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."

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)