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."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

'Failed to Provide Me with a Male Heir' Still Works

T S Eliot:

...you do not know
The unspoken voice of sorrow in the ancient bedroom
At three o'clock in the morning. I am not speaking
Of my own experience, but trying to give you
Comparisons in a more familiar medium...

As sex-ratio (F/M) tumbles in so called prosperous parts of India, a woman in even a modern Indian bedroom is well versed with this: You have failed to provide me with a male heir.

Like her previous 'Wolf Hall', Hilary Mantel's 'Bring Up the Bodies' has received rave reviews. (I have bought both the novels but not read them.)

Amazon.com describes it thus:

"The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn

Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son..."...a male heir.

Now only a very brilliant mind can come up with a cartoon projecting 16th century's monarchy of Henry VIII onto the institution of marriage, now inclusive of same-sex variety, of 21st century.

Artist: Zachary Kanin, The New Yorker, July 2012

James Wood has called The Thomas Cromwell novels of Hilary Mantel as "Invitation to a Beheading"

"...“What if . . . there is some flaw in my marriage to Anne, some impediment, something displeasing to Almighty God?” Henry wonders. Cromwell reflects that he has heard those words before, about a different woman. History repeats as farce, and the reader comes face to face with the Henry VIII of Eleanor and Herbert Farjeon’s funny poem, once quite familiar in British classrooms:

Bluff King Hal was full of beans;
He married half a dozen queens. . . .
The first he asked to share his reign
Was Kate of Aragon, straight from Spain—
But when his love for her was spent,
He got a divorce, and out she went.
Anne Boleyn was his second wife;
He swore to cherish her all his life—
But seeing a third he wished instead,
He chopped off poor Anne Boleyn’s head.

...“Bring Up the Bodies” fills its final pages with their trial and execution. After them comes Anne Boleyn, kneeling and blindfolded, as the executioner approaches from behind with his sword: “There is a groan, one single sound from the whole crowd. Then a silence, and into that silence, a sharp sigh or a sound like a whistle through a keyhole: the body exsanguinates, and its flat little presence becomes a puddle of gore.”..."


Anne Boleyn, Courtesy: Guardian and Photograph: Roger-Viollet/Rex Features

Go back to the cartoon above. Kanin's disenchanted Henry looks and sounds so sincere. (I would name Henry's partner Thomas instead of Richard.)

Today mercifully most marriages don't end with a beheading but the reason for parting ways can be more 'lame' than that of any past monarch. To paraphrase Woody Allen: The heart DOES NOT want what it DOES NOT want.

Zachary Kanin is probably the finest cartoonist of the present times.