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!"

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."

Chris Ware: "Being a cartoonist means you don’t consider yourself too fancy."

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: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

India's Lingering Love Affair with Correction Fluid

Gilbert Adair:

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.

Jonah Lehrer:

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)