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."

Friday, October 16, 2015

Name Calling

(This post has been borrowed from my own post dated 29 December 2007)

I simply love Lapham's Quarterly's chart on 'Name Calling'.

Read what William Faulkner called Henry James: "One of the nicest old ladies I ever met."  or what Margaret Kendal called Sarah Bernhardt  "A great actress, from the waist down"!

Using extreme profanity in public is not new to India and prominent Indians.

It probably started with Bal Gangadhar Tilak (बाळ गंगाधर टिळक) 1856-1920 and Gopal Ganesh Agarkar (गोपाळ गणेश आगरकर) 1856-1895. In 1893, they fought mother of all wordy duels.

They used terms like leper, dog afflicted with rabies, murderous, rotten brain, arrogant, mean to describe each other.

Agarkar started it.

[Source- “Vyakti aani Vichar”, 1979 by Y D Phadke (“व्यक्ती आणि विचार” य दि फडके)]

 In January 1882, Wikipedia says, telephony was introduced in India but Tilak and Agarkar never spoke to each other on phone. By 1891, 15 years after its invention, more than 5 million of the devices were used in the United States. But none connecting Tilak and Agarkar in 1893.

If there were to to be one...


Artist: Whitney Darrow,Jr.,  The New Yorker,  8 February 1947

No comments: