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."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why Did Mata Hari Become a Household Name?

Today September 18 2014 is 109th Birth Anniversary of Greta Garbo

Richard Attenborough, maker of Gandhi (1982), died recently.

I started taking interest in the Mahatma only after watching the film.

Earlier, throughout my school and college days, I had heard and read only propaganda like stuff about Gandhi. That made me dislike Gandhi.

1969, Gandhi's birth centenary year, and my first at high-school, was particularly bad because they just went on and on with their boring songs, books and speeches.

I think future generations will learn more about Gandhi from the Attenborough film than any books or speeches. This is the power of a well made cinema and visual images.

Karen Abbott's book on Mata Haris of the Civil War".


Mr. Yardley's assumption: readers of WP recognize Mata Hari.

I don't know now, but once Mata Hari was a well known name in middle class Maharashtra.

I often wondered why.

When I saw these pictures of Greta Garbo, from 1931 film "Mata Hari", I seemed to partly understand.





courtesy: FB page 'The Golden Age of Hollywood'

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