मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

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.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

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);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

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."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Does Marathi have any Third Culture?

TREVOR BUTTERWORTH: "...It is also refreshing, and possibly redemptive, to be reminded of a time when scientists composed poetry—as Charles Darwin's polymathic grandfather, Erasmus, did praise of steel—and when the idea that agronomy and geology and metallurgy were as vital and as exciting as any of the arts." (WSJ, July 30 2010)

W H Auden (imagining what the Athenian might say about the West): "Yes, I can see all the works of a great civilization; but why cannot I meet any civilized persons? I only encounter specialists, artists who know nothing of science, scientists who know nothing of art, philosophers who have no interest in God, priests who are unconcerned with politics, politicians who only know other politicians."

Marcus Chown: I started by asking (Carl)Sagan what he preferred: science or science fiction? Without hesitation, he replied: "Science." I asked him why. "Because science is stranger than science fiction."

The late G D Madgulkar's (ग. दि. माडगूळकर) [1919-1977] Marathi essay titled "Hello, Mr. Death" (हेलो मिस्टर डेथ)-or something similar- became a big hit. It described his near death experience.

Now Madgulkar was a very good lyricist but I always thought the essay was all baloney.

The Times of India May 31 2010:

"Afterlife episode or just a brain tick?: Patients who have had a near-death experience often report walking towards a bright light, or a feeling that they are floating above their body - a sensation that has long been interpreted as a religious vision and confirmation of afterlife. Experts now claim it's a surge of electrical activity triggered by the brain in the moments before death, apparent from a study of the brainwaves of dying patients..."

I have read about poet Vinda Karandikar (विंदा करंदीकर) talking about his wife dying peacefully. Is there anything like 'peaceful death'?

ROBIN MARANTZ HENIG: "Will We Ever Arrive at the Good Death?

...What we're addicted to, it seems, is the belief that we can micromanage death. We tend to think of a ''good death'' as one that we can control, making decisions about how much intervention we want, how much pain relief, whether it's in the home or the hospital, who will be by our sides. We even sometimes try to make decisions about what we will die from. This can be valuable, as when a cancer patient with little hope of survival, like Goldie Gold back in mid-July, rejects debilitating chemotherapy. But often, our best-laid plans can go awry. Dying is awfully hard to choreograph..." (NYT, Aug 7 2005)

Such writing gets away without any critical scrutiny in Marathi because it has largely lacked what C P Snow defines as The Third Culture.

Snow's thesis was that the breakdown of communication between the "two cultures" of modern society — the sciences and the humanities — was a major hindrance to solving the world's problems.

Are Marathi artists afraid if they stride two cultures they would spread themselves too thin? Like Leonardo da Vinci from the picture below who strode them all!

Artist: Warren Miller, The New Yorker, May 7 1966


Anonymous said...

Why only marathi? I belive the question can be asked for all of India. And, in my opinion, the third culture has been by and large absent in India- don't get me wrong, I mean we have always had "rasik" people but those are "consumers" of arts, sciences, etc. to speak and NOT the producers. I think the cast system is to blame here- specialization within and without.

That's why India has lacked and still lacks the so-called "intellectual middle class". One of your posts has cited Rajwade wherein he says that by and large, the common man of india was indifferent to politics and sarkar. I think that heavy stratification might have done the same harm in artistic realm as well. What's your take on this?

- Nikhil bellarykar.

Aniruddha G. Kulkarni said...

Yes, Nkhil.

But I always wish to generalise only to the extent I feel I know.

To be honest, do I know enough about even Maharashtra? Not really.

Also, there are states and states in India.

I hesitate to include Bengal and Kerala when I mention Maharashtra because those states follow a different intellectural trajectory than us.

I liked your usage - "heavy stratification". Could be.

Sadly, I find not a single Marathi artist who is accomplished in "Third Culture". Jayant Narlikar could have tried but I find he is too straitjacketed.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that is true. Statewise differences are there for sure. Jayant narlikar is too straitkacketed indeed.

- Nikhil Bellarykar.