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."

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Going Insane with MADhukar!

Indian Psychiatric Society, Western Zonal Branch is organizing their 40th annual conference on October 9th, 10th and 11th 2009 at Nanded, Maharashtra. The theme of the conference is Women’s Mental Health.

A novel feature of the conference is the exhibition of cartoons- on the subject of mental health- by artists around the world.

Creative writer and a renowned critic of the art of cartooning, Madhukar Dharmapurikar मधुकर धर्मापुरीकर, is in-charge of the exhibition.

Dharmapurikar has created a booklet, for private circulation, ‘Delight in Madness’, that contains all the cartoons that will be exhibited…and more.

The booklet says: Insanity destroys reason, but not wit. Dharmapurikar proves it. He has gone in his usual possessed (insane?) ways to create these 66 pages that celebrate insanity on every single page!

It's said Ludwig Wittgenstein's intellectual brilliance and erratic behaviour provided Bertrand Russell with an opportunity to meditate on the link between logic and madness.

The same 'mad' Wittgenstein has said: 'The way to solve the problem you see in life is to live in a way that makes the problem disappear.'

The participants of the conference (and their patients!) will realise that their problems have disappeared, albeit briefly, when they read this book.

They say: good is the enemy of great. Dharmapurikar is never happy with just ‘good’. He wants perfection not only in his ideas but their execution. His last book, ‘Reshalekhak: Vasant Sarwate’ (a compilation of Vasant Sarwate’s cartoons from the defunct weekly ‘Manoos’ माणूस), is a testimony to that. This book is an encore.

Psychotherapist and essayist Adam Phillips says he hates the 'intrusiveness' of psychoanalysis, that 'most people are essentially private and the demand to articulate oneself is quite often a strain, and, in the process, can be a diminishment.

At the bottom of this post see a picture from the booklet.

Poor peahen already feels so diminished before she even has opened her mouth.

This indeed is the mascot image of the conference whose theme is : Women’s Mental Health!

Adam Phillips also says: “I don't have theories, I have sentences. I don't want people to come away thinking, this is what Phillips thinks about X or Y. My wish is not to inform people, but to evoke things in them by the way the writing works. That, I value. Ideally, I want the books to return you to your own thoughts.”

If so, ‘Delight in Madness’ will not disappoint in your journey of returning to your own thoughts.


Artist: Robert J. Day, The New Yorker, December 22 1962