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, April 01, 2008

Has L K Advani Written A B Vajpayee’s Book?

BJP honcho L K Advani has written a book- “My Country, My Life” and is busy promoting it. Hard copy edition is priced at Rs. 595/-. Looks like Prime-Minister-in-waiting doesn’t wish too many average Indians like me to read it yet!

India Today March 24, 2008 has published excerpts. I found them boring.

I have yet to read a single good review of the book.

I have always found Advani is like Sancho Panza to Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Don Quixote.

Very practical, worldly and most times boring. But Sancho’s of the world have a utility. They are a way to get to the heart of enigmatic eternal hero Don Quixote.

And that’s what I conclude the book’s worth is.

R K Laxman has put it so well in arguably one of the best cartoons of the year 2008.


Artist: R K Laxman Times of India March 27, 2008