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.”
Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~
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."
Sunday, September 26, 2010
The Persistence of Memory. Vasant Sarwate style!
About following painting, Ballard says:
"...Dalí's masterpiece and, I believe, the greatest painting of the 20th century is The Persistence of Memory, a tiny painting not much larger than the postcard version, containing the age of Freud, Kafka and Einstein in its image of soft watches, an embryo and a beach of fused sand. The ghost of Freud presides over the uterine fantasies that set the stage for the adult traumas to come, while insects incarnate the self-loathing of Kafka's Metamorphosis and its hero turned into a beetle. The soft watches belong to a realm where clock time is no longer valid and relativity rules in Einstein's self-warping continuum.
What monster would grow from this sleeping embryo? It may be the long eyelashes, but there is something feminine and almost coquettish about this little figure, and I see the painting as the 20th century's Mona Lisa, a psychoanalytic take on the mysterious Gioconda smile. If the Mona Lisa, as someone said, looks as if she has just dined on her husband, then Dalí's embryo looks as if she dreams of feasting on her mother..."
Artist: Salvador Dali, 'The Persistence of Memory', 1931
When I was growing up, smuggling was a very popular profession in India. Watch any number of Hindi films of the period.
I remember my shock and disbelief on hearing about a young and handsome son of a very famous Brahmin family in Miraj being a gold smuggler.
Gold was not the only commodity that was popular among them. Watches came close second. Seiko, Riko(?), Casio were some of the popular brands. (Even in September 2003- Smuggled watches account for between 50 and 75 per cent of annual sales in the country.)
Surely when watches were smuggled via sea route some consignments didn't reach the shore safely. In those cases, watches swam, the way oil from the recent oil-spill did, to arrive.
One of the first things I noticed in Mumbai, where Sarwate lives, was how even in very plush residential areas clothes- even undergarments- were dried hanging outside an apartment. I wonder if there also was an odd embryo lurking!
Now see below what Vasant Sarwate creates.
He imagines what could be a reaction of viewing public in 1970's and 1980's to Dali's painting.
(double-click on the picture to get a larger view)
Caption reads: "just some smuggled stuff thrown in water! Being dried..."
Artist: Vasant Sarwate, Year-?, sourced from his book "The Best of Sarwate" editor: Avadhoot Paralkar, Lokvangmay Gruh 2008
वसंत सरवटे "सरवोत्तम सरवटे" संपादक: अवधूत परळकर, लोकवाङ्मय गृह 2008
p.s I had forgot about this cartoon of Sarwate. When I was showing him a book containing Dali's paintings once at our place, he spoke about it.