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."

Friday, November 04, 2011

Henry aka गुणाकार...oops गुणाकर

Today November 4 2011 is 63rd Death Anniversary of Carl Anderson, creator of Henry aka गुणाकर.

I have already expressed my love for Phantom (comics) here.

A side attraction of those comics books was one page comics of Henry. In Marathi (मराठी), it was titled as 'Gunakar' (गुणाकर). It used to be printed at the beginning or at the end of the main comics.

Until recently I couldn't figure out how Henry became 'Gunakar' in Marathi. Confusion was even more when I used to read it as 'Gunakaar'(गुणाकार) meaning multiplication in Marathi!

If indeed it were to be 'Gunakaar' (गुणाकार), the English word should have been Asterix!

Artists: René Goscinny & Albert Uderzo

Now, I understand that 'गुणाकर' in Hindi means very gifted ('अत्यंत गुणी').

Because Henry is mute, there was nothing much to translate!

Art Baxter says about Henry:

"One never sought out the HENRY strip on the funny pages (when it was still on the funny pages that is). It was read after the favorites. It was read simply because it was there. The fact is, it was never good but it wasn't terrible either. Yet, we were compelled to see what the bald headed, ass-faced boy was up to that day."

I agree. I read it after the main story of 'The Phantom' or 'Mandrake the Magician' or 'Flash Gordon'.

"Henry is autonomous in the SATURDAY EVENING POST strips. HENRY would not pick up a regular cast of characters, all with no proper names, only titles: the mother, the dog, the bully, the little girl, until it became a William Randolph Hurst comic strip. The SEP HENRY is similar in many ways to the LITTLE RASCAL/OUR GANG comedies of the same era. That is children free from the tyranny of an adult presence (mostly). Children navigating the world as best they can with the knowledge and experience they currently possess. Sometimes they get things right, often get things wrong, and frequently come up with solutions to problems unique to their limited experience. Necessity is the mother of invention with funny surprising results."

Henry is carrying a case of milk bottles on his head. "Sometimes they get things right". Henry has because milk after all builds strong teeth, bones and muscles.

Does this make Henry very gifted 'गुणाकर'?

But if he drops the case...he "often gets things wrong."

Forty Heads of Henry