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."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Damayanti, Of Ravi Varma and Paul Delvaux

Raja Ravi Varma's Damayanti (featuring below left) always brings memories of Datta Mandir of Miraj. The temple displayed many images of his paintings based on the themes from Indian mythology.

"Damayanti was a princess of Vidarbha Kingdom. She was of such beauty and grace that even gods could not stop from admiring her. She fell in love with Nala simply from hearing about his virtues and accomplishments from a golden swan..." (Wikipedia)

To be honest, Varma's this painting doesn't do justice to the beauty of Damayanti. (In fact, I was never infatuated by his portraits of women. Diminutive, they all look slightly old in their nine-yard, pallu-covering-their-entire-bosom sarees.)

This is what swan said to Damayanti:"...Among men there no one like him. O Fair-faced One, if yon were only his wife! We have seen gods, Gandharvas,! snakes, und demons, but never a creature which was Nala's equal. You are the jewel of women; Nala is the most excellent of men. If you were to marry each other, your union would be the most distinguished in all the earth."

I came to know of Paul Delvaux while reading about J G Ballard. I find Delvaux's images of nude women most haunting, disturbing but attractive at the same time.

"...The young Delvaux took music lessons, studied Greek and Latin, and absorbed the fiction of Jules Verne and the poetry of Homer. All of his work was to be influenced by these readings, starting with his earliest drawings showing mythological scenes..." (Wikipedia)

Look at the picture below on the right. It's called "Leda" (1948). She's not Damayanti.

Or is she?

Where is Delvaux's Damayanti looking? What did the swan tell her?

World is a small place.




<-Artist: Ravi Varma
->Artist: Paul Delvaux