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: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I wasn't disappointed.
For me calendar 2009's theme has been John N Gray's "Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals" (2002).
One of the quotes I liked from the book is by Joseph Brodsky: "...should the truth about the world exist, it's bound to be nonhuman."
Therefore, I was delighted to see that the greeting was consistent with the theme.
See the picture below. (To view 2008 card, click here)
The picture made me nostalgic. At a public garden in Miraj, a few decades ago, on a mild sunny morning, three of us and our parents had a photo session. There was no one else other than us and the photographer.
Were there birds? I don't remember but surely no albatrosses or seagulls!
Although the family in the picture seems to be enjoying their presence, what are birds there doing?
Do they want to fit in the frame? Are they swooping down on the junk strewn at the beach? Are they enjoying irritation of family dog? Is this a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" (1963)?
R K Laxman once described how dozens of crows sat without a sound on overhead cables during the entire reception of Prince Charles in Mumbai.
Does a poet have an answer?
Walter de la Mare?:
"Over these unremembered marble columns,
birds glide their old remembered way.
Dive in red gold setting tide and write dark alphabets on evening sky
whether an epitaph, chorus or strange augury
little man you only hope to know!"
Here is hoping for happy Diwali 2009!
Artist: Norman Thelwell (1923 - 2004)