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.”

Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~

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, September 26, 2007

Will Rakhi Sawant’s Reveal-all Book Outsell Bhakti Literarture in India?

The Telegraph, UK’s website on September 23, 2007 and Times of India on September 25, 2007 report:
“Fears for the future of the literary novel have been heightened by the revelation that a book by Katie Price, the surgically enhanced model, has outsold the entire Booker Prize shortlist.

Sales for the Man Booker Prize contenders show that the combined efforts of the cream of Britain's literary talent cannot match the appeal of Crystal, by Katie Price, the topless model better known as Jordan.

Figures that make grim reading for lovers of highbrow literature show that Crystal is beating the combined sales of all six works on the Man Booker shortlist…

The revelation has thrown the literary world into depression…

Told of Ms Price's victory, one agent who has represented Booker shortlisted authors in this and previous years, admitted: "Depressed? That could be a bit of an understatement. Literary fiction just doesn't sell in the quantities it used to….

Ms Price, 29, who came to public attention as a topless model whose natural attractions had been considerably enlarged by the surgeon's knife, has written two novels. Angel, about a young woman who becomes a model, was published in 2006, selling 300,000 copies in six weeks..."

I am not surprised.

P L Deshpande, Marathi humourist and entertainer, once punned: “Theirs is a Draksh (Marathi word for GRAPE) culture while ours is a Rudraksh culture”. He implied the Christian use of grape wine as part of religious ceremony while Indians use Rudraksh. (For Indians, no other bead is so auspicious and powerful as Rudraksh….The seed of Rudraksh has been given a very special place and it is credited with mystical and divine properties. The botanical name of the Rudraksh plant is 'ELAEOCARPUS GRANITRUS'.)

He could as well have said- theirs is a “sexulture”.

In US it seems, ‘old’ wealthy men- tycoons, Hollywood honchos, politicos-are busy marrying women of their daughter’s age and producing babies as fast as possible.

In olden days India, you could find mother and daughter pregnant during the same period. In US, you have similar scenes now. Mother, daughter and perhaps a granddaughter expecting a child!

In India serious vernacular language books hardly sell and titillation-thanks to Indian cinema- sells big time but I still feel Indians are not obsessed with sex as much as the West and for sure best selling books in India are not written by topless models.


Artist: Peter Arno The New Yorker September 10,1960


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