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."

Saturday, June 18, 2016

टांग्यातील बर्फी...Boule de Suif, Stage Coach

Today June 18 2016, my father Gopal Dutt Kulkarni (गोपाळ दत्त कुलकर्णी) turns 80

I just loved Guy de Maupassant's short story 'Boule de Suif', 1880...not in its French or English avatar but the Marathi one: 'Barfi' ('बर्फी')- translated by my father.

My father had poured so much heart into it that I read it dozens of times with the same intensity. It did not matter at all that Boule de Suif was a prostitute. Indeed every time I always wept a little with her at the end.

Since we were very familiar with tangas- and not stagecoaches- at Miraj during my childhood , I used to imagine a tanga in the story!

(I am sure the story has been translated a few times into Marathi- one of them almost surely by R D Karve र. धों. कर्वे because Maupassant was one of his favorite authors. For instance, read one here.)

It's argued that John Ford's film 'Stagecoach', 1939 is based on the story. I was not surprised to learn it because I felt the connection when I watched that wonderful film. It proves Ford was no less of an artist than Maupassant.



George Bancroft, John Wayne and Louise Platt in Stagecoach (1939)

courtesy: Wikipedia



Claire Trevor, Berton Churchill, Louise Platt in John Ford's 'Stagecoach'

courtesy:  United Artists

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