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.”
Albert Einstein: “I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.” (To P. Moos, March 30, 1950. Einstein Archives 60-587)
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."
Monday, March 15, 2010
Lalit published it and Vinda wrote back thanking me for it.
Following is based on that letter of mine.
In Marathi, M P Rege (मे पु रेगे ) has written a lot on the subject of philosophy using formal prose. It's tough for the writer. And reader!
But writing on philosophy, in any other form is even tougher for the writer.
Particularly, if one wishes to deploy quality humour or poetry. The way Woody Allen does in English.
But for the reader, it's easier.
Unfortunately, in Marathi, I have hardly come across such writings.
I remember one example from P L Deshpande's (पु ल देशपांडे) book.
Pu La imagines that the famous argument between sage Vasishta and sage Vishwamitra- 'Who is Brahmin?' (One: Brahmin knows Brahma, The other: the one who knows Brahma is Brahmin)- took place while both were chewing pans!
Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे) has drawn a beautiful illustration for it.
It reminded me of Mel Brooks: "Nietzsche whispers to you: ‘Without audacity there is no greatness.’ Freud whispers to you: ‘Why must there be greatness?’ That fight’s still going on. And you don’t understand either one, because they’re both whispering in German."
Frankly other than Charvak-darshan (चार्वाक), there is little information in Vinda's book that is not there in Will Durant's 'The story of philosophy' (1926).
However, Vinda's usage of abhang (अभंग) format to write on the subject of philosophy was at the bleeding edge of innovation.
Vinda had good sense of humour as is obvious from many of his poems. Vasant Sarwate too vouches for it.
I hope, some day, his ASHTADARSHANE ushers in Marathi's Woody Allen.
I also suggested that Vinda himself was 20th century's Charvak!
p.s. Read Vilas Sarang's (विलास सारंग) essay- first published in August 1973- on Vinda's poetry from 'Aksharancha Shram Kela' (अक्षरांचा श्रम केला), 2000. Sarang explains the good and the bad of Vinda's poetry.