मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

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.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

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."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Poet, Novelist, Painter <<< Graphic Novelist

Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे) writes in Marathi (मराठी) magazine Lalit (ललित) September 2013:

"...in summation, it can be said that Marathi person enjoys auditory experience more than visual experience An average Marathi person engrosses in music very well. Very little in pictures. Almost none. It's certainly true of ordinary people. But even those writers, poets and critics who are celebrated in Marathi literature, are well known for their talent can't see pictures on the cover and those (if they exist) inside. Let the book be of the other authors' or their own ! Then appreciating them remains a remote thing..."

("...एकूणात, मराठी माणसाला दृश्यापेक्षा श्राव्य अनुभव अधिक भावतात, असं म्हणता येईल. सामान्य मराठी माणूस संगीतामध्ये उत्तम रंगतो. चित्रांच्यामध्ये फारच कमी. जवळजवळ नाहीच. सर्वसामान्यांच्या बाबतीत  तर हे खर आहेच. पण मराठीमध्ये साहित्याचे जाणकार म्हणून किर्ती मिळवलेल्या , प्रतिभावंत म्हणून मान्यता प्राप्त झालेल्या लेखक, कवी, टीकाकार यांना मुखपृष्ठावरच आणि (असतील तर) पुस्तकाच्या आतील चित्र दिसतच नाहीत. पुस्तक इतर लेखकांचे असो किंवा त्याचं स्वतःच असो ! मग त्यांचा आस्वाद घेण तर दूरच...")

 I have already written more than one post on the subject. Most volubly here on November 9 2010.

I wish to give another example before I go ahead.

I often read parts of  G A Kulkarni's (जी ए कुलकर्णी) book 'Pinglavel' (पिंगळावेळ). I have a copy of its first edition published in 1972. Its cover is striking. 

I noted recently that the book does not even mention who the cover artist is! One has to figure out from the artist's signature on the cover. And this is from the author who, according to Vasant Sarwate, was a man of learning in visual arts and was himself a painter of some caliber.

Artist: the late Prabhakar Gore (प्रभाकर गोरे)

 Art Spiegelman wrote on October 13 2010:

"...In a pervasively influential eighteenth-century essay, Laocoon: or The limits of Poetry and Painting, by the German aesthetician, Gotthold Lessing, Western culture was admonished against confusing between the nature of poetry or prose—written forms whose province is time, and the nature of visual forms like painting and sculpture, whose province is spatial..."

Since Marathi people enjoy music so much, is music too a form whose province is time and NOT spatial? And is there an art form that works well in both the provinces of time and space?

"...Nothing could violate this long-held aesthetic taboo more directly than comics, a kind of picture-writing—the very layout of a comics artist’s page insists on pulling the reader from one drawing to the next. (Lynd) Ward also trafficked in time, of course, but by inviting the eye to rest on each isolated composition—unsullied by written language—he was sneakier about it..."

Artist: Lynd Ward


Raj said...

Every culture has it's own preferences. The British are more attracted towards the printed word, often neglecting the visual medium. Sir Peter Stothard, last year's Booker judge, is a case in point.

"Sir Peter, who is currently re-reading the shortlisted novels to help arrive at a winner, surrounds himself with literature often to the detriment of other forms of entertainment. He cannot remember the last sporting event he went to and has no interest in films, admitting to only ever seeing six films in his lifetime."


OTOH, the Spanish and the Italians are devoted to the audio-visual experience. Same goes for culinary arts. The Brits are content with Fish and Chips, the Germans with Sausages. Spanish and Italian cuisines speak for themselves.

I think the French are the Golden mean in Southern and Northern Europe, making best of both worlds.

Aniruddha G. Kulkarni said...

Thanks Raj for excellent perspective...But I will always hurt for our lack of interest in visual arts...