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."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Did Bhau Padhye Draw Dramatic Pictures 劇画 or Whimsical Pictures 漫画?

No Indian media informed me that Yoshihiro Tatsumi died on March 7 2015. He created a dark, noirish style of Japanese manga he called gekiga, meaning “dramatic pictures". 

Apparently the term gekiga (劇画)- dramatic pictures- was coined by Mr. Tatsumi because he did not like the term manga (漫画), whimsical pictures.

Even in Marathi (मराठी)  there is no agreement on what cartoons should be called: हास्यचित्रे का व्यंगचित्रे? And there are Americans who started calling erstwhile comic books as graphic novels. 

I feel very shy  including Marathi in this discussion because Marathi does not hold a candle to the vast graphic literature that exists in Japanese and English.

I remember, on my first visit to Japan in the 1990's, I was overwhelmed by the huge stacks of manga books in even the smallest of the kiosks in and around Tokyo. I bought one adult manga book. I was not sure if Indian customs would allow it. They never bothered with my baggage.  


The title page of “Unpaid.” 

Artist: Yoshihiro Tatsumi (辰巳 ヨシヒロ)

courtesy: The Paris Review

Imagine if we had the tradition of gekiga/manga in India, what possibilities would have opened up to describe the life in Mumbai? 

One the greatest chroniclers of Mumbai, Bhau Padhye (भाऊ पाध्ये) would be a gekiga artist! Or was he already a  manga artist?



Artist: Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे)

In this caricature, Sarwate seems to have drawn Bhau as 'whimsical picture' 漫画!

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