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."

Monday, January 26, 2015

लक्ष्मणचा मोठेपणा असा की, त्याला हे मर्म बरोबर सापडले आहे...R K Laxman

The late Mr. Laxman has appeared a few times on this blog earlier, always with a picture. As he exits this world today, he enters here without a picture.

For a long time, I did not know Laxman drew 'You Said It!' for The Times of India because I was brought up looking at his pictures in a Marathi paper - Maharashtra Times (महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स) titled "Kasan Bolalat!" ( ' कसं बोललात!' )

Not every picture of Laxman was brilliant, indeed many were predictable but when he hit the bull's eye, it was sheer ecstasy.

What I thought most admirable in him was the way he appreciated and drew:  'The Bird of Birds the Indian crow'. Another guy who appreciated the species: Mark Twain!

I had a good fortune of meeting Laxman at IIT, Madras in early 1980's. Unfortunately, I had not been able to get into the hall where he had lectured and drew earlier but I lined up with hundreds to get his autograph at the end of it.  

I consider Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे) the greatest cartoonist India has produced. Here is a tribute by Sarwate to Laxman, in Marathi,  from Sarwate's book 'Vyangkala-Chitrakala' (व्यंगकला -चित्रकला), 2005.

A line from that: लक्ष्मणचा मोठेपणा असा की, त्याला हे मर्म बरोबर सापडले आहे...Greatness of Laxman is that he has accurately found the nerve...



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