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."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Vladimir Lenin, Where will you go now?

"लेनीन, आता तू कोठे रे जाशील?" [borrowing from the title of S M Mate's (श्री. म. माटे) “Banseedhara, Where will you go now?” (बन्सीधरा, आता तू कोठे रे जाशील?) short-story/ book.]

The Asian Age, May 14 2011:

"A virtual tsunami unleashed by Trinamul Congress chieftain Mamata Banerjee made history here on Friday — dethroning the longest-serving democratically-elected Communist government in the world. The star of Vladimir Lenin — to whom the state’s CPI(M)’s rulers routinely paid public tribute and whose photograph had pride of place in their offices — had well and truly dimmed after 34 long years..."

Following picture may guide Ms. Banerjee what to do with Lenin's photographs.

(You may want to see a previous post on Mr. Lenin here.)


Artist: Eldon Dedini, The New Yorker, 27 Nov 1989

Last night I was touched when Ms. Banerjee remembered the late Mr. Rajeev Gandhi fondly. I think expressing gratitude when you are sitting on the mountain of what you think is a success, especially to someone who is long gone and can't give you anything now, is a hallmark of a sensitive human. She also quoted a beautiful Tagore's Bengali couplet. And above all she looks so Indian.


"Are we looking at India's future Prime Minister?"

(Photo courtesy: PTI and The Asian Age)