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."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Punishments on the Most Exorbitant Scale

George Santayana:

“The first things which a man learns to distinguish and repeat are things with a will of their own, things which resist his casual demands; and so the first sentiment with which he confronts reality is a certain animosity, which becomes cruelty toward the weak, and fear and fawning before the powerful. ... It is pathetic to observe how lowly are the motives that religion, even the highest, attributes to the deity, and from what a hard-pressed and bitter existence they have been drawn. To be given the best morsel, to be remembered, to be praised, to be obeyed blindly and punctiliously these have been thought points of honor with the gods, for which they would dispense favors and punishments on the most exorbitant scale.”

John Gray:

"In reality, the threat of barbarism comes from within civilisation itself. This is not to endorse the Romantic myth of the noble savage. " Primitive" peoples are just as prone to cruelty and folly as the rest of humankind, and human history is not - as Rousseau taught - a long decline from original innocence. The distinction between civilisation and barbarism does not mark some societies off from others. It runs through all societies and through every human being. Violence and madness are never far beneath the surface, and when they break through it is often in savagery that is sanctioned by authority."

Photo Credit: PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/GettyImages

"Nepalese men hold on to a goat during an ancient annual Hindu festival ritual in Khokana village on the outskirts of Kathmandu, on August 4, 2012. In the ritual, a sacrificial female baby goat is thrown into a pond as local men in teams from localities compete to kill it, with the belief that whoever takes the prize will have a prosperous year ahead. Animal rights activists have been protesting against the cruelty of the festival despite the Nepalese government providing a small amount for the organisation of the festivities."

For more pictures in the series, visit http://www.gettyimages.in/detail/news-photo/nepalese-men-hold-on-to-a-goat-during-an-ancient-annual-news-photo/149801247