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.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

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."

Monday, January 01, 2007

Waving or Drowning

Not easy to judge. Listen to Stevie Smith first and then see what James Stevenson says.

Stevie Smith (1903-1971)

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.



Artist : James Stevenson published The New Yorker 19 Nov 1960

our own Waheeda Rehman or Ginger Rogers

Waheeda Rehman by some opinion in her prime ("Guide") was one of the most beautiful actresses of Hindi film industry.
Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan (one of the handsomest men himself) considers her the most beautiful woman world has known. For me, Ginger Rogers is equally vivacious.

Marathi author Va Pu Kale has written few good stories. In one of them, protagonist in due course discovers Waheeda Rehman in his wife.

Don't we all remember the day our wife looked like Waheeda or Ginger?!


Artist: Barney Tobey publsihed : The New Yorker 31 Dec 1960

Parental discretion!

My wife often asks me to be discreet when our son is around.

"Watch your tongue" is a constant refrain. I cannot lose my temper when he is awake. Why? Because "our son will follow you and use the same foul language which is not good for his future".
She thinks invoking our son's future is a clinching argument.

I sometimes think it is a clever ploy to shut me up for good...... what a drag.
Artist : Frank Modell Published: The New Yorker 19 March 1960

for Democracy's sake!


Artist : Joseph Mirachi Published The New Yorker June 25, 1960

In India democracy is alive and well most time kicking! Opposition opposes because they are in opposition. And even friendly fire from parties like communists is most times deadly.

If today non-congress parties were to be asked what they stand for, their honest answer would be whatever congress doesn't stand for. No more, no less.

But if we want to give it a positive spin to this behaviour, call it to "keep alive the multi-party democracy".