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."
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Howard Jacobson: It isn't as though we have lost the capacity to laugh. Stand-up comedy is riding higher than ever. If anything there is an argument to be made that we are laughing too much. But we have created a false division between laughter and thought, between comedy and seriousness, between the exhilaration that the great novels offer when they are at their funniest, and whatever else it is we now think we want from literature.
For this Diwali, Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे) has taken us, one more time, to meet a Marathi speaking the Simpsons family. (Please find earlier Lalit (ललित ) covers by Sarwate here: 2009, 2008, 2007).
Look at the picture below. (Sorry for the poor resolution. My scanner is down.)
Meet- clockwise- Homer, Marge, Lisa, Abraham, Mona and Bart. They are 'watching' a Marathi 'comedy' program on their brand new flat panel TV.
It's called a comedy program because laughter is in its name. It's "Ha Ha Bai Express" (हाः हाः बै एक्सप्रेस) . The newspapers that are lying on the side-table claim that this show is bound to cause you stomach ache because of your wild laughing at its humour.
But don't worry, remedy is on hand. The sponsors of the program are Udaroushadhi pharmacy (उदरौषधी फार्मसी ) makers of a medicine that cures such a stomach ache. Notice Udaroushadhi's calendar, showing its full product range, hanging next to the TV.
Let us look at what the Simpsons are doing.
Homer is dumbfounded. Lisa is busy reading something. Abraham- I like him best here- is disgustingly looking at the medicine manufactured by Udaroushadhi pharmacy that is put on his palm by Mona. Mona, squatting on the floor, is gaping at the TV. Bart is in his own world. Only Marge has a faint smile on her face.
Udaroushadhi pharmacy's ad campaign is successful because the Simpsons have fallen for their product. They are administering it to poor Abraham. See one more time his face.
Notice the contrast between the energy levels and the mood in the Simpsons hall and the TV studio.
Judges of the comedy show in the studio are falling over each other laughing. What the Simpsons family doesn't know is: People in the studio want to give full 10 marks to each other and the sponsors because their respective cheques have encashed!
(double click and magnify to get a better view)
Artist: Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे ), Lalit (ललित), November-December 2010