"...They’re not alone. There’s a whole fraternity of artists like that—writers convinced of their greatness and obsessed with their status. They seem genuinely important in their own time, but the farther away from them you get, the more special pleading they seem to require. The proof is never on the page. It takes work to see why they mattered, why they provoked so much controversy, why they were read or performed at all. Call them the footnote club, or the asterisk brigade. Or think of them as the white dwarves of literature; those cold, distant stars that seem bright at first but then dim by degrees until they seem always on the edge of being swallowed by the night..."
Mr. Govind Talwalkar (गोविंद तळवलकर), the then editor of Marathi newspaper Maharashtra Times (महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स) was, as mentioned earlier on this blog, like a Sumo wrestler on middle-class Maharashtra's (not certainly more in the size than 10% of population of the state) cultural mat in 1970's. I too was his fan for a while. I still admire his ability to read a large number of books.
Later in life, however, I always felt he had a limited intellectual capacity but his influence was disproportionately larger than that.
Many people, I felt, then, just got out of his way instead of challenging him or, better, made friends with him. Apparently, his job was the second most important job in Maharashtra, next only to the Chief Minister of the state.
Later in the report, the following is attributed to Mr. Talwalkar:
"एका युगाचा अंत होतो, परंतु दुसऱ्या युगाचा जन्म अद्याप झाल्याचे जाणवत नाही. म्हणून अशा मधल्या अधांतरी काळातच आमच्या पिढीची येरझार सुरू झाली..."
("An age ends but one doesn't feel that the next age has begun and our generation started pacing such a hanging period between (the ages)...")
Artist: Saul Steinberg, The New Yorker, 26 April 1958