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."

Saturday, April 07, 2007

To hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner

When in college, I read the late Prabhakar Padhye’s Marathi book “Manav Aani Marks”.

It taught me a lot of things.

For example, how alienation is not necessarily bad for mankind. How? If not for alienation, Tukaram might not have written his Gatha. (The greatest book in Marathi and one of the best in the world).

I read in it Marxism’s ultimate goal: “In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity...society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have in mind, without ever becoming hunter, herdsman or critic.” This was very charming. I have never ever got over this.

Although I still did not know what Marxism was, I became more Marxist after reading all this!

The Economist (Christmas Special Double issue of 2002) has a good essay on Marx. It says Marxism as a system of government is dead or dying but as a system of ideas, its future looks secure. Lord Meghnad Desai, author of “Marx's Revenge”, argues that Marx was misunderstood and that the great man was right about far more than he is given credit for.

When Lisa Simpson tells her father ( [3F03] 'Lisa the Vegetarian' Original airdate: 15-Oct-95): " While I was gone I got some really good advice from Paul and Linda McCartney." Her father Homer Simpson says: "Rock stars. Is there anything they don't know?".

Similarly Gandhi and Marx have commented on just about everything under the sun. Much more than even prophets.

I wonder if there is any comment from Marx on this specific “tired, rundown feeling”. Also, will these guys ever get a chance to hunt or fish?

Artist : Mario Micossi The New Yorker 10 Oct 1964