Saturday, May 15, 2021
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
“There's no doubt about it -
gardeners are the only true artists
Joris Karl Huysmans (5 February 1848 – 12 May 1907)
* Alright, two more:
"Art and prayer are the only decent ejaculations of the soul."
"Only the chaste are truly obscene."
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
My head is full of them, one after the other,
but they serve no purpose there.
They must be put down on paper,
one after the other.
Camilo José Cela (11 May 1916 – 17 January 2002)
Monday, May 10, 2021
Sunday, May 09, 2021
|The Revolt of the Masses|
"Better beware of
notions like genius and inspiration;
they are a sort of magic wand
and should be used sparingly by anybody
who wants to see things clearly."
José Ortega y Gasset (9 May 1883 – 18 October 1955)
Saturday, May 08, 2021
The Crying of Lot 49,
Against the Day*,
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions,
they don't have to worry about the answers.
* List of Episodes in Against the Day
* Pynchon Wiki: Against the Day
Thomas Pynchon *8 May 1937
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
|"I don't have many friends. |
It's not because I'm a misanthrope.
It's because I'm reserved. I'm self-contained.
I get all my adventures in my head
when I'm writing my books."
Ian Rankin *28 April 1960
Roberto Bolaño (28 April 1953 – 15 July 2003)
Monday, April 26, 2021
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Friday, April 23, 2021
|Love of, and respect for, the humble routine|
of everyday life and its creatures
was the only moral commandment
which carried conviction when I was a child.
Halldór Laxness (23. April 1902 in Reykjavík – 8. Februar 1998)
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Monday, April 19, 2021
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Gabriel García Márquez (6 March 1927 – 17 April 2014)
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
"I've always associated the moment of writing
with a moment of lift, of joy,
of unexpected reward."
|North (1975), Station Island (1984),|
The Government of the Tongue (1986),
The Redress of Poetry (1995),
The Spirit Level (1996),
The Blackbird of Glanmore (Poems 1965 – 2006)
Seamus Heaney (13 April 1939 – 30 August 2013)
|James Joyce was a synthesizer,|
trying to bring in as much as he could.
I am an analyzer,
trying to leave out as much as I can.
Samuel Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 November 1989)
Monday, April 12, 2021
Friday, April 09, 2021
Monday, April 05, 2021
Sunday, April 04, 2021
The great universal family of men
Lautréamont aka Isidore Lucien Decasse (4 April 1846 – 24 November 1870)
Friday, April 02, 2021
Thursday, April 01, 2021
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
|The hallway of every man's life|
is paced with pictures;
pictures gay and pictures gloomy,
for if we be wise,
we can learn from them
a richer and braver way to live.
Seán O'Casey (30 March 1880 – 18 September 1964)
Monday, March 29, 2021
In case you wish to read the words: The Englisch text you find here, at the blog of my friend Jams who today would have become 58; the translation into German here.
Like eight years ago, I do like thinking of my friend Jams having a pint of plain tonight with Flann O'Brien [and perhaps a second with Father Jack whilst Ted (not Father Ted, obviously) is reciting an episode of The Master and Margarita; discussing with Sergeant Pluck the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a bicycle, whilst feeding Mimi with cheese; taking phantastic photos while strolling around in his new surroundings without feeling any pain in his knees, let alone longing for Garra rufa to nibble skin off his feet; organising a weekly poetry contest the winner of which will be rewarded with a bicycle-esque looking William Topaz McGonagall-statue and ... ah ... oh well ... enjoying his new alltemporaries with what he uses to call drivel, and now and then sending love to his not-wife Shirl, a smile to his Mum and Dad, a twinkle of his eyes to Tim, Li, Elahe and amongst others ... well ... to you and to me.!
Sunday, March 28, 2021
|"There are many things behind a good novel,|
but in particular, there is a lot of work -
a lot of patience, a lot of stubbornness,
and a critical spirit."
Mario Vargas Llosa * 28. March 1936
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Thursday, March 25, 2021
|Perreira Maintains, |
Little Misunderstandings of No Importance;
not translated into Engish:
Pizza d'Italia and Dreams of Dreams
Antonio Tabucchi (24 September 1943 – 25 March 2012)
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am just waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.
All is well.
Tod bedeutet gar nichts.
Ich bin nur nach nebenan verschwunden.
Ich bin ich und du bist du.
Was immer wir füreinander waren, das sind wir noch.
Nenne mich bei dem alten vertrauten Namen.
Sprich von mir, wie du es immer getan hast.
Ändere nicht deinen Tonfall.
Zwinge dich nicht zu aufgesetzter Feierlichkeit oder Traurigkeit.
Lache weiterhin über die kleinen Scherze, an denen wir gemeinsam Spaß hatten.
Spiele, lächle, denke an mich, bete für mich.
Lass meinen Namen weiterhin so geläufig sein, wie er immer war.
Sprich ihn unbekümmert aus, ohne die Spur eines Schattens.
Das Leben bedeutet all das, was es bisher bedeutete.
Es ist genauso wie immer.
Es geht uneingeschränkt und ununterbrochen weiter.
Ist der Tod nicht nur ein unbedeutender Zwischenfall?
Warum sollte ich vergessen sein, nur weil du mich nicht mehr siehst?
Ich warte einstweilen auf dich, ganz in der Nähe, nur um die Ecke.
Alles ist gut.
Henry Scott Holland (27 January 1847 – 17 March 1918)
Monday, March 15, 2021
|There is many |
a man without learning
will get the better of a college-bred man,
and will have better words, too.
Lady Gregory (15 March 1852 – 22 May 1932)
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Benjamin Ferencz * 11 March 1920
Re-reading lots of our correspondence, for the past three days I have been crying, smiling, laughing, tears bedewing my cheeks. Even now words don't come easy to me.
Claude is dead.
Almost I am not surprised that our last conversation on this blog was about what we shall be leaving when we die.
"Appeared" at Omnium in June 2008 as "Curieuse au Canada", over the years a friendship developed
Not that we would not have had this and that verbal skirmish, but very soon we agreed to that we disagreed to this and that, and focused on what we like best: (Good) literature, poetry, music and ...
... the fun we had f.e. on the occasional "poetry slams" here or at "The Poor Mouth"!
When once she told me her age I thought she was kidding.
And when she told me about her life: What a woman! What courage!
- - -
After I had told her a bit about Irish literature she wrote:
would like German Literature. I know so little. Unless I have read translations
without noticing the country. I doubt it.
Then maybe you could tell me some English, French, American favourites? Just would like to see if we meet somewhere among books.
Of course, I read the Russians ( Who doesn't?) Also Faust, Peer Gynt, Don Quichotte, The Prophet, The Rubayyat. Studied Greek and Latin and did some translations.
Inevitably I read a lot Canadians (French and English), not necessarily all good. But I feel it's a bit of a duty to know what one's country produces.
We have about a ten-year-program in front of us. Just want to make sure you will not drop me in 3-4 weeks :)))))
I love you, Sir Jeating.
- - -
When I had told her that I am German and Sean Jeating's just my heteronym, she wanted to know more about German literature, and let me know:
Of course I have read some Germans. I couldn't name them instantly, not because I forgot them. It's only that when a book speaks to one's heart, it has no nationality.
Since my student years, I have met few people who read "without borders". I knew, when I discovered your blog, that you were universal.
I read all Hermann Hesse, more than once. Then Remarque, Zweig. Some Brecht, Kant and Schopenhauer. ...
- - -
When very young, I claimed to be a writer and a musician. I became a nurse and loved it. It gave me much to write about. I also never let go of music. But lifepain took over, killed much of my ambitions. I write...I need it like air and water. Sometimes I share it. Mostly it's in boxes. Now and again I read a page, or two...I say to myself, "Claude, it's very good!". Then I put it aside.
The Music Claude never put aside. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Abado, Bernstein, Argerich, Gulda ... Hvorostovsky ... Casals, Paco de Lucía; Fado or Flamenco, etc., etc., etc. ...
To please Claude's ears and her heart I tried to find Saturday Night Music. And by trying I learned a bit about music.
We shared some poetry, encouraged eachother. She was good.
I think Claude does like me finally to share this with you:
There lie my dreams and deep pain.
The detritus of my past
In its destitute beauty.
No recall. No tears. Adieu!
I love you, Claude. De tout cœur!
Sunday, March 07, 2021
|"Wouldn't it delight my heart|
to be able to read a book of my own
before I died."
Tomas O'Crohan (21 December 1856 – 7 March 1937)
Saturday, March 06, 2021
Friday, March 05, 2021
Pier Paolo Pasolini (5 March 1922 – 2 November 1975)
Thursday, March 04, 2021
Wednesday, March 03, 2021
Tuesday, March 02, 2021
Monday, March 01, 2021
It's St. David's Day again.
Omnium is celebrating their Poet.
It's a pity for me that the girl whose praises I am always singing, and who holds her court in the wood, does not know of the conversation I had about her with the grey friar today.
I went to the friar to confess my sins. I admitted to him that I have been without any doubt an idolatrous poet since I have always loved and adored a certain lovely girl with dark eyebrows, "And", I told him, "I have never had a single favour from my murdress, nor has my lady ever allowed me a moment of happiness: in spite of this I love her continually and am wasted with pining for my darling. I carry her praise through the whole land of Wales, and in spite of this I live without her, though I long to hear her in my bed between me and the wall."
The brother spoke this to me: "I will give you good advice: if you have loved this foamwhite girl (merely the colour of paper) for so long, it is time now to think of lessening your punishment on that dreadful day which comes to all of us, for all this is of no benefit to your soul. Cease from making rhymes and accustom yourself instead to saying your prayers, for God did not redeem the souls of men that they might make rhymes and elegiacs, and your minstrels' songs are nothing but flattery and idle bawling. This praise of the body is not good, and leads the soul to the devil."
Then I answered each word that the friar had spoken.
"God is not so cruel as old men tell us: nor will God cut off the gentle soul of a man for loving a woman or a girl. Three things are loved by the whole world.: women, fine weather, and good health, and girls are the fairest flowers in heaven next to God himself. Every man of all peoples is born of woman save these three: Adam, Eve, Melchizedek, and so it is not surprising that man loves girls and women. Gladness falls from Heaven, all misery comes from Hell.
Song makes glad old and young, sick and healthy, and I have an equal right to make poems as you have to pray, I have the same right to sing for my bread as you beg for it. Are not hymns and sequences but other kinds of odes and elegiacs? And are not the psalms of David poems to the good God?
God does not feed man with one food and one relish, he gives him time to eat and a time to worship, a time to pray and a time to make poems. Song springs up at every feast to give pleasure to the ladies, paters are said in church to seek the land of Paradise. Yscuthach drinking with his poets spoke the truth:
'A happy face, his house is full
A sad face, evil and bitterness.'
Though some love holiness, others love being glad together, and there are few men who can make a sweet verse though everyone can say a prayer. And so, my holy brother, I do not think that singing is the greatest sin. When men are as ready to hear paters as the harp, as ready as the girls of Gwynedd are to hear gay songs, then my right hand I'll say paters all day and for ever without ceasing. Till then shame on Dafydd if he sings paters instead of poems!"
Dafydd ap Gwilym c. 1320 – c. 1370