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: "… 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."
Sunday, December 18, 2011
India's Lingering Love Affair with Correction Fluid
For centuries the pen remained the supreme guarantor of legal, contractual, epistolary and literary authenticity. Then, during the last century, this role was gradually reassigned to the more “objective” typewriter. In fact, so central was the typewriter to the pursuit of literary Truth that there came a time when, for most American novelists, you simply weren’t a writer unless you had one.
In 1916, T. S. Eliot wrote to a friend about his recent experiments with composing poetry on the typewriter. The machine “makes for lucidity,” he said, “but I am not sure that it encourages subtlety.” A few years later, Eliot presented Ezra Pound with a first draft of “The Waste Land.” Some of it had been composed on the typewriter.
Great Friedrich Nietzsche used a typewriter.
Andrew Sulliavn wrote on June 15, 2008:
"Many of those terse aphorisms and impenetrable reveries were banged out on an 1882 Malling-Hansen Writing Ball. And a friend of his at the time noticed a change in the German philosopher’s style as soon as he moved from longhand to type. “Perhaps you will through this instrument even take to a new idiom,” the friend wrote. Nietzsche replied: “You are right. Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.”.."
Artist: John M Price, The New Yorker, 9 March 1940
It's Nietzsche who said: God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.
Cartoon caption could read: Good Lord! I have killed you!
Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times September 1, 2011:
"...The factories that make the machines may be going silent, but India's typewriter culture remains defiantly alive, fighting on bravely against that omnipresent upstart, the computer...
...India's lingering love affair with correction fluid and carbon paper befits a country that often seems caught in two centuries, where high-tech companies and an ambitious space program coexist with human-powered rickshaws and feudal village life...
...Typing was all but compulsory for any woman who wanted a job, said Geeta Meshran, 53, who banged away for 22 years in the Mumbai government's typing pool. Efficiency wasn't always paramount there. "I often worked as slowly as possible, so I wouldn't have to retype the page," she said...
..."Typewriters were a real symbol of Indian life. Just consider how many laws and birth certificates came from its keys," said Abhishek Jain, who at age 13 set a world record in 1991 typing 117 words a minute on a Godrej manual...
..."The computer is lifeless, but there's a sheer joy in manual typing," said Jain, the record-holder. "It's a kind of music..."
As stated above, was typing all but compulsory for any woman who wanted a job?
I say not just a job but also a marriage.
Artist: Vasant Sarwate वसंत सरवटे
(Source- “Khada Maraycha Jhala Tar….!”, Mauj Prakashan, 1963)
Original caption in Marathi: "कॉलेजमध्ये नांव घातलंस म्हणतेस? यंदाहि कुठं जमलं नाही वाटतं.." (“You say you have enrolled in a college? Couldn’t arrange the marriage this year too eh...”)
Enrollment in a college could be replaced with enrollment in a typing class- English and Marathi both!
India's lingering love affair with correction fluid?
The Times Of India on Sept 2 2011:
"Whitener inhaling addiction on the rise among minors: Somnath Deshkar TNN
Pune: Fourteen-year-old Manish (name changed) stabbed his father with a kitchen knife recently and was sent to juvenile custody. What makes this stray case of juvenile crime all the more complicated is that Manish is addicted to sniffing whitener, a cheaper and potentially dangerous way to get high.
According to experts, there are close to 8,000 children in the city who are addicted to substances such as whitener, ink remover, thinner, shoe polish and vulcanising solution..."
To be honest, I like smells of whitener, ink remover, thinner, shoe polish, vulcanising solution, petrol, benzene...But I didn't know I could get high on them.
(When I joined a chemical MNC in 1984, the whole plant 'reeked' of benzene, I never complained!)
Can part of Nietzsche's genius (or madness) be explained by correction fluid?!
"I see you have a degree in shorthand."
Artist: Johnny Hart (1931 – 2007)