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."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

If George Orwell Were To Be Down and Out Today...

Ralph Steadman:

"I was re-reading Down and Out in Paris and London recently. I think if he were to be down and out today he could survive on the bins behind the superstores … there's so much free stuff that they throw away – perfectly good food."

 "Down and Out in Paris and London" has already appeared on this blog here. There, I compared the book to my favorite Arun Kolatkar poem, I call it "Down and Out in Mumbai":

"मुंबईनं भिकेस लावलं
कल्याणला गुळ खाल्ला
ज्या गावाला नाव नव्हतं
पण एक धबधबा होता
तिथं एक ब्लँकेट विकलं
अन पोटभर पाणी प्यालो

पिंपळाची पानं चघळत
नाशकापर्यंत आलो
तिथं तुकाराम विकला
अन वर खिमापाव खाल्ला
['Arun Kolatkarchya Kavita' (अरुण कोलटकरच्या कविता), 1977/2003, Page:92]

Translated into English by Kolatkar himself

("Bombay made me a beggar.
 Kalyan gave me a lump of jaggery to suck.
In a small village that had a waterfall
but no name
my blanket found a buyer
and I feasted on plain ordinary water.

I arrived in Nasik with
peepul leaves between my teeth.
There I sold my Tukaram
to buy some bread and mince

Recently it was widely reported that "Almost half of the world's food thrown away, report finds".

Orwell day was observed on January 21 2013.

Now, who could have connected these two news items?

Only a good cartoonist and illustrator like Ralph Steadman as quoted at the top! 

"...if Orwell were to be down and out today he could survive..."

I wish!

Artist:  Ralph Steadman, 'George Orwell and a pig',  1996 illustrated edition of  'Animal Farm'