De Canadese schrijver Joseph Boyden werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Willowdale, Ontario. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008.
Uit: Through Black Spruce
“When there was no Pepsi left for my rye whisky, nieces, there was always ginger ale. No ginger ale? Then I had river water. River water's light like something between those two. And brown Moose River water's cold. Cold like living between two colours. Like living in this town.When the whisky was Crown Royal, then brown Moose River water was a fine, fine mix.
You know I was a bush pilot. The best. But the best have to crash. And I've crashed a plane, me. Three times. I need to explain this all to you. I was a young man when I crashed the first time.The world was wide open. I was scared of nothing. Just before Helen and I had our oldest boy. The first time I crashed I was drunk, but that wasn't the reason I crashed. I used to fly a bush plane better with a few drinks in me. I actually believe my eyesight improved with whisky goggles on. But sight had nothing to do with my first crash.Wait. It had everything to do with it. Snowstorm. Zero visibility. As snow blinded my takeoff from the slick runway, I got the goahead with a warning from the Moosonee flight tower: harder snow coming.
An hour later and I'd made it a hundred miles north of Moose River on my way to pick up trappers not wanting but needing to come in from their lines.A rush to find them with night coming. I had a feeling where they'd be.Me, I was a natural in a plane. But in snow? One minute I'm humming along, the next, my fuel line's gummed and I'm skidding and banging against a frozen creek.The crazy thing? Had I come in a few feet to the left or right, blind like I did, I would have wrapped my plane around black spruce lining the banks. Head a mush on the steering. Broken legs burning on a red-hot motor.The grandparents sometimes watch out. Chi meegwetch, omoshomimawak!
My plane wasn't too damaged, but this was a crash nonetheless. And I emerged from the first true brush with it. The long darkness. No need to speak its name out loud.
Soon as I forced the door open, the snow, it stopped falling. Like that. Like in a movie. And when the cloud cover left on a winter afternoon a hundred plus miles north of Moosonee in January, the cold came, presented itself in such a forceful way that I had two choices.
The first was to assume that the cold was a living thing that chased me and wanted to suck the life from me. I could get angry at it, desperate for some sense of fairness in the world, and then begin to panic.“
Joseph Boyden (Willowdale, 31 oktober 1966)
De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en literatuurcriticus Bruce Bawer werd geboren op 31 oktober 1956 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008.
“We in the West are living in the midst of a jihad, and most of us don't even realize it — because it's a brand of jihad that's barely a generation old.
Islam divides the world into two parts. The part governed by sharia, or Islamic law, is called the Dar al-Islam, or House of Submission. Everything else is the Dar al-Harb, or House of War. It's called the House of War because it, too, according to the Koran, is destined to be governed by sharia, and it will take war — holy war, jihad — to bring it into the House of Submission.
Jihad began with Muhammed himself. When he was born, the lands that today make up the Arab world were populated mostly by Christians and Jews; within a century after his death, those areas' inhabitants had been killed, driven away, subjugated to Islam as members of the underclass known as dhimmis, or converted to the Religion of Peace at the point of a sword. The Crusades of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were not wars of conquest by Europeans but attempts to take back what had once been Christian territory. America's very first foreign conflict after the Revolutionary War was with the Barbary pirates, who, sponsored by the Muslim governments of North Africa — just as terrorist groups today enjoy the sponsorship of countries like Libya, Iran, and Syria — had for generations been preying on European ships and selling their crews and passengers into slavery. (Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, over one million Europeans — including people like Cervantes, Saint Vincent de Paul, and French playwright Jean Francois Regnard — became chattel in North Africa, a minor detail that rarely makes it into Western history textbooks, perhaps because it would compel textbook writers to accord jihad a major role in their narratives of Western history.)
In 1786, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, then the U.S. ambassadors to Britain and France respectively, met in London with the Tripolitanian envoy to Britain and asked him why his pirates were preying on American ships; he explained, as Adams and Jefferson reported afterward to the Continental Congress, that the pirates' actions were "founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise."
Bruce Bawer (New York, 31 oktober 1956)
De Engelse dichter John Keats werd geboren op 31 oktober 1795 in Finsbury Pavement in London. Zie ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2007 en ook mijn blog van 31 oktober 2008.
A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.
O Blush Not So!
O BLUSH not so! O blush not so!
Or I shall think you knowing;
And if you smile the blushing while,
Then maidenheads are going.
There's a blush for want, and a blush for shan't,
And a blush for having done it;
There's a blush for thought, and a blush for nought,
And a blush for just begun it.
O sigh not so! O sigh not so!
For it sounds of Eve's sweet pippin;
By these loosen'd lips you have tasted the pips
And fought in an amorous nipping.
Will you play once more at nice-cut-core,
For it only will last our youth out,
And we have the prime of the kissing time,
We have not one sweet tooth out.
There's a sigh for aye, and a sigh for nay,
And a sigh for "I can't bear it!"
O what can be done, shall we stay or run?
O cut the sweet apple and share it!
BRIGHT Star, would I were steadfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priest-like task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--
No--yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever--or else swoon to death.
John Keats (31 oktober 1795 – 23 februari 1821)
Standbeeld in Londen door Stuart Williamson, 2007
De Engelse schrijver Nick Stone werd geboren op 31 oktober 1966 in Cambridge. De eerste vier jaar van zijn leven bracht hij door op Haïti, waar de familie van zijn moeder vandaan kwam. In 1971 keerde hij terug naar Engeland. In zijn jonge jaren was Stone een succesvol sporter – hij bokste in de nationale amateur klasse. Verder trad hij in de voetsporen van zijn vader en studeerde geschiedenis. Daarna werkte hij als headhunter voor verschillende bedrijven. Hij debuteerde in 2006 met Mr Clarinet. Voor de plot van het boek had hij inspiratie opgedaan toen hij in 1996 nog eens terug ging naar Haïti.
Uit: King of Swords
„It was the last thing he needed or wanted, a dead ape at the end of his shift, but there it was—a corpse with bad timing. Larry Gibson, one of the night security guards at Primate Park, stood staring at the thing spotlighted in his torch beam—a long-stemmed cruciform of black fur lying less than twenty feet away, face up and palms open on the grassy verge in front of the wire. He didn't know which of the fifteen species of monkey advertised in the zoo's product literature this one was, and he didn't care; all he knew was that he had some decisions to make and fast. He weighed up what to do with how much he could get away with not doing: he could sound the alarm and stick around to help when and where and if he was needed; or he could simply look the other way and ignore King Kong for the ten remaining minutes of his shift. Plus he craved sleep. Thanks to some Marine-issue bennies he'd popped on Sunday night, he'd been awake for fifty-nine hours straight; his longest ever stretch. The most he'd lasted before was forty-eight hours. It was now Wednesday morning. He'd run out of pills and all the sleep he'd cheated and skipped out on was catching up with him, ganging up in the wings, getting ready to drop on him like a sack of wet cement.
He checked his watch. 5.21 A.M. He needed to get out of here, get home, get his head down, sleep. He had another job starting at one p.m. as a supermarket supervisor. That was for alimony and child support. This gig—cash in hand and no questions asked—was for body and soul and the roof over his head. He really couldn't afford to fuck it up.
Dr Jenny Gold had been dozing with the radio on when she got the phone call from the security guard in Sector i, nearest the front gate. Something about a dead gorilla, he'd said. She hoped to God it wasn't Bruce, their star attraction.“
Nick Stone (Cambridge, 31. Oktober 1966)
31-10-2009 om 22:06
geschreven door Romenu