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."

Monday, March 03, 2008

Pity No N S Phadke ना सी फडके to Describe New Cricket Record

On March 1, 2008, South African opening batsmen Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie broke the Test world record for the best opening partnership set by Indian openers Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy on January 7, 1956. It was the first ever Test series between India and New Zealand.

Brief scores:

India (1st innings): 537-3 decl (M H Mankad 231, P Roy 173, P R Umrigar 79*)
New Zealand (1st innings): 209 all out (B Sutcliffe 47, S P Gupte 5-72)
New Zealand (2nd innings): 219 all out (J R Reid 63, J G Leggat 61, S P Gupte 4-73, M H Mankad 4-65)
Result: India won by an innings and 109 runs

I had a lesson in my school text based on Phadke's masterly essay describing Mankad-Roy's record breaking achievement of 1956. Reading it was such a thrill.

N S Phadke ना सी फडके (1894-1978)- one of the highest paid Marathi authors- was a lousy novelist for my taste.

But Phadke was a pioneer when it came to writing in Marathi on cricket. See a related post here.

I also enjoy reading many of his short essays on various subjects. His essay on Bal Gandharva (बालगंधर्व) is also masterly.

Phadke once imagined that the 'time-man' कालपुरुष was ferrying all books in a boat with a limited carrying capacity. As time goes by and new books keep loading, the time-man is forced to discard books of lesser quality. Phadke obviously hoped that the time-man would keep a few of his books on board.

I am afraid all of Phadke's novels have now probably been thrown out by Kalpurush! Read Vilas Sarang's essay in Marathi on this here.

Almost none of his books has survived the scrutiny of either popularity over long time, like Sane Guruji's Shyamchi Aai (श्यामची आई ), or critical taste.

[Phadke would hate this comparison with Sane Guruji because he has written scornfully about Guruji's literature. See साने गुरूजी पुनर्मूल्यांकन, संपादक: भालचंद्र नेमाडे, १९९९ पृष्ठे: ३७-५७ (Sane Guruji Revaluation, Editor: Bhalchandra Nemade, 1999 Page: 37-57)]

Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy,India v New Zealand, 5th Test, Madras, January , 1956