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."

Monday, October 14, 2013

Elephant in the Room?

October 14 2013 is 60th Death Anniversary of  R D Karve (र धों कर्वे).



Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, March 11 2013:

"...Europe's great artists were making pornography long before the invention of the camera, let alone the internet. In my new book The Loves of the Artists, I argue that sexual gratification – of both the viewers of art, and artists themselves – was a fundamental drive of high European culture in the age of the old masters. Paintings were used as sexual stimuli, as visual lovers' guides, as aids to fantasy. This was considered one of the most serious uses of art by no less a thinker than Leonardo da Vinci, who claimed images are better than words because pictures can directly arouse the senses. He was proud that he once painted a Madonna so sexy the owner asked for all its religious trappings to be removed, out of shame for the inappropriate lust it inspired. His painting of St John the Baptist is similarly ambiguous.
This was not a new attitude to art in the Renaissance. As the upcoming exhibition of ancient Pompeii at the British Museum will doubtless show, the ancient Romans also delighted in pornography. Some pornographic paintings now kept in the famous "Secret Museum" of ancient erotica in Naples came from Pompeii's brothel's – which makes their function very clear. In the Renaissance, which revered everything classical, ancient Roman sexual imagery was well known to collectors and artists. A notorious classical erotic statue owned by the plutocrat Agostino Chigi caused the 16th-century writer Pietro Aretino to remark, "why should the eyes be denied what delights them most?"..."




Chris Petit:

“Shopping also functions like pornography, another form of accelerated desire with an emphasis on repetition.”




(bronze 'dancing girl' from Mohenjo-daro in Sind, Pakistan c 2000 BC)

John Keay, 'India: A History', 2000/2010:

"Although probably not dancing, the ‘dancing girl’ is unquestionably ‘a pleasing little thing’. Naked save for a chunky necklace and an assortment of bangles, this minuscule statuette is not of the usual Indian sex symbol, full of breast and wide of hip, but of a slender nymphet happily flaunting her puberty with delightful insouciance. Her pose is studiously casual, one spindly arm bent with the hand resting on a déhanché hip, the other dangling so as to brush a slightly raised knee. Slim and attenuated, the legs are slightly parted, and one foot – both are now missing – must have been pointed. She could be absent-mindedly surveying her wardrobe, except that her head is thrown back as if challenging a suitor, and her hair is somehow dressed into a heavy plaited chignon of perilous but intentionally dramatic construction. Decidedly, she wants to be admired; and she might be gratified to know that, four thousand years later, she still is... "

Are some of  Khajuraho sculptures pornography in stone? I don't know. But I sure was turned on watching them in early 1990's.

The late R D Karve would have been delighted to learn that the Guardian, one of the leading and probably the most respected newspaper in the world,  has announced the launch of  Porn Studiesthe world's first peer-reviewed academic journal on the subject- next year. He might have even contributed to the journal.

On the subject of porn, I have hardly seen any discussion in Marathi media  that is NOT  moralistic. For them porn is like liquor, cigarettes, pan-masala, rape, corruption etc. 

The Guardian has a section "Pornography" under "Culture"!


 Carole Cadwalladr writes in the Guardian:

"According to some estimates, 30% of all internet bandwidth is used to transfer porn. Each month, porn sites get more visitors than Amazon, Twitter and Netflix combined. And yet, says (Feona) Attwood, in her own field, cultural studies, it's been mostly ignored. "Television, film, magazines have been studied from all sorts of angles. Something like the BBC has been investigated to death by historians, by people who analyse labour conditions, everything from accountancy to filming, but there's never been anything like that for porn."..."

Porn, even in India, deserves more serious attention.



Artist: J B Handelsman, The New Yorker,  April 14 2003



‘It’s shocking: all that porn on the internet and we have no idea how to access it.’

 Artist: Unknown, Spectator

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