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."
Thursday, November 15, 2007
“Making nonsense is very difficult.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter wrote an essay “Stuff and Nonsense” (December 1982), included in his book “Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern”.
He concludes: “…The purpose of this column was to emphasize the very fine line that separates the meaningful from the meaningless. It is a boundary line that has a great deal to do with the nature of human intelligence, because the question of how meaning emerges out of meaningless constituents when combined in certain patterned ways is still a perplexing one….”.
English language has produced plenty of delightful nonsense, in the form of verses, poems etc. One example:
“Buz, quoth the blue fly,
Hum, quoth the bee,
Buz and hum they cry,
And so do we:
In his ear, in his nose, thus, do you see?
He ate the dormouse; else it was he.”
By Ben Jonson
Indian languages too have produced plenty of nonsense.
In January 2007, Penguin published- “The Tenth Rasa: An Anthology of Indian Nonsense Edited By Michael Heyman with Sumanyu Satpathy and Anushka Ravishankar”
In Marathi, Vinda Karandikar विंदा करंदीकर has written quite a bit of 'nonsense'.
Hindi films have plenty of nonsense. Playback singer and actor Kishore Kumar किशोर कुमार was the greatest practitioner of it.
Now, you and I may never understand, in following picture, what the lady means by "grrzlackity….bonk" but the motor mechanic surely does!
Artist: Sidney Hoff The New Yorker 4 Nov 1950