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."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How Narayan Dharap scared the bejesus out of my childhood heart

On Sunday July 18 2010, I read on Guardian blog about Edgar Allan Poe and I thought of Narayan Dharap (नारायण धारप).

Although, I haven't read Dharap for a long time and sadly have no book of his in my possession, and haven's spotted any in numerous book exhibitions, I vividly remember many eerie moments he created.

Only the prospect of my mother's death on an operation table scared me more than his books.

My mother (1937-2006) too was fond of those books and used to say how they were scared of passing by Dharap's house in Pune! She said the Dharap-Vada had a certain mystic aura around it. I am sure it was because of N Dharap's books.

Near disappearance of Narayan Dharap from popular Marathi middle-class culture is another instance of its dire poverty.