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.”

Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~

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."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

मुखपृष्ठ शोभा, वाङ्मय-शोभा...Mukhprushtha Shobha, Vangmay-Shobha


Tim Kreider:

"The main principles of design—in books, appliances, cars, clothing, everything—are:

1. Your product must be bold and eye-catching and conspicuously different from everyone else’s, but

2. Not too much!

Which is why the covers of most contemporary books all look disturbingly the same, as if inbred."

("The Decline and Fall of the Book Cover", The New Yorker, July 2013)

This is so true- inbred- of the covers of Marathi magazines, I see on the newsstand today. Thankfully, it was not always so.

Marathi daily Loksatta (लोकसत्ता) July 28 2013 has an article on, now defunct, Marathi magazine 'Vangmay-Shobha' 1939-1994 (वाङ्मय-शोभा). Read the article  here.

If you want to read e-issues of the magazine, read them on Book Ganga website here. I think there are around 485 issues of the magazine available. They are free to download.

I did not read any of the e-issues but was fascinated by their covers. Seemingly every cover was done with pride, the one we associate today with the magazines like The New Yorker, The Economist etc.

 I found the quality of covers going down in late 1970's and beyond.

The visual artists, who worked on Vangmay-Shobha, that are mentioned  in Loksatta article are:

Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे), D A Bandmantri (द. अ. बंडमंत्री), Ashok Dongre (अशोक डोंगरे), Dinanath Dalal (दीनानाथ दलाल), Mulgaokar (मुळगावकर), Vasant Sahasrabuddhe (वसंत सहस्रब्रुद्धे),  Padma Sahasrabuddhe (पद्मा सहस्रब्रुद्धे)...

Below is the cover dated April 1963- April Fool issue. It is either by Vasant or Padma or both Sahasrabuddhe.

It's fumy and delightful.

Those kind of child carts were used by upper middle-class and wealthy people in Miraj. We were neither. So my parents never used any. But I used to be very curios about the kids riding them. Those carts looked a bit heavy and smelly to me.  I never wanted to ride in them.

Look at the girl riding the cart. She is obviously upset at her mother's doting on her sheep-dog instead of her. Even her stuffed puppy is not amused.

Look at the usage of colours red, yellow, blue and green.

Look at the onlookers. For the poor and the deprived in India, lifestyles of even middle-class people have always been a spectacle. I remember during many Diwali's, when we burst fire crackers, a lot of poor kids from the neighborhood always gathered around us to watch it. They almost had no Diwali compared to even us- mere college teacher's kids.

Look at the generally happy gentleman, who then occasionally wore a suit even for an evening walk 

All in all, very pleasing experience and a good, solid start.


Artist: Vasant Sahasrabuddhe (वसंत सहस्रब्रुद्धे) or Padma Sahasrabuddhe (पद्मा सहस्रब्रुद्धे), or both 'Vangmay-Shobha', April 1963

Courtesy: the artist (s), family of the late Manohar Mahadev Kelkar (मनोहर महादेव केळकर)- founder of the magazine and Book Ganga

1 comment:

mannab said...

गेले ते दिवस !