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, December 24, 2009

Inflation Hurts Literature Some More

In last few years I have across articles like "If Odysseus Had GPS" where the author claims that if today's technology were to be available in the past, some of the world's great literature would not be borne. Or an essay "Call Me, Ishmael" that fantasises "...every thorny literary problem solved by modern technology..."

For me, it's complete baloney for technology doesn't solve any of our basic problems. It just packages them differently.

John Gray: "Today the good life means making full use of science and technology - without succumbing to the illusion that they can make us free, reasonable, or even sane. It means seeking peace - without hoping for a world without war. It means cherishing freedom - in the knowledge that it is an interval between anarchy and tyranny...

...At present we think of science and technology as means of mastering the world. But the self that struggles to master the world is only a shimmer on the surface of things. The new technologies that are springing up around us seem to be inventions that serve our ends, when they and we are moves in a game that has no end."

So if technology doesn't affect great literature, does inflation?

B V (Mama) Warerkar:"...all the money with the public is exhausted and, the little that is left with a few, is of no value because of the shortage of things..." (Dhule, 1944, Presidential address of Marathi Sahitya Sammelan)

(भा वि (मामा) वरेरकर : "...जनते जवळचा पैसा संपला आहे आणि ज्याकडे थोडाफार शिल्लक आहे, तो वस्तुंच्या दुर्मिळतेमुळे कुचकामी ठरला आहे..." धुळे, १९४४ च्या मराठी साहित्य संमेलनाचे अध्यक्षीय भाषण )

Pune will host 83rd Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in 2010. I wonder if the presidential address will contain a thought on inflation.

The title of one of my previous posts read :"Inflation Hurts Literature too! तानी मावशीचे दोन आणे". Read it here.

It was posted on Dec 27 2007.

In two years time, inflation has wreaked havoc in India.

Business Line reported on Dec 13 2009:

"If you had paid Rs 500 at the beginning of the year 2009 for a kg of a dozen items in your grocery basket such as atta, rice, sugar and various dals, do you know how much it would cost you now? You would have to shell out at least 35 per cent more – or Rs 675 – for the same products, going by prevailing prices at major modern retail outlets..."

Tani-mavashi's love remains undiminished but her 12 paise (two-anna)...

Poor in India spend most of their money on food.

The question I am asking is: Did we give our maid 35% raise this year?

The answer is NO.

Are we finding an excuse like the couple in the picture below?


Artist: Perry Barlow, The New Yorker, 12 July 1946