मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

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.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

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);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

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 28, 2016

Does God Prefer Atheists?

I first read the following in April 2016:

Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati: Leader Says Women in Shani Temple Will Increase Rapes...

...The Shankaracharya also said worshipping of Shirdi Sai Baba by his followers caused the Maharashtra drought, news outlets reported. 

And then  I saw the following cartoon. 

Although the cartoonist has targeted it at US citizens and the campaigning there for the presidential election, it's interesting to see how a good cartoon travels well.

Artist: Robert Leighton, The New Yorker, April 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

विल्या गेला 400 वर्षापूर्वी भाषेचा विस्तृत रंगपट उलगडून.....Shakespeare

Today April 23 2016 is 400th Death Anniversary of William Shakespeare

 विंदा करंदीकर: 

"...तुका म्हणे "विल्या,| तुझे कर्म थोर |
अवघाची संसार| उभा केला" ||..."..."

Jerry Brotton, FT, December 30 2015:

"...This year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and, inevitably, it will reveal more about ourselves than the Bard. Just consider the tercentenary in 1916. Then, as war raged in northern Europe, the English actor Herbert Beerbohm Tree was dispatched to New York to mark the occasion in suitable style at a safe distance. Back home, alongside muted performances and festivals, the scholar Israel Gollancz edited A Book of Homage to Shakespeare, described in its preface as “a worthy Record of the widespread reverence for Shakespeare as shared with the English-speaking world by our Allies and Neutral States”. Thomas Hardy, John Galsworthy and Rudyard Kipling all contributed, extolling the playwright’s peculiarly English qualities. More than 20 languages were represented among the 160-odd essays, including the Bengali of the poet Rabindranath Tagore..."

दिलीप  पुरुषोत्तम  चित्रे :

"...शेक्सपीयरला वगळून आपल्याला इंग्रजी भाषेच्या वाङमयीन संस्कृतीचा किंवा प्रतिभेचा विचारच करता येत नाही. कारण इंग्रजीच्या मुख्य प्रवाहाचा एक भागच मुळी शेक्सपीयरच्या वाङमयीन कृती आहेत. त्यांचा प्रभाव वाङमयापलीकडे, भाषेच्या सर्वकष जडणघडणीच्या प्रक्रियेवर पडेल इतका मोठा आणि जिवंत आहे. रांगड्या, गावरान आणि घरगुती भाषेपासून थेट उत्कट, चमत्कृतिपूर्ण, व्यक्तिविशिष्ट शैलीपर्यंत भाषेचा विस्तृत रंगपटच असा लेखक उलगडून दाखवतो..."

('पुन्हा तुकाराम', 1990/1995)

ह ना आपटे, c1883:
"… त्याची (शेक्सपिअरची) नाटके म्हणजे, विकारविलसितकारांच्या (म्हणजे गोपाळ गणेश आगरकर) मताप्रमाणे केवळ मनोरंजनार्थ नाहीत, तर ती त्यांच्या योग्यतेप्रमाणे वाचून त्यांचा अभ्यास केला असता आपणास जीर्णारण्याप्रमाणे भासणार्या जगात उपयोगी पडणारी वर्तणूक शिकवणारी आहेत…"

Stephen Greenblatt, NYRB, April 21 2016:

“Shakespeare’s death on April 23, 1616, went largely unremarked by all but a few of his immediate contemporaries. There was no global shudder when his mortal remains were laid to rest in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. No one proposed that he be interred in Westminster Abbey near Chaucer or Spenser (where his fellow playwright Francis Beaumont was buried in the same year and where Ben Jonson would be buried some years later). No notice of Shakespeare’s passing was taken in the diplomatic correspondence of the time or in the newsletters that circulated on the Continent; no rush of Latin obsequies lamented the “vanishing of his breath,” as classical elegies would have it; no tributes were paid to his genius by his distinguished European contemporaries. Shakespeare’s passing was an entirely local English event, and even locally it seems scarcely to have been noted....”


The Shakespeare edition that Nelson Mandela read on Robben Island

courtesy/ Artist: Dave Coverly

Friday, April 22, 2016

Mock Everything Sacred, All That Went Before. Including Them: Miguel de Cervantes

Today April 22 2016 is 400th death anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes, creator of Don Quixote (1605 and 1615)

Soledad Puértolas:
“The English have managed to sell Shakespeare as one of the pillars of their language, because theirs is a more pragmatic country than ours. Spain is not a place that knows how to acknowledge its culture.”

Julian Gough, ‘Divine Comedy’:

“...the novel, invented after Aristotle, did not have a holy book. The novelist was on his own. Sometimes he's even a she. There were no rules. The chaos of carnival had found its form. The fool's sermon could be published, could live on. All you learned from Rabelais or Cervantes was to mock everything sacred, all that went before. Including them.

And the reaction was fierce. Rabelais was jailed for his wild comedies. Voltaire, praised for his early tragedies, was jailed for his satires. Cervantes apparently started Don Quixote in a debtors' prison. All had to flee town on occasion for fear of worse. Printing had to be done abroad, in secret, and the books smuggled to their destinations. The early years of the novel look remarkably like a guerrilla war, as pro-Bible forces try to put down the insurgency of the novel across Europe. Both were fighting for the same piece of territory: the territory inside your head.

Now a man could invent his own myth and spread it across the world. And the reader, head bowed over the novel, could have a vision without religion: a full vision, transmitted through space and time by marks on paper, using the novelist's arts.

The novel, when done right—when done to the best of the novelist's abilities, talent at full stretch—is always greater than the novelist. It is more intelligent. It is more vast. It can change your entire internal world. Of course, so can a scientific truth. So can a religious experience. So can some drugs. So can a sublime event in nature. But the novel operates on that high level. Sitting there, alone, quite still, you laugh, you murmur, you cry, and you can come out of it with a new worldview, in a new reality. It's a controlled breakdown, or breakthrough. It's dangerous...”

Howard Jacobson:

“...Trawl through the world of blogs and tweets and you will find readers complaining when they stumble upon a word they don't recognise, an attitude that doesn't accord with their own, a passage of thought they find hard work, a joke they don't get or of which they don't approve. Anyone would think that the whole art and pleasure of reading consisted in getting helter-skelter through a novel, unscathed, unchallenged, and without encountering anyone but oneself. Once we wrestled with the angel when we read; now we ask only to slumber in his arms.

But the greatest novels won't let us. The novelist, at his swelling comic best – a Dickens or a Dostoevsky, a Cervantes or a Kafka, a Joseph Roth or a Henry Miller – goes where Hamlet dares the skull of Yorick to go, straight to my painted lady's chamber, rattling his bones and making her laugh at the terrible fate that awaits her. His comedy spares nothing and spares no one. And in the process asserts the stubbornness of life. Why would we want to read anything less?...”

जी कुलकर्णी

...शेवटी मला एकच गोष्ट कळृन चुकली की, मी अगदी पूर्ण, असाध्य वेडा आहे पण इतर माणसे कोणत्या बाबतीत शहाणी आहेत हे मात्र मला कधी उमगले नाही...”

'Don Quixote's death'
Artist: Gustave Dore (1832-1883)