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."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Compliment that Marie might have received from Pierre!

When I read Kiran Karnik's article in the The Times of India on Nov 10 2011, it was hard to believe that Indian government of the day was almost toppled in the name of U.S.–India Civil Nuclear Agreement in year 2008:

"Despite repeating 'Open Sesame' many times over for three years, the door that was to usher us into the nuclear club remains tightly shut. No genie to grant our wishes magically appears even after endless rubbing of the lamp. Were we taken for a ride and sold a dud lamp?...There is now a sea change in the global nuclear scenario. Following the tsunami-induced problems in Fukushima, there is worldwide concern about nuclear safety......It is now clear that the benefits of signing the nuclear deal no longer exist and the gains are, at best, minimal. Yet, the cost - especially in terms of strategic space and manoeuvrability - remains high..."

And the subject of 'nuclear' led me to tragic Curie family. And Marie in particular.

November 7 2011 was 144th birth anniversary of great Marie Skłodowska Curie.

Google honoured Ms. Curie with following doodle on the occasion:

Robin McKie:

To Einstein, she was 'as cold as a herring'; much of the French scientific establishment detested her; and she was reviled for her 'wanton' antics. Yet Marie Curie was also a loyal wife, a distraught widow, a passionate lover, and a patriot. For good measure, she won two Nobel Prizes...

...In the end, however, Marie was done down by her offspring. Radium - 'her child', as she called the element that she kept by her bed to watch its baleful glow - had battered her body with its emanations for more than 30 years. At 66, her fingers were blackened and cracked; she was nearly blind; suffered from tinnitus; was plagued by headaches and on 3 July 1934 died of aplastic pernicious anaemia, doubtless caused by radium radiation.

Brenda Maddox:

Hndsight is the bane of biography. Feminism is one of the most distorting of lenses. To see Marie Curie forced to sit among the audience in Stockholm while her husband, Pierre, gave the lecture following their joint receipt of the Nobel Prize in 1903 is infuriating.

If Marie was treated like this what chance my great-grandmothers stood in year 1903?

Or even Dr. Anandi Gopal Joshi (आनंदी गोपाळ जोशी), the first Indian woman- along with Kadambini Ganguly- to obtain a medical degree through training in Western medicine, did in year 1886.

And here is an artist's imagination of a compliment Ms. Curie might have received one of those days:

'Pierre Curie pays Marie a compliment.'

Artist: Richard Jolley (RGJ), The Spectator, UK