Tucholsky’s leven, waarin hij soms enkele tientallen artikelen in een week schreef, onder andere voor de tijdschriften Ulk en Die Weltbühne. Hij gebruikte hiervoor allerlei pseudoniemen, die gaandeweg afsplitsingen werden van Tucholsky’s eigen persoonlijkheid: ze hadden een eigen stem en traden soms zelfs met elkaar in discussie. In de jaren twintig bracht Tucholsky, net als ooit zijn voorbeeld Heinrich Heine, de meeste tijd in Frankrijk door vanwaaruit hij zijn vaderland bestookte met steeds bitterder wordende pamfletten. Al jaren voordat Hitler aan de macht kwam, schreef Tucholsky: „Ze maken zich klaar om het Derde Rijk in te trekken.“

Uit: Der bewachte Kriegsschauplatz  


„Im nächsten letzten Krieg wird das ja anders sein… Aber der vorige Kriegsschauplatz war polizeilich abgesperrt, das vergißt man so häufig. Nämlich:
Hinter dem Gewirr der Ackergräben, in denen die Arbeiter und Angestellten sich abschossen, während ihre Chefs daran gut verdienten, stand und ritt ununterbrochen, auf allen Kriegsschauplätzen, eine Kette von Feldgendarmen. Sehr beliebt sind die Herren nicht gewesen; vorn waren sie nicht zu sehen, und hinten taten sie sich dicke. Der Soldat mochte sie nicht; sie erinnerten ihn an jenen bürgerlichen Drill, den er in falscher Hoffnung gegen den militärischen eingetauscht hatte.
Die Feldgendarmen sperrten den Kriegsschauplatz nicht nur von hinten nach vorn ab, das wäre ja noch verständlich gewesen; sie paßten keineswegs nur auf, daß niemand von den Zivilisten in einen Tod lief, der nicht für sie bestimmt war. Der Kriegsschauplatz war auch von vorn nach hinten abgesperrt.
“Von welchem Truppenteil sind Sie?” fragte der Gendarm, wenn er auf einen einzelnen Soldaten stieß, der versprengt war. “Sie” sagte er. Sonst war der Soldat “Du” und in der Menge “Ihr” – hier aber verwandelte er sich plötzlich in ein steuerzahlendes Subjekt, das der bürgerlichen Obrigkeit Untertan war. Der Feldgendarm wachte darüber, daß vorn richtig gestorben wurde.
Für viele war das gar nicht nötig. Die Hammel trappelten mit der Herde mit, meist wußten sie gar keine Wege und Möglichkeiten, um nach hinten zu kommen, und was hätten sie da auch tun sollen! Sie wären ja doch geklappt worden, und dann: Untersuchungshaft, Kriegsgericht, Zuchthaus, oder, das schlimmste von allem: Strafkompanie. In diesen deutschen Strafkompanien sind Grausamkeiten vorgekommen, deren Schilderung, spielten sie in der französischen Fremdenlegion, gut und gern einen ganzen Verlag ernähren könnten. Manche Nationen jagten ihre Zwangsabonnenten auch mit den Maschinengewehren in die Maschinengewehre.
So kämpften sie.
Da gab es vier Jahre lang ganze Quadratmeilen Landes, auf denen war der Mord obligatorisch, während er eine halbe Stunde davon entfernt ebenso streng verboten war. Sagte ich: Mord? Natürlich Mord. Soldaten sind Mörder.“



Kurt Tucholsky (9 januari 1890 – 21 december 1935)


De Hebreeuwse dichter, schrijver en vertaler Chaim Nachman Bialik werd geboren in Radi, Oekraïne, op 9 januari 1873. Hij is één van de meest invloedrijke Hebreeuwse dichters en wordt in Israël algemeen beschouwd als de nationale Dichter, alhoewel hij 14 jaar voor de oprichting van de staat is gestorven. Zijn bekendste gedicht is wellicht Hachnasini tachat knafeegneem mij onder je vleugels. Hij was een bijzonder populaire figuur in de joodse gemeenschap van het toenmalig Brits mandaatgebied Palestina (sinds 1924). Vele van zijn gedichten zijn door componisten op muziek gezet (rock, pop en klassiek). Zijn huis in Tel Aviv, het speciaal voor hem gebouwde ‘Bialikhuis’, is tegenwoordig een museum en cultureel centrum.



I Didn’t Win Light in a Windfall


I didn’t win light in a windfall,
nor by deed of a father’s will.
I hewed my light from granite.
I quarried my heart.

In the mine of my heart a spark hides –
not large, but wholly my own.
Neither hired, nor borrowed, nor stolen –
my very own.

Sorrow wields huge hammer blows,
the rock of endurance cracks
blinding my eye with flashes
I catch in verse.

They fly from my lines to your breast
to vanish in kindled flame.
While I, with heart’s blood and marrow
pay the price of the blaze.



Take me under your wing


Take me under your wing,
be my mother, my sister.
Take my head to your breast,
my banished prayers to your nest.

One merciful twilight hour,
hear my pain, bend your head.
They say there is youth in the world.
Where has my youth fled?

Listen! another secret:
I have been seared by a flame.
They say there is love in the world.
How do we know love’s name?

I was deceived by the stars.
There was a dream; it passed.
I have nothing at all in the world,
nothing but a vast waste.

Take me under your wing,
be my mother, my sister.
Take my head to your breast,
my banished prayers to your nest.


Vertaald door Ruth Nevo



Chaim Nachman Bialik (9 januari 1873 – 4 juli 1934)
Standbeeld in Ramat Gan


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Anne Rivers Siddons werd geboren op 9 januari 1936 in Atlanta, Georgia. Zij bezocht de Auburn University, waar zij begon met schrijven. Haar roman Peachtree Road uit 1988, die gesitueerd is in Atlanta werd een bestseller. De schrijver Pat Conroy betitelde hem als as “the Southern novel for our generation”


Uit: Homeplace


„Even before she opened her eyes, the child was afraid. Coming out of sleep, she was not sure where she was, only that it was wrong. She should not be in this place. He would be very angry. She was eight years old, and she had been afraid of him all of her life.

She lay still and listened, and heard the rain. The rain came riding on a vast gray wind, to pepper the flat tin roof and sing in the tops of the black-green pines in the woods across the road from the cabin. Over it, much nearer at hand, she heard the chink of the iron poker in the cooling fireplace, and the visceral, thumping wail of the Atlanta jigaboo station on the radio Rusky had given J. W. for Christmas.

Without opening her eyes, the child burrowed her head under the flaccid feather pillow and dragged the quilt closer around her. Her body was warm in the piled nest of quilts and blankets Rusky had heaped over her during the night, but her feet were icy and her nightgown must be up around her neck, because her legs were cold up to her thighs. She took a deep breath, inhaling musty bedclothes and the ashy, dark smell the cabin always had, made up of smoke from the fireplace and the smell of Rusky and J. W. themselves. It was not sweat, though that was part of it, it was more, was the fecund essence of the Cromies, who lived in the sagging cabin behind the big house on Pomeroy Street. It was a rich smell, deep and complicated, somehow very old, the essence of all Negroes Mike had ever known.“



Anne Rivers Siddons (Atlanta, 9 januari 1936)


De Italiaanse schrijver Giovanni Papini werd geboren op 9 januari 1881 in Florence. Hij was een van de mede-oprichters van het programmatische, futuristische tijdschrift Lacerba in 1913, maar richtte zich na enkele jaren weer op het katholicisme en werd een gerespecteerde geleerde.


Uit: Der Spiegel auf der Flucht, Eine völlig absurde Geschichte (Vertaald door Angelika Hocke-Asam)


„Vor vier Tagen etwa, als ich gerade leicht gereizt einige der wohl unehrlichsten Seiten meiner Lebenserinnerungen zu Papier brachte, hörte ich es leicht an die Tür klopfen. Aber weder erhob ich mich, noch gab ich eine Antwort. Das Pochen an der Tür war zu schwach, und mit schüchternen Menschen will ich nichts zu tun haben.

Tags drauf, zur selben Stunde, hörte ich es von neuem klopfen. Diesmal war das Pochen kräftiger und entschlossener. Aber auch an diesem Tag wollte ich die Tür nicht öffnen, weil ich diejenigen Menschen schon gar nicht mag, die sich allzu schnell korrigieren.
Am darauffolgenden Tag, abermals zur selben Stunde, wurde das Pochen in heftiger Form wiederholt. Noch ehe ich mich zu erheben vermochte, sah ich die Tür sich öffnen und die mittelmäßige Gestalt eines ziemlich jungen Mannes mit leicht gerötetem Gesicht und mit vollem, dichtem, rotem Haar eintreten. Ungelenkt verbeugte er sich vor mir, ohne ein Wort zu sagen.

Kaum daß er einen Stuhl gefunden hatte, ließ er sich darauf fallen, und da ich stehen geblieben war, wies er mir den Sessel, damit ich darauf Platz nähme. Nachdem ich gehorcht hatte, glaubte ich das Recht zu haben, ihn zu fragen, wer er sei, und bat ihn mit nicht gerade höflicher Stimme, mir seinen Namen und den Grund mitzuteilen, der ihn veranlaßt hatte, in mein Zimmer einzudringen.
Der Mann aber verzog keine Miene und ließ mich sofort verstehen, daß er momentan das zu bleiben gedachte, was er für mich war: ein Unbekannter.

»Der Grund, der mich zu Ihnen führt«, fuhr er lächelnd fort, »befindet sich in meiner Tasche, und ich werde Sie gleich mit ihm bekannt machen.«
Tatsächlich hatte er ein schmutziggelbes Lederköfferchen mit abgenützten Messingbeschlägen in der Hand, das er im selben Augenblick öffnete und aus dem er ein Buch hervorholte.“



Giovanni Papini (9 januari 1881 – 8 juli 1956)


De Engelse dichter en criticus Lascelles Abercrombie werd geboren op 9 januari 1881 in Ashton upon Mersey en studeerde aan de University of Manchester. Hij werkte als hoogleraar aan de universiteiten van Leeds, Londen en Oxford.  In 1930 verschenen zijn verzamelde gedichten, Poems. Zijn belangrijkste werk is The Sale of Saint Thomas (in “zes bedrijven”)



The Sale of Saint Thomas (fragment)


 A quay with vessels moored



To India! Yea, here I may take ship;

From here the courses go over the seas,

Along which the intent prows wonderfully

Nose like lean hounds, and tack their journeys out,

Making for harbours as some sleuth was laid

For them to follow on their shifting road.

Again I front my appointed ministry. —

But why the Indian lot to me? Why mine

Such fearful gospelling? For the Lord knew

What a frail soul He gave me, and a heart

Lame and unlikely for the large events. —

And this is worse than Baghdad! though that was

A fearful brink of travel. But if the lots,

That gave to me the Indian duty, were

Shuffled by the unseen skill of Heaven, surely

That fear of mine in Baghdad was the same

Marvellous Hand working again, to guard

The landward gate of India from me. There

I stood, waiting in the weak early dawn

To start my journey; the great caravan’s

Strange cattle with their snoring breaths made steam

Upon the air, and (as I thought) sadly

The beasts at market-booths and awnings gay

Of shops, the city’s comfortable trade,

Lookt, and then into months of plodding lookt.



Lascelles Abercrombie (9 januari 1881 – 27 oktober 1938)


De Franse dichter Pierre Garnier werd geboren op 9 januari 1928 in Amiens. Aanvankelijk publiceerde hij traditionele gedichten, maar samen met zijn vrouw ontwikkelde hij de Franse versie van concrete poëzie, het zogenaamde spatialisme.



Un arbre luit chaque matin

Dans chaque fruit il me répète

Comme les mains jointes d’un saint

Son ombre entr’ouvre la fenêtre.

La source porte son feuillage

La mer unie et traversée

Nos voix recréent d’autres visages

Et notre amour est habité.

C’est toujours la même folie

Le même sang le même mal

Les arbres simples de l’esprit

Prennent l’oiseau pour capitale



Pierre Garnier (Amiens, 9 januari 1928)


De Engels dichter en literair criticus Thomas Warton werd geboren in Basingstoke, Hampshire, op 9 januari 1728. Van 1785 tot 1790 was hij Poet Laureate. Warton bezocht Winchester College en het Trinity College van de Universiteit van Oxford. Hij werd in 1757 benoemd tot professor in de poëzie en zou dat tien jaar blijven. Hij publiceerde zijn eigen gedichten, maar werd vooral bekend als criticus. In 1777 verscheen zijn bundel Poems, die opmerkelijk is vanwege de herintroductie van de uit de mode geraakte sonnetvorm en daarmee een voorbode van de periode van de Romantiek in Engeland.

Als criticus schreef hij Observations on Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (1754) en The History of English Poetry (1774 – 1781).



The Pleasures of Melancholy (Fragment)


Few know that elegance of soul refin’d,

Whose soft sensation feels a quicker joy

From Melancholy’s scenes, than the dull pride

Of tasteless splendour and magnificence

Can e’er afford. Thus Eloise, whose mind

Had languish’d to the pangs of melting love,

More genuine transport found, as on some tomb

Reclin’d, she watch’d the tapers of the dead;

Or thro’ the pillar’d aisles, amid pale shrines

Of imag’d saints, and intermingled graves,

Mus’d a veil’d votaress; than Flavia feels,

As thro’ the mazes of the festive ball,

Proud of her conquering charms, and beauty’s blaze,

She floats amid the silken sons of dress,

And shines the fairest of th’ assembled fair.



Thomas Warton (9 januari 1728 – 21 mei 1790)