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, September 22, 2009

When will our Cartoonists Evolve?

V S Naipaul has called Bal Thackeray a failed cartoonist. (India: A Wounded Civilization,1977)

The Times of India reported on August 6 2009:

"Arrested Pakistani gunman Ajmal Amir Kasab asked his lawyer if anyone would tie him a rakhi on Wednesday — the day of Raksha Bandhan. To which, Abbas Kazmi, his lawyer, said, ‘‘If some one treats you like a brother, she will surely come and tie a rakhi.’’..."

Raj Thackeray, a cartoonist and a politician, thought of a cartoon based on this.

"Bhratmata (mother India) approaches Kasab with a rakhee in her hand and, instead of tying it on his wrist, strangulates him with it."

I was saddened by this.

More so because I had guessed what Mr. Thackeray would say before he said it. (Only my son is a witness to that.)

When will our cartoons and cartoonists evolve?

Reviewing comics artist David B's masterpiece 'Epileptic', RICK MOODY says:

"...Less well observed is the relationship between literature and comics. While there are worthy precursors, to be sure, the ascent of comics into the realm of the literary began in earnest in 1986 with the publication of Art Spiegelman's ''Maus.'' And with Chris Ware's ''Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth'' (2000), comics and comic artists became unavoidable in literary circles...

...In short, ''Epileptic'' constitutes something new: a graphic intellectual history. A design-oriented history of ideas. There are entire dreams illustrated here in a disturbing and rococo illustrative style, with interpretations included, as if David B. were channeling Jung's ''Memories, Dreams, Reflections'' or Freud's writings on the oneiric...

...But just as the graphic novel has borrowed from the acute observational skills of the great literary writers of the past, so ''Epileptic'' borrows from the great cultural and intellectual archeologies of French nonfiction of the last 100 years, while remaining both accessible and moving..."

(NYT, January 23, 2005)



"Yes, he's my son...He's just not feeling well."