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."

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Speck Upon Which the Sun Never Sets Survives



Henry James:  

"Where empire civilized the British, it will further barbarize us (USA)."

John Gray:   
“Humans thrive in conditions that morality condemns. The peace and prosperity of one generation stand on the injustices of earlier generations; the delicate sensibilities of liberal societies are fruits of war and empire.”



Arthur Herman. ‘How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything in It’, 2001:
“…By 1758, Horace Walpole, the son of the former prime minister, had to admit “Scotland is the most accomplished nation in Europe.” Voltaire agreed: “It is to Scotland that we look for our idea of civilization.” A central European observer stated that “it is now an incontestable fact that the principal authors who have adorned the British literature in these latter times, or do honour to it in the present days, have received their birth and education in Scotland.” It was as neat an example of reverse cultural imperialism as one can find, and David Hume expressed his pleasure with it in the form of a paradox:

Is it not strange that at a time when we have lost our Princes, our Parliament, our independent Government . . . are unhappy in our accent and . . . speak a very corrupt Dialect of the Tongue which we make use of, is it not strange, I say, that in these Circumstances, we shou’d really be the People most distinguished for Literature in Europe?..”
  


Martin Kettle, The Guardian, September 19 2014: 
 "...Independence campaigners will feel gutted this morning. But they came within a whisker of ending the United Kingdom on Thursday. One day, perhaps soon, they will surely be back."
 

 Scotland has decided to stay in the union. Just the union, no longer the empire!

When I first read the old saying "The sun never sets on the British empire", I was amused by the audacity of the person who coined it.



The exact day when the sun stopped setting on the empire was probably sometime in the late 1700s or early 1800s, when the first Australianterritories were added.



“…Mitch Fraas, curator at the University of Pennsylvania’s Kislak Center for Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Special Collections, recently sent me this image and GIF of a moveable toy distributed by the Children’s Encyclopedia in Britain in the early twentieth century. The toy, which doubles as an ad for the encyclopedia, takes the old saying “The sun never sets on the British empire” and represents it physically, through the medium of a spinning wheel.

The Children’s Encyclopedia, one of the first such projects directed exclusively at young people, was first sold in Britain as a serial in 1908..."




courtesy: Mitch Fraas and Slate’s history blog The Vault


Read some of the words there:

"We live on a little island which seems hardly more than a speck on the map of the world. Yet from our little kingdom has grown en empire greater than any other empire there has been. One-fifth of the  whole earth and one-fifth of its peoples live under the British flag..."

...And a few more years after 1947, it was said that "the sun doesn't rise on the British empire for days"! 

But the sun still never sets upon the British empire.




"...Britain has 14 overseas territories, the direct remnants of empire...The sun never sets on all 14 British territories at once (or even 13, if you don’t count the British Antarctic Territory). However, if the UK loses one tiny territory, it will experience its first empire-wide sunset in over two centuries. Every night, around midnight GMT, the sun sets on the Cayman Islands, and doesn’t rise over the British Indian Ocean territory until after 1am. For that hour, the little Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific are the only British territory in the sun.
The Pitcairn Islands have a population of a few dozen people, the descendants of the mutineers from the HMS Bounty. The islands became notorious when a third of the adult male population, including the mayor, were convicted of child sexual abuse.
As awful as the islands may be, they remain part of the British empire, and unless they are kicked out, the two-century-long British daylight will continue." 

No comments: