मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

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.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

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);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

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."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Lucky us, some of them find Édouard Manet's fingers!

Today January 23 2012 is 180th birth anniversary of Édouard Manet


Manet’s message? That the whole modern world is dangerous, shifty and strange. The camera is just a byproduct and symptom of this altered condition. We must struggle for comprehension; art can help, up to a point. But the old bearings don’t moor us. We’re on our own.

(The New York Times, May 16, 2011)

Édouard Manet:

I am influenced by everbody. But every time I put my hands in my pockets I find someone else's fingers there.

When I put my hands in my pocket I find no fingers, not even my own because I understand so little of the subject of drawing and painting!

It was my weakest subject from kindergarten to the end of second year of engineering. I was so horrified by engineering drawing that I seriously thought of ditching engineering until the late Bam-sir (बाम-सर) came along to rescue me. Also, my younger brother helped me with biology journal of 12th and many journals of engineering.

It's a marvel of Indian higher education system that a person so weak in the subject of drawing gets away with calling himself a mechanical engineer!

When I reached IIT-Madras, it was a big relief to see all academic building blocks marked as "sciences" e.g. "mechanical sciences" except civil which was marked "civil engineering".

Had I arrived at the right place?

And yet I keep chasing pictures, drawings, paintings...all visual arts. Why won't I when the world has artists like Édouard Manet?

Look at the following picture.

I haven't seen more beautiful and funnier picture than this all my life.

Look at the man, his both hands, middle-finger of his left, his right-hand grip on the glass. Follow his eyes. Look at his bow-tie, his sideburn, his moustache...

Is he listening to the lady at all? Is he seducing her? The lady seems to be charmed. I keep wondering what he would do next...will he kiss her lightly on the lips?...

Look at the waiter. What is he looking at or waiting for?

When I see this picture, a lot of quality pictures of 20th century, including some great cartoons, don't surprise me. Manet anticipates them.

Manet has said: Conciseness in art is essential and a refinement. The concise man makes one think; the verbose bores. Always work towards conciseness.

And what else are cartoons if not conciseness?

Artist: Édouard Manet, 'Chez le père Lathuille' ('The Garden of Pere Lathuille'), 1879

Location: The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Tournai, Belgium

Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Do a lot of today's artists find his fingers every time they put their hands in their pockets?

The Simpsons has assembled quite a portfolio of allusions to fine art. One of them- below right- is to 'The Luncheon on the Grass' by Manet (1862-63) on below left.

More more such allusions, visit The Simpsons Park.