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 07, 2016

Mona Lisa in Mera Naam Joker. Not Kseniya Ryabinkina,


I don't think I have been to a circus show for more than 20 years now but once circus was such an integral part of my life.

I loved the late Damu Dhotre's (दामू धोत्रे) book and that of S S Karlekar (शि. शं. कार्लेकर), particularly the latter, which I must have read dozens of times. The copy we had was a hardcover edition.

As I have said earlier, I adore 2/3rd of Raj Kapoor's 'Mera Naam Joker' that was released on December 18 1970.

The circus scenes from the film were captivating. Music that accompanied them was outstanding. Ms. Kseniya Ryabinkina too was not bad. Much better than Padmini anyway.




Now imagine Mona Lisa instead of Ms. Ryabinkina.



Artist: Maciej Urbanjec, 1970

Courtesy: The Vault, Slate's history blog

Circus posters I have seen in India were good but I never thought they were art. 

"These circus posters come from an unlikely flowering of artistic expression in Communist Poland. The visual style of the Polish School of Posters, funded and sponsored by state commissions, was characterized by vibrant colors, playful humor, hand-lettering, and a bold surrealism that rivaled anything similar artists in the West were doing at the time..." 

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