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, April 02, 2015

पु ल देशपांडे: How Much Does a Gondola Cost These Days?

When I saw the following picture, I remembered characters from the late P L Deshpande's (पु ल देशपांडे) 'Batatyachi Chawl' (बटाट्याची चाळ), 1958.

For instance read this:

"..."आपण ढोरवाडीला काय करता?"
"शेती हाय आमची!"
विचारलेल्या प्रश्नाला सरळ असे पहीलेच उत्तर मिळाल्याचा कोचरेकर-मास्तरांना माफक आनंद झाला!
"जपानी भातशेतीविषयी आपलं काय मत आहे?" आणखी एक प्रयत्न कोचरेकरमास्तरांनी केला..."

 "..."What do you do at Dhorwadi?"
"We have farm land!"
Teacher Kocharekar was mildly delighted for getting a straight answer to his question for the first time!
"What is your opinion about Japanese rice-farming?" tried teacher Kocharekar one more time..."

There is another instance in the same book when Mr. Kocharekar's neighbor asks the driver of the horse carriage he is riding: How much do horses cost these days?




Artist: Robert Kraus, The New Yorker, June 20 1964

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