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: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

S G Joshi, John Tenniel: The Power of Simple and Vague

John Gray: "...To be sure, the pursuit of self-realisation does not often result in happiness. But is it happiness that most people are pursuing? Or is it stimulus and excitement?..."

It is now clear, going by the most reviews, that Tim Burton's film 'Alice in Wonderland' has screwed up Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'.

I felt sorry because I really love some of Burton's earlier work: Batman (1989) and Planet of the Apes (2001).

But Mr. Burton like all of us has been affected by Disneyfication of everything around us.

Ramin Setoodeh writes:

"...The only way to understand Alice is to use your imagination. Do you even remember how to do that? In our society of Web links, Wikipedia, Facebook, and reality TV, everything and everybody comes with a label and an exhaustive definition. There's scant room for ambiguity and interpretation. The genius of the 145-year-old Wonderland is that it forces you to bring your own creative juices to the tea party...

...In short, the story is a metaphor for how Alice uses her imagination to quench her boredom; Carroll says her favorite phrase is "let's pretend." What she also does is remind us how little we do that anymore..."

(Newsweek, Feb 26, 2010)

Lewis Carroll handpicked the accomplished illustrator John Tenniel to draw pictures of Alice for his story. His images were often simple and vague, so you could bring your own imagination to the tea party.

Here is an example:


Earlier on this blog, I have embedded an illustration by S G Joshi (सीताराम गंगाधर जोशी) for C V Joshi's (चिं. वि. जोशी) book.

Vasant Sarwate has done a moving appreciation of unsung S G Joshi's art in his book "Parakee Chalan", 1989.

He and I spoke on Joshi's work. Sarwate told me how he tried to meet Joshi in Joshi's home-town Baroda. We also speculated how little money would probably have come to Joshi for this work.

I feel, in following picture, Joshi has tried hard to motivate us to bring our imagination along with our appetite to the lunch!


Artist: S G Joshi सीताराम गंगाधर जोशी