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, September 22, 2012

Is She J E Millais's "Mariana" or Ray's "Charulata"?

I consider myself lucky that I saw "The pre-Raphaelites at Tate Britain - audio art tour" on Guardian, September 11 2012.

I spent hours going through it.

When I saw following picture, I was reminded of Satyajit Ray's "Charulata", 1964.

Charulata is a "story of a lonely housewife, known as Charu (Madhabi Mukherjee), who lives a wealthy, secluded and idle life in 1870's Calcutta."

("Charulata" has been on this blog before here and here.)

"Mariana" by John Everett Millais (1829 – 1896) dated 1851

"This painting is an allegory of Victorian sexual repression and the longings of women trapped in dreary lives. Mariana is a character from Shakespeare’s 'Measure for Measure', a play that satirises sexual hypocrisy. Millais’ contemporary, the poet laureate, Alfred Tennyson, laments the domestic incarceration of Shakespeare’s character in his poem Mariana, which Millais quoted when he unveiled this painting: "She said, ‘I am aweary, aweary, / I would that I were dead!’""


"Christian saints in a stained glass window literally obstruct Mariana’s view of the outside world, while an altar lit by a lamp reveals that she is eking out her youth in prayer."

"Desolate autumnal leaves blow through the house. Time is passing, it is late in the season. Life is passing Mariana by."

"The Lady of Shalott" is a Victorian ballad by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892). Trapped in a sterile existence and melancholy of leaves suggests that well.

'Mariana' Images are courtesy: Tate Photography; Some commentary is courtesy: Guardian
"Mariana as she stretches her sensual body is desperately bored in what looks like a 19th-century vicarage. Her pose emphasises her curvaceous hips and slender waist as Millais hymns rebellious desire."

Millais goes for bored Mariana's sexuality, her longing to be a woman in puritanical setting. Without showing us her curves, Ray does something similar to Charu by making her sexually desire Amal, her husband's cousin.

'Charulata' images are courtesy: RDB Productions and Big Home Video

Ray's film is based on   Rabindranath Tagore's  novella "Nastanirh". Did Tagore ever see or hear about Millais's "Mariana"?