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.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

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);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

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."

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"?