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.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

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."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

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

Friday, June 08, 2012

Ray Bradbury: Life Indebted to Vivid, Appallingly Imaginative Cover Paintings

Ray Bradbury:

"I don't try to predict the future – I try to prevent it!"


Michael Dirda:

"From the beginning, Bradbury was distinctly a prose-poet, lyricizing his own fears and yearnings, as obsessed with childhood as Wordsworth...His admirers rapidly grew to include such literary eminences as Christopher Isherwood and W.H. Auden...Like J.G. Ballard, another visionary who doesn’t quite fit comfortably in any genre, Bradbury actually writes about “inner space,” about loneliness and troubled hearts and our deep-seated fear of otherness."


I have still not read Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451"- that I bought in 2009- in its entirety!

But this year I have kept 'meeting' him on 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' on Fox Crime. He and Mr. Hitchcock together take the crime genre to the heights seldom scaled by anyone. Their product is highly entertaining and deeply troubling.

For instance, 'And So Died Riabouchinska' starring aging Claude Rains and Charles Bronson is a mini masterpiece.

Bradbury has said: "My books are full of images and metaphors, but they're connected to intellectual concepts"...and his life was "a movement- a dance- among all these images.

This- recognition of importance of images- visuals- I like most about Mr. Bradbury.

Recently he wrote in The New Yorker dated June 4 2012:

"When I was seven or eight years old, I began to read the science-fiction magazines that were brought by guests into my grandparents’ boarding house, in Waukegan, Illinois. Those were the years when Hugo Gernsback was publishing Amazing Stories, with vivid, appallingly imaginative cover paintings that fed my hungry imagination. Soon after, the creative beast in me grew when Buck Rogers appeared, in 1928, and I think I went a trifle mad that autumn. It’s the only way to describe the intensity with which I devoured the stories. You rarely have such fevers later in life that fill your entire day with emotion.

When I look back now, I realize what a trial I must have been to my friends and relatives. It was one frenzy after one elation after one enthusiasm after one hysteria after another. I was always yelling and running somewhere, because I was afraid life was going to be over that very afternoon..."

What sticks out for me in the para above is : "vivid, appallingly imaginative cover paintings that fed my hungry imagination"


courtesy: Hugo Gernsback , Experimenter Publishing and British Library's 'Out of This World' exhibition

I also liked what Gerald Jonas has written about him:

"Mr. Bradbury referred to himself as an “idea writer,” by which he meant something quite different from erudite or scholarly. “I have fun with ideas; I play with them,” he said. “ I’m not a serious person, and I don’t like serious people. I don’t see myself as a philosopher. That’s awfully boring.” He added, “My goal is to entertain myself and others.”"

Mr. Bradbury told Playboy in 1996:

"Science fiction is also a great way to pretend you are writing about the future when in reality you are attacking the recent past and the present. You can criticize communists, racists, fascists or any other clear and present danger, and they can't imagine you are writing about them. Unfortunately, so much old science fiction is too technical and dry."

Artist: Lee Lorenz, The New Yorker, September 30 1967

Mr. Lorenz's picture above is based on public transport in a developed country.

Now, I am imagining the same cartoon based on Pune city bus transport services provided by Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd.

Well, I don't look forward to my first ride on a flying saucer!