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."
Thursday, October 27, 2011
First of all it is very humbling. You watch, 65 million years ago, a small mammal Purgatorius, our ancestor, hanging on to her dear life and you realise what all you need to worship in animal kingdom beyond elephants, snakes and cows.
Second I imagine if the likes of Dnyaneshwar (ज्ञानेश्वर), Tukaram (तुकाराम) and Shakespeare knew these extinct animal kingdoms and their annihilation, their imagery would have been even more colourful.
For instance, this is how Tukaram describes the importance of being small (and humble):
तुका म्हणे बरवे जाण| व्हावे ल्हानाहून ल्हान|| महापुरे झाडे जाती| तेथे लव्हाळे वाचती||
(Tuka says become smaller than small. In a deluge trees are washed out but grass survives.)
Tyrannosaurus Rex goes, Purgatorius lives.
As I watched the documentary television miniseries, I realised that, with luck, I would dodge an animal armageddon in my lifetime.
But yesterday, on Laxmi Pujan day, as I heard and saw crackers being burst so savagely around me, I felt many birds and animals must feel that this indeed was the armageddon of their life.
Deep down, even I can't escape that feeling.
My ancestor Purgatorius
Picture courtesy: Wikipedia
p.s. 'प्रलयकाळी' (cataclysm / universal devastation) is one of my favourite Marathi words. Why? Read this.