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!"
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."
Chris Ware: "Being a cartoonist means you don’t consider yourself too fancy."
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: "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, September 11, 2010
W H Auden (imagining what the Athenian might say about the West): "Yes, I can see all the works of a great civilization; but why cannot I meet any civilized persons? I only encounter specialists, artists who know nothing of science, scientists who know nothing of art, philosophers who have no interest in God, priests who are unconcerned with politics, politicians who only know other politicians."
Marcus Chown: I started by asking (Carl)Sagan what he preferred: science or science fiction? Without hesitation, he replied: "Science." I asked him why. "Because science is stranger than science fiction."
The late G D Madgulkar's (ग. दि. माडगूळकर) [1919-1977] Marathi essay titled "Hello, Mr. Death" (हेलो मिस्टर डेथ)-or something similar- became a big hit. It described his near death experience.
Now Madgulkar was a very good lyricist but I always thought the essay was all baloney.
The Times of India May 31 2010:
"Afterlife episode or just a brain tick?: Patients who have had a near-death experience often report walking towards a bright light, or a feeling that they are floating above their body - a sensation that has long been interpreted as a religious vision and confirmation of afterlife. Experts now claim it's a surge of electrical activity triggered by the brain in the moments before death, apparent from a study of the brainwaves of dying patients..."
I have read about poet Vinda Karandikar (विंदा करंदीकर) talking about his wife dying peacefully. Is there anything like 'peaceful death'?
ROBIN MARANTZ HENIG: "Will We Ever Arrive at the Good Death?
...What we're addicted to, it seems, is the belief that we can micromanage death. We tend to think of a ''good death'' as one that we can control, making decisions about how much intervention we want, how much pain relief, whether it's in the home or the hospital, who will be by our sides. We even sometimes try to make decisions about what we will die from. This can be valuable, as when a cancer patient with little hope of survival, like Goldie Gold back in mid-July, rejects debilitating chemotherapy. But often, our best-laid plans can go awry. Dying is awfully hard to choreograph..." (NYT, Aug 7 2005)
Such writing gets away without any critical scrutiny in Marathi because it has largely lacked what C P Snow defines as The Third Culture.
Snow's thesis was that the breakdown of communication between the "two cultures" of modern society — the sciences and the humanities — was a major hindrance to solving the world's problems.
Are Marathi artists afraid if they stride two cultures they would spread themselves too thin? Like Leonardo da Vinci from the picture below who strode them all!
Artist: Warren Miller, The New Yorker, May 7 1966