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!"

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."

Chris Ware: "Being a cartoonist means you don’t consider yourself too fancy."

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

Monday, December 17, 2007

Butterfly with Stinger - James McNeill Whistler and D G Godse द ग गोडसे

Key to unravel great minds and their work often is to know what drove them - personalities, events etc.

Great D G Godse द ग गोडसे, who studied arts in pre-WW II England, I feel, was driven by two personalities all his life-Mastani मस्तानी (wife of First Bajirao Peshwa पहिला बाजीराव पेशवा 1699-1740) and artist James McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903).

He was obsessed with Mastani and deeply influenced by Whistler.

Wikipedia describes Whistler as:

“an American-born, British-based painter and etcher. Averse to sentimentality in painting, he was a leading proponent of the credo "art for art's sake". He took to signing his paintings with a stylized butterfly, possessing a long stinger for a tail. The symbol was apt, for Whistler's art was characterized by a subtle delicacy, in contrast to his combative public persona. Finding a parallel between painting and music, Whistler titled many of his works 'harmonies' and 'arrangements'.”

I think most of it fits Godse too.

“Averse to sentimentality in art…art for art's sake… possessing a long stinger for a tail.. art was characterized by a subtle delicacy, in contrast to his combative public persona…”

“The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies” is a book by Whistler published in 1890. The book contains Whistler's letters to newspapers chronicling his many petty grievances against various acquaintances and friends.

Godse too could have written a book with the same title!

No wonder Godse wrote two wonderful essays on Whistler: “नांगी असलेले फुलपाखरू: 1 & 2” (Stinger Possessing Butterfly: 1 & 2) in 1989.

Thanks to poverty of Marathi publishing world, the book containing these essays is not well printed and has NO pictures, except the one on the cover (reproduced below left).



Artist: D G Godse द ग गोडसे c 1989 and James McNeill Whistler c 1890-1899

First time perhaps they appear together!