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, June 19, 2013

H A Bhave, A Practical Idealist I Liked...ह. अ. भावे, मला आवडलेला हिशेबी आदर्शवादी

Mr. Bhave, a Pune based publisher of Marathi books, died on June 18 2013. Most of the books he 'published' were free of copyright.
 "creative commons vs copyright"

Artist: Marcelo Braga 

I will always remain in Mr. Bhave's debt for making it possible for me to buy a number of rare / out-of-print Marathi books. His best 'gift' to me would be Laxmibai Tilak's (लक्ष्मीबाई टिळक) unabridged "Smrutichitre" (स्मृतिचित्रे).  

I bought a number of books by visiting his showroom-cum-press. I had a long conversation with him on one of the occasions.

Once I wanted the entire writings of Rajaramshastri Bhagwat (राजारामशास्त्री भागवत). They were listed in his catalogue. When I asked for them, he said they went out of print long time ago. He had to sell them really hard. He of course was kind enough to offer the 'master' copy of it for me to photocopy it in the nearby photocopy shop.

Although his aims were noble, he probably never forgot that he was, in the end, running a business. I often felt he could have priced some of the books cheaper.

I wanted to ask him what he thought of the books- similar or the same as reprinted by him-  priced at Rs. 50 by  Samanvay Prakashan , Kolkapur (समन्वय प्रकाशन, कोल्हापूर). (Read more on that here.)

I understand almost nothing of the business of Marathi publishing but I always feel most publishers aim to sell to libraries ahead of retail crowd like me. I don't buy some Marathi books because I perceive them to be expensive.

Go well Mr. Bhave. I hope Maharashtra's future generations will keep producing practical idealists like you. 

Catalogue and price list of Mr. Bhave's 'Varada Prakashan' dated 2011

Today Baby Bump's Like a Jasmine Bud...आज टपोरले पोट, जैसी मोगरीची कळी;

Ian Mortimer, SPIEGEL Online, Dec 7 2012:

"...Rape could almost never be proved. It was the woman's word against the man's. If the woman became pregnant, this was taken as proof that the sex had been consensual because people in the Middle Ages believed a woman could conceive only when sexually aroused..."


Artist: Balbusso Sisters, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

B S Mardhekar (बा.सी.मर्ढेकर)'s very beautiful Marathi poem, what I call  'Hymn to a Journey: Girl to Mother':

"पोरसवदा होतीस
होता पायांतही वारा

आज टपोरले पोट,
जैसी मोगरीची कळी;
पडे कुशीँतून पायीं
छोट्या जीवाची साखळी.

पोरसवदा होतीस
थांब उद्याचे माऊली,
तीर्थ पायांचे घेईतों."

[Poem no 27 from 'Kanhee Kavita' (कांही कविता)]

("You're childlike
until yesterday or day-before;
there was wind beneath your feet
until yesterday or day-before.

Today belly has grown,
like a Jasmine bud,
from limbs falls at feet
a string of  tiny life.

You're childlike
until yesterday or day-before;
hold tomorrow's mother,
I drink holy water of washing of your feet.)

My apologies for poor translation...