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."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Feeling Nostalgia for Teasing Concealments. Remembering Thanthanpal ठणठणपाळ.

Colin Burrow wrote a review of “Anonymity: A Secret History of English Literature by John Mullan”, a “rangy and lively history of authors hiding their identities, Anonymity” (Guardian, January 26, 2008).

“…Jane Austen was one of many writers in the 18th and early 19th centuries who never published a single novel under her own name (she would even hide the evidence of her work in progress when friends came to visit). Throughout this period, and in the 16th and 17th centuries too, most fiction and much verse was published anonymously or pseudonymously. The list reads like an edited history of English literature...

On the whole Mullan thinks the underlying reasons for anonymity were psychological and personal…

Anonymous authorship was more or less killed off by the literary marketplace, and Mullan's book makes one feel more than a little nostalgia for its teasing concealments. “

Marathi too has history of anonymous authorship.

The most famous example perhaps was Jaywant Dalvi जयवंत दळवी who wrote by pseudonym of “Thanthanpal” ठणठणपाळ.

Dalvi remained anonymous for general public from 1963-1969. During this period and after he delighted many with his sharp wit and penetrative observations, exposing many hypocrisies in the world of Marathi literature in the process. (Like Khushwant Singh, death was no deterrence for Dalvi. He attacked G A Kulkarni जी ए कुलकर्णी after latter's death)

Vasant Sarwate वसंत सरवटे played perfect foil to Dalvi’s words with his caricatures and cartoons.


Artist: Vasant Sarwate (left- Thanthanpal, right- Jaywant Dalvi)

2 comments:

mangesh said...

It's great to read on Jaywant Dalvi and his famous THANTHANPAAL after many decades.The speciality of his humour was that it was not unpleasant(tusadaa)in any manner.Datto Waman Potdar, Gangadhar Gadgil have praised his style, depite he made their Khillee. I have kept bound volumes of Lalit magazine, just to read Thanthanpaal in seclusion. I expect memoirs from Vasantrao on his days in company of Thanthanpaal. What do you say, Aniruddha?
BTW, have you talked to Vasantrao recently?
Mangesh Nabar, Detroit, USA

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thanks Mangesh.

Dalvi's humour hurt a lot of people. Marathi speaking people don't have great sense of humour, I must say.

Dilip Chitre has called Dalvi dishonest in one of his interviews.

Sarwate has already written about his Thanthanpal days.

I haven't spoken to Sarwate for a while. When he visited my home last year, we talked about Dalvi's sense of humour. I particularly like Dalvi's "khadyajeevan" book.

Glad to know your piles of Lalit but now you can read most of Thanthanpal in two collections of Thanthanpal published by Majestic.