मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

देदीप्यमान, दुर्दैवी रिटा हेवर्थ...All Her Life Was Pain,..Rita Hayworth@100

#RitaHayworth100  #RitaHayworthBirthCentenary

Today October 17 2018 is 100th birth anniversary of Rita Hayworth

Gore Vidal, 1989:
"....Five years later, at the Beverly Hills Hotel, I first beheld the relatively lean Orson Welles. (“Note,” Mercury Player Joseph Cotten once told me, “how Orson either never smiles on camera, or, if he has to, how he sucks in his cheeks so as not to look like a Halloween pumpkin.”) On his arm was Rita Hayworth, his wife. He has it all, I remember thinking in a state of perfect awe untouched by pity. Little did I know—did he know?—that just as I was observing him in triumph, the great career was already going off the rails while the Gilda of all our dreams was being supplanted by the ever more beautiful Dolores del Rio. Well, Rita never had any luck. As for Welles…."

Bhaichand Patel. The Asian Age, Dec 4 2011:
"...Balraj Sahni, a classmate of Chetan in Lahore, was roped in to write the script, plagiarised from the Hollywood film Gilda, starring Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford. Geeta Bali was to play one of the two lead female roles. The other went to someone fresh out of college, Kalpana Kartik (real name Mona Singha) who was related to Chetan’s wife. She later became Mrs Dev Anand. One of Baazi’s strongest attractions was its catchy music composed by S.D. Burman and sung beautifully by Geeta Roy, soon to become Mrs Guru Dutt. Neither of these two marriages worked, but let us not go into that!
Baazi’s story centres on a seedy gambling club and one of its patrons, played by Dev Anand. It was a dark film made in the film noir style borrowed largely from Warner Brothers’ productions starring, most times, Humphrey Bogart. This short-lived trend in our cinema had begun earlier with Gyan Mukherjee’s Sangram, with Ashok Kumar playing a gangster, and continued with films like Jaal, Aar Paar and CID..."

Gavin Millar, LRB, 1990:
"...The title of Barbara Leaming’s new book is a quotation from Welles, Rita Hayworth’s second husband. She told Welles, in later years: ‘You know, the only happiness I’ve ever had in my life has been with you.’ ‘If this was happiness,’ Welles reflected subsequently, ‘imagine what the rest of her life had been.’ On Leaming’s evidence, despite rows, infidelities and estrangements, Welles seems to have been the most loved and the most genuinely loving of her five husbands. The first was virtually a pimp who tried repeatedly to sell her to Harry Cohn, the lecherous head of Columbia Studios. She never succumbed. Aly Khan seems to have loved her, but outside the bedroom preferred the company of card-players and horses. Dick Haymes was a brutal, abusive, manipulative drunk. Her brief marriage to the director James Hill was a last misconceived attempt to find calm and stability away from the film business. It was typical of her that she had chosen a man determined to reestablish her career. She was divorced from him by the judge who had married her to Orson Welles 18 years before. She swiftly declined into the illness, popularly believed to be alcoholism, which, much too late, was diagnosed as Alzheimer’s.
‘All her life was pain,’ said Welles. Leaming will not be categorical about the allegations of incest with her father. But Welles clearly believed that when Eduardo Cansino drafted his 12-year-old daughter Margarita into his flamenco act in vaudeville, casino and beer-hall, she became something more than his dancing partner.
If she had no choice then, she appears to have been unable ever to break out of that pattern. When she married Orson, she encouraged him to leave Hollywood and go into politics, as he was tempted to do, so that she might escape too. Friends from her early days found her ‘quiet and shy. If she hadn’t been so beautiful, she would have been a wallflower.’ ‘I don’t think she’s glamorous,’ said a woman friend. ‘I just saw her in a completely different light: a very sweet, adorable homebody.’
Hollywood was not about to let her turn into anything but a sex symbol. A typical horror: when she found out that GIs had fixed her pinup to the Bikini bomb and dubbed it ‘Gilda’ after her, she was so shocked that she wanted to go to Washington and hold a press-conference to dissociate herself. Harry Cohn wouldn’t let her go; he said it would be unpatriotic. When she was not owned by her men, she was owned by the studio. Her reward was to be denounced, frequently and with refined hypocrisy, by the gutter press, particularly in Britain.
There is little here about her screen personality. But it is clear that despite herself, despite Hollywood even, something happened in front of the camera. Some irresistible vitality burst out, along with her beauty, especially when she danced. Astaire admired her enormously. But when she went home in the evening she would burst into tears, fearing that she was an inadequate partner to the great perfectionist...."

हे सगळ वाचून मला, जीएंच्या खालील लेखनाची पुन्हा आठवण झाली:

"...मी मॅट्रिकला असताना एकदा शिरसी नावाच्या गावी गेलो होतो. तेथे माझ्या दुपटीहून थोडी जास्त वयाची स्त्री दिसली होती. ती सुंदर होती असे म्हणणे understatement होईल. ती देदीप्यमान होती. तिने लग्न मात्र एका काळ्या सामान्य माणसाशी केले. तो अत्यंत बुद्धिमान होता व विशेष म्हणजे त्याला sense of humour फार आकर्षक होता. तो कुठेही गेला, तर 'मी रमाचा नवरा' अशी ओळख करून देत असे व मग मोठ्याने हसून ''असे सांगितल्याने ओळख पटते. रमालाच ओळखणारे लोक जास्त!" हा प्रेमविवाह होता आणि तो विवाह दोघांनाही अतिशय सुखाचा झाला याचे लोकांना आश्चर्य वाटे... रमा नवऱ्याआधी वारली. नंतर त्याचे जीवन हबकल्यासारखेच  झाले. त्याने नोकरी सोडली. थोडा पैसा होता  खरा, पण तोही त्याने वापरला नाही. बंगळूरला त्याच्या भावाचा कसला तरी छोटा कारखाना होता.  तेथे तो दिवसभर बसून असे म्हणे. आज रमा नाही, की विष्णुदास (हे त्याचे नाव) नाही. पण इतक्या वर्षानंतर ती आठवण झाली, की मोसमाबाहेर जाईची वेल उमलल्यासारखी वाटते. 'रमा' हे नाव आकर्षक नसावेच, पण त्याबद्दलची ही आठवण मात्र ओलसर सुगंधी आहे... "
(पृष्ठ १८९-१९०, 'जी एं. ची निवडक पत्रे', खंड १, १९९५)

आयुष्यातील पहिली कित्येक वर्षे, मी फक्त मराठी वाचत असताना, ज्या खूप कमी हॉलिवूडच्या नट्यांची माहिती झाली त्यातील एक म्हणजे रिटा हेवर्थ. बाकीची नाव म्हणजे ग्रेटा गार्बो, मेरिलिन मन्रो, एलिझाबेथ टेलर, सोफिया लॉरेन.

माझा असा अंदाज आहे की रिटा हे नाव भारतात, विशेषतः सिनेमात, लोकप्रिय व्हायला त्याच कारणीभूत असाव्यात.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Big or Small Breasts....Guillotining of A Queen 225 Years Ago


Today, October 16 2018, 225 years ago, Queen Marie Antoinette was guillotined.

I came across a study in The Telegraph, UK speculating how historical figures would have looked today.

This is how Marie Antoinette looked then….

And now the transformation for today....
"Her three-foot tall hair has been let down and her unusually high forehead concealed with a trendy fringe. Known for her crooked teeth in her youth she has been given a full modern-day orthodontic treatment. Teased for her small breasts as a teenager, she has been given breast implants."

"Known for being fashionable and changing clothes three times a day, Marie Antoinette is dressed in a modern designer dress. Reported to express how she was feeling through the accessories in her wig, she is wearing a flirty Philip Treacey style hat.Her modern day portrait also shows the  her fully-made up in colourful make-up."
But unfortunately the first thing that comes to my mind with her name is : guillotine....

Notice how, like the queen,  the original caption of the cartoon below has been transformed.....

The actual caption is : “Who has the time anymore? Now it just sits there, gathering dust.”

Artist: Emily Flake, The New Yorker, October 2011

Friday, October 12, 2018

Sunny Side Up: World Egg Day

Today Second Friday in October is World Egg Day

Artist: Seth Fleishman, The New Yorker,  July 2016

Monday, October 08, 2018

सर्वपित्री अमावस्या...Cosmos, Chaos, and the World to Come

आज भाद्रपद कृ १४, शके १९४०, सर्वपित्री अमावस्या.

Norman  Cohn, ‘Cosmos, Chaos, and the World to Come: The Ancient Roots of Apocalyptic Faith’, 1993
“.....The Rig Veda has nothing to say about the common people -naturally enough, since it was composed by and for members of the privileged strata of society. To the privileged it offers a most agreeable prospect. Provided only that they had honoured the gods and made the proper ritual offerings, had been generous to the priests and fulfilled their proper functions in the world, such people had no cause to worry about the netherworld. On the contrary, they could look forward to an afterlife as happy as that which awaited the most fortunate members of Egyptian society.
Vedic Indians believed that each such individual had a spirit - an impalpable substance, like a breath. But though the spirit was distinct from the body, it did not desert it for ever at the moment of death. At death the spirit made its way to heaven, easily and pleasantly - and once arrived there it met its body again. Not even cremation could prevent that: so long as the corpse had not been injured by bird or beast, and the bones had been collected afterwards and correctly arranged, the whole body was reconstituted in the next world, ready for the spirit to re-enter. Then life was resumed.
The dead continued their lives in heaven, where they dwelt with the Fathers - the dead who had gone before them - and with Yama, the first man and therefore the first to die. Now he reigned, rather than ruled, in heaven. That blissful realm is repeatedly described in the Rig Veda: it is full of radiant light, and of harmony and joy. Its denizens are nourished on milk and honey and of course soma. They make love - all the more deliciously because they have been freed from every bodily defect. The sound of sweet singing and of the flute is readily available. There are even wishcows, which supply whatever is wished for. In short, the afterlife of the fortunate minority would be a much improved version of the life they had lived on earth - a life, too, that would be free, at last and for ever, from harassment by the restless agents of chaos.
But none of this had any bearing on the future of the world itself....”


Thursday, October 04, 2018

कुठे आहे स्ट्राइंडबर्ग यांची दुखरी नस?... Searching GA's Epigraph

Shallow people demand variety – but I have been writing the same story throughout my life, every time trying to cut nearer the aching nerve.

ज्यांनी ज्यांनी "पिंगळावेळ" नुस्त उचलून उघडून बघितलंय , त्या सर्वांना हे अर्पणपत्रिकेतील (चपखल शब्द epigraph) वाक्य वीजेसारखे चमकते... जीए हे 'वेगळे' लेखक आहेत याची जाणीव तिथून सुरु होते, किमान माझ्याबाबतीत ती १९८१ साली झाली....

जीएंच ते मला ब्ध्येय  वाक्य वाटत... "माझ्या लेखनात नावीन्य पाहू नका, माझ्या प्रत्येक कथेकडे दुखऱ्या नसेकडे जायचा प्रयत्न म्हणून पहा."

अलीकडे वाटू लागले हे वाक्य इतके भारी आहे, याच्या आजूबाजूचा परिसर पण तसाच तेजस्वी असेल. म्हटल बघूया कुठे आहे ते वाक्य....स्ट्राइंडबर्ग (१८४९- १९१२) यांचे सर्व लेखन गेली कित्येक वर्षे पब्लिक डोमेन मध्ये आहे आणि ठिकठिकाणी उपलब्ध आहे.....

मला मात्र हे वाक्य स्वीडिश स्ट्राइंडबर्ग  यांच्या कोणत्याही इंग्लिश मधील अनुवादित पुस्तकात अजून मिळालेले नाही!

त्यांच्या गाजलेल्या, सहजपणे इंग्लिश मध्ये उपलब्ध असलेल्या पुस्तकांत पहिले. नंतर गूगल आणि Google Books वर शोधले Delphi Collected Works of August Strindberg (Illustrated)

Sue Prideaux यांच्या अत्यंत गाजलेल्या Strindberg यांच्या चरित्रात ('Strindberg: A Life', २०१२) मध्ये ते नाही ...

तुम्हाला कोठे मिळाल्यास जरूर कळवा .....

------ह्या संबंधित माझ्या दोन तीन  पोस्ट - एप्रिल ३ २०१६, जानेवारी ३० २०१७ , मार्च १२ २०१६-  When There Were No Wikipedia and Google...and Now That They Are Here... ,

  गोडसेंचा गोंधळ : कुठाय चांदण्यातील मखमली नीलिमा?...James Abbott McNeill Whistler's Two Nocturnes  आणि

  जी. एंचा पहिला यात्रिक अनुल्लेखित दुसर्‍याचा...Henry van Dyke's 'The Story of the Other Wise Man', 1895  पाहू शकता.

------त्याशिवाय फेसबुकवर लिहल्या प्रमाणे जी. एंची एक कथा 'संवेदना', वाङ्मय शोभाच्या जुलै १९५०च्या अंकात छापून आली होती. ती कथा अनुवादित आहे पण मूळ लेखकाचा, कॉपीराईट चा उल्लेख कुठेही नाही!

.---- त्यांची आणखी एक कथा 'नारिंगी हातरुमाल' वाङ्मय शोभा डिसेंबर १९५० च्या अंकात आहे, पुन्हा अनुवादित पुन्हा मूळ लेखकाचा , कॉपीराईट माहितीचा उल्लेख नाही...

---- तसेच :
ऑक्टोबर ९ १९५९ला श्री पु भागवतांना लिहलेल्या पत्रात, जीए, रॉबर्ट ग्रेव्हस यांच्या एका कवितेच्या दोन ओळी quote करतात :

 "Alas, it is late
Already bolder tenants are at the gate."  

त्या ओळी तशा नाहीत तर अशा आहेत: 
"Too far, too late:
Already bolder tenants were at the gate." , 

'Here Live Your Life Out!' from 'The New Yorker', March 1959....

....  भरपूर फरक आहे, दोन अवतरणांमध्ये 

-----In one of the most impressive passages from N G. Kalelkar's (ना गो कालेलकर) book '"bhasha ani sanskriti" (भाषा आणि संस्कृती) he says:

When a class containing Lord Byron (1788 – 1824) was asked to write an essay on the subject of the Last Supper, Byron wrote just one line- 'The water saw its Lord and blushed'...Water in Latin is feminine...etc. etc. (page 47, edition December 1982)

This moved me so much that since my first reading of it in the 1980's, I memorised it and kept quoting it in my conversations.

There are a couple of problems with this.

First, it was not the Last Supper but Marriage at Cana. And second, it was not Lord Byron- then a third grade boy- who first said this. In fact it was Richard Crashaw (c.1613-1649) who wrote:

'The conscious water saw its God, and blushed' (original in Latin: Nympha pudica Deum vidit, et erubuit)

I feel Kalelkar should have attributed this to Crashaw but did he know that it was Crashaw who first wrote it?

 A lot of stuff written in Marathi has gone unchallenged.

पुस्ती : हे वाक्य Strindberg यांचे नसून जीएंचे असल्यास मला त्यांच्या बद्दल वाटणारा आदर आणखी वाढेल!

courtesy: Delphi Classics

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Charles Addams 30th Death Anniversary


Robert Mankoff answering the question "What influence has Charles Addams’s work had on cartooning and American humor?":
"I think his influence is, like the man, largish. He tapped into that vein of American gothic that has a touch of paranoia about it, seeing behind every comforting façade the uncomfortable truth about the duality of human nature. But where Gothic literature usually combined these themes with romance, Addams made the horror hilarious: disturbing, but at the same time friendly, identifiable, and acceptable. In cartooning, you can see the direct influence of his work in someone like Gahan Wilson, and in many other cartoonists. Horror films that combine humor with horror, such as “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” with its wise-cracking Freddy Krueger, are also in his debt. And, of course, Addams’s humor was “black” and “sick” before those terms applied.

But I think his influence extends beyond the horror genre, to humor not as a comforting “laughter is the best medicine” anodyne but as something deeply skeptical of the purported values of middle-class American life. By making us laugh at, and with, his fiendish protagonists, he makes us temporarily share their values, and doubt our own."

Charles McGrath:
“Punch failed, moreover, to produce anyone on the order of a Saul Steinberg, a Peter Arno, a Charles Addams — an artist who raised cartooning to something approximating fine art.” 

Andrew Stark:
“....The mix, in Charles Addams's world, of virtue and "evil"—of love and sadism, of the grotesque and the homespun—makes his drawings, taken as a whole, much richer than cartoons aimed at simple gags and artistically more nuanced—if unsettlingly incomplete. Addams furnishes a perspective on our own world, too: a world in which the average human has learned to be physically nonviolent in light of our physical fragility and emotionally intact (more or less) in the face of the emotional abuse that life regularly hurls our way.
We are lucky in our own physical and emotional ecology. Ours may not be the best of all worlds. But Addams's inability to realize the alternative fully suggests that it may be the best of all possible worlds. One of the signs of genius is that an artist sheds new light on the human condition. Or, in Addams's case, casts new shadows....”

"Medusa for Haircut"

The New Yorker,  August 15 1936

The New Yorker, February 9 1946

२०व्या शतकातील एका सर्वोत्कृष्ट व्यंगचित्रकाराबद्दल काय लिहायच?...... त्यांची अनेक कार्टून ह्या ब्लॉगवर आली आहेत.