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."

Friday, August 03, 2007

Nora, whatever you do, don't slam the door as you leave!

We all know Kipling’s famous words: "OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet". Indeed ways of the twain are so very different even in some minor matters.

Case in point is a mundane act of door closing. Slamming the door is ingrained in western culture.

One of the greatest plays produced in West is Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House” (1879). It made a lasting impression on me when I read it in school. I have often wondered what if my mother (in the past) and wife (in the present)were to behave like Nora Helmer. The thought has scared me.

In play’s climax, Nora walks out on her husband and kids slamming the door behind her creating a sound, once described by critics as the sound that ''reverberated across the roof of the world''.

“A Doll’s House” cannot be perhaps as effective in the East partly because we don’t have that “slamming the door” culture. We Indians are often told to close the door softly. It is probably because until recently we did not have many doors with a latch!

When I interacted with Americans and Europeans I immediately noticed how they almost always slammed the door. Therefore, I was not surprised to see following picture.

Background maybe grim Iraq but sentiments are familiar.



Artist: Geoff Thompson