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."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Girls, Now Who Is Going To Read Me Sherlock Holmes Tonight?

Durga Bhagwat दुर्गा भागवत ‘pardoned’ Indira Gandhi- against whose tyranny she fought tooth and nail- because lndira composed a passable poem on Henry David Thoreau! (source- Pratibha Ranade's excellent biography of Durga Bhagwat)

Similarly, I tend to pardon the British Empire somewhat because it gave us Sherlock Holmes. So many stories of Holmes have India in them. Portrayed rather lovingly.

I read Sherlock Holmes in Marathi first and fell in love with this eccentric genius. Later in early 1980’s when I saw Jeremy Brett playing Holmes on TV, I started imitating him! My wife says I still do, eccentric part of it!

Two new books on Arthur Conan Doyle are recently released (September 2007).

The Economist says: “…The Sherlock Holmes stories continue to exercise extraordinary power. The writing is never more than efficient but the setting remains perennial: the comfortable, carpeted, fire-lit Baker Street sitting room shared by Holmes and Watson, the paradoxically womblike world of a Victorian bachelor set above an anarchic underworld full of violence and immorality. Doyle's literary masterstroke was dividing the story between Holmes and Watson. It was a device the writer used frequently but never as effectively as here…”

Quite shockingly FT says:”… But please note: Holmes never said “Elementary, my dear Watson”, P.G. Wodehouse did. “

And The Spectator says: “…Why were the Holmes books so popular that the last autocratic Sultan of Turkey, a man with a thousand concubines, used to have them read aloud to him in translation in what spare time was left? …What did they have that a thousand women above the Bosphorus could not supply? I read this book through without getting an answer.”

Now when you see the picture below, don’t read speech balloon given by Carl Rose first but instead read title of this blog-post.

Artist: Carl Rose The New Yorker 4 Dec 1948

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