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.”
Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~
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: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Painless to the Criminal and Terrible to the Beholder?
It opens with a devastating event for the family. In an act of John Company's terrorism, her mother’s father is hanged by the British after the revolt/war/mutiny of 1857. This drives her father crazy resulting into disastrous consequences for her family.
I wish I could get to read the story of Laxmibai’s grandfather. She says he enjoyed the trust of poor and was loved by the town’s (Jalalpur जलालपूर)
There is very little documentation of that period available, in easily accessible Marathi sources. The only exception is “Maza pravas” by Godse Bhataji माझा प्रवास, गोडसे भटजी.
GEOFFREY WHEATCROFT writes in his review of “THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 1781-1997” By Piers Brendon (NYT Books Update on November 23, 2008):
“…The growing realm in India was a corporate enterprise, literally so, run by “John Company,” as the East India Company was known, until what Indians no longer call the Indian Mutiny. This was put down with the most horrifying brutality by the British, raising not for the first time the question of who were the “savages” and who the civilized…”
I have always found darkest humour in following description of the event that took place much before 1857.
“Elphinstone did not hesitate to order the (Brahmin) ringleaders (of a plot to murder all the Europeans in Pune) to be blown from guns, observing that this method of execution ‘contains two valuable elements of capital punishment; it is painless to the criminal and terrible to the beholder’.” (Philip Mason. “Men Who Ruled India”)
'Due to staff cutbacks...'