तुम्ही होते रामराजा आम्ही वानरांच्या फौजा"
Although I have bought it some time ago, like majority of my books, I have still not read Cervantes's 'Don Quixote'.
But I kind of feel I have 'received' it after every reading- 50 at least- of G A's 'Yatrik' (यात्रिक) from the collection of his short stories 'Pinglavel' (पिंगळावेळ), 1977.
Equally delightful has been reading D V Deshpande's (धों वि देशपांडे ) commentary on G A's story in 'jeeenchya katha: ek anwayarth' (जीएंच्या कथा: एक अन्वयार्थ).
Yatrik has these lines:
"अरे, निर्बुद्ध, जड जगाविषयी बदलती रुपके करत राहण्यापेक्षा तुझ्या रुपकांप्रमाणे जर जग बदलत जाऊ लागले तर तुला तरी जास्त काय हवे सांग."
("...hey, instead of creating changing metaphors for stupid, gross world, if the world starts changing to suit your metaphors, tell me what more you want.")
In October 2012 I read on Guardian website:
"New book cover designs for the Observer 100 greatest novels of all time list – in pictures:
Belgian artist Tom Haentjens has united 100 artists from 28 countries in a co-creation project, Doedemee to help raise awareness of illiteracy in Africa. Each has redesigned a poster-sized cover for a book from the list compiled by Robert McCrum in 2003..."
What pleasure those designs gave!
I was captivated particularly by this:
GA was a master of epigraphs. His books would not be complete without the epigraphs he chose for them. (I wonder why he didn't also choose images to go along.)
Rachel Sagner Buurma writes:
"Epigraphs escort us safely across the boundary between the title page and the story. Easing us into narrative, epigraphs make us pause and notice the transition from the world to the work, from life to the novel. They slow us down—which is why we often skip them."
(The New Republic, December 6 2012)
GA chose these two epigraphs for 'Pinglavel' (पिंगळा वेळ), 1977:
You do not know
The unspoken voice of sorrow in the ancient bedroom
At three o'clock in the morning.
- T. S Eliot
'Shallow people demand variety - but I have been
writing the same story throughout my life, every
time trying to cut nearer the aching nerve.
I have reproduced them very close to as they appear in the book.
Now revisit Prof. Buurma's quote above.
Each story from GA's book is nicely set up with these epigraphs...they indeed transition us from 'the world to the work, from life to the novel. They slow us down' —but I never skip them! I might skip his book!
Prof. Buurma concludes:
"The Art of the Epigraph’s epigraph, drawn from Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, says that books “continue each other in spite of our habit of judging them separately.” This is true—but it might not be the whole truth. For though we like to imagine the autonomy of a world of books that speak to one another, separate from our own fallible judgments and best guesses and wishful thinking, it may be that all we have are groups of readers, gathering in circles around the glimmering lights of our authors’ epigraphs, building literature together one line at a time."
GA probably would have loved this conclusion...'groups of readers, gathering in circles around the glimmering lights of our authors’ epigraphs, building literature together one line at a time.'