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.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

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."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

I Want Durga Bhagwat to be in Literary Feuds!

Today May 7 2013 is 11th Death Anniversary of Durga Bhagwat  (दुर्गा भागवत)

DWIGHT GARNER:

"The sad truth about the book world is that it doesn’t need more yes-saying novelists and certainly no more yes-saying critics. We are drowning in them. What we need more of, now that newspaper book sections are shrinking and vanishing like glaciers, are excellent and authoritative and punishing critics — perceptive enough to single out the voices that matter for legitimate praise, abusive enough to remind us that not everyone gets, or deserves, a gold star."


(The New York Times, August 15 2012)

RACHEL DONADIO:

‘To some, the paucity of feuds is connected to the larger state of literary culture. “It’s not because we no longer have feuds,” said Fran Lebowitz, the writer. “It’s because we no longer have literature.” ’

(“Art of the Feud”, The New York Times, November 19 2006)

On her 10th death anniversary,  I said: I have nothing new to write about her. I still haven't.

But I miss her.

Among other things, I miss her participation in Marathi literary feuds! What a passionate critic-cum-fighter she was- "excellent, authoritative and punishing".

I still remember the way she took on the late P L Deshpande ( पु ल देशपांडे) and Mr. Govind Talwalkar (गोविंद  तळवलकर)- both then Sumo wrestlers on Maharashtra's middle class cultural mat-  on the editorial pages of "Maharashtra Times" (महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स) in 1970's.

First my father read those articles aloud and laughed. Then I read them myself. I wish they never stopped feuding! [There is one puzzle still unsolved from those days. Ms. Bhagwat had accused Mr. Talwalkar on making a pun on the name of Amte (आमटे) in personal chats. I have never figured what it could be.]

Alas, now there are no big literary feuds in Marathi.

Literary feuds can end up in a real fight. Head butting for instance.

In India this year,  we almost had one when Mr. Girish Karnad attacked Mr. V S Naipaul but sadly there was no retaliation from Mr. Naipaul and hence no fight and fun.

The sixth episode of the The Simpsons' eighteenth season "Moe'n'a Lisa" has Jonathan Franzen fighting with Michael Chabon.

"Franzen and Chabon are hysterical. They get in heated fight, Franzen breaks a table over Chabon's head, Chabon accuses him of fighting like Anne Rice"

Look at the following picture of Mr. Kaplan. Little girl is telling her mom: I don't just want to write. I want to be in literary feuds.

What an ambition! "I want to be in literary feuds" Like Durga Bhagwat, I may add!

Artist : Bruce Eric Kaplan, The New Yorker, 27 June 1994