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.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

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."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sentimental Education

Gurcharan Das wrote originative essay “Sentimental Education” in 2001 wherein he addressed the issue of leadership deficit.

He says; “…. Not only does our traditional insecurity for jobs push our youth early into careers, our silo-like curriculum does not permit cross fertilisation of disciplines…..In India, the triumph of the IIT-IIM culture and our current mania for computers, is producing too many graduates with a tunnel vision. We are not producing leaders for tomorrow's challenges. Reading great books is one way to make it happen.”

I have been deeply motivated by this essay. I could not procure recommended David Denby's “Great Books: My Adventure with Homer, Rousseau, Woolf and Other Indestructible Writers of the Western World” but I did get “Books that changed the world” by Robert B. Downs.

I keep telling my son and whomever that listens to me about the essay. My 13- year old son has already read unabridged Mahabharata & Ramayana, Sherlock Homes, abridged Shakespeare plays, Mark Twain among many other pre-20th century English books.

Great books, understood Mr. Das.

What about some great toys? Like this...



Artist: Joseph Mirachi, The New Yorker, 24 Oct 1964