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."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Greece as Sisyphus...What is Merope Up to?

Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus, 1942:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."


Yannis Dragasakis, Greek Deputy Prime Minister & Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Finance Minister & Euclid Tsakalotos, deputy minister for international economic relations  in FT, UK,  March 18 2015:
"The country is in a position like that of Sisyphus — a man condemned to roll a boulder to the top of a hill, only to see it roll down again...We risk condemning an entire generation to a future without hope. To avoid that, what we ask from our euro-zone partners is to treat Greece as an equal and help us escape from this Sisyphean trap."

As a punishment for for chronic deceitfulness, King Sisyphus is made to roll a huge boulder up a steep hill. Before he can reach the top, however, the massive stone always rolls back down, forcing him to begin again.

Sisyphus is married to Atlas’s daughter Merope. It is said that Merope is the faintest of the stars because she is the only of the Pleiades to have married a mortal.


 
L'Etoile Perdue (The Lost Star), 1884

Artist: William-Adolphe Bouguereau  (1825-1905)

courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

After reading Greek ministers' comments above, the following cartoon looked even funnier... Merope, the wife,  is blocking the progress of Sisyphus! 

Is the rest of EU behaving like Merope for Greece?



Artist: Shannon Wheeler, The New Yorker, November 2013

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