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."

Monday, September 26, 2016

Cock Match: Favourite Sport In Fiction Called Democracy



Today September 26 2016 is the day of the first of  the three general-election debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Chris Hedges:

“The liberal class lacks the fortitude and the ideas to protect the decaying system. It speaks in a twilight rhetoric that no longer corresponds to our reality. But the fiction of democracy remains useful, not only for corporations, but also for the bankrupt liberal class. If the fiction is exposed as a lie, liberals will be forced to consider actual resistance, which will be neither pleasant nor easy. As long as a democratic façade exists, liberals can engage in a useless moral posturing that requires no sacrifice or commitment.”

(‘Death of the Liberal Class’, 2010)



Artist: Edward Steed, The New Yorker, September 2016

This picture reminded me of the following outstanding piece of art depicting many intriguing details.I have spent many hours 'reading' and admiring it.



Artist:  Johann Zoffany (1733-1810)



Philip Hensher writes about the painting:

“...There is a sense of letting the hair down about some of Zoffany’s Indian paintings. The masterpiece Colonel Mordaunt’s Cock Match depicts the meeting between cultures at its most rumbustious, complete with extremely vulgar allusions to the principal figures’ sexual prowess....”
 (‘The Telegraph, UK’, March 6 2012)


William Dalrymple writes about the artist:

"The Frankfurt-born Zoffany (1734-1810) lived in Lucknow for two and a half years, staying much of the time with Claude Martin. On his way back to England (where he had settled in the 1750s) he was shipwrecked off the Andaman Islands. Lots having been drawn among the starving survivors, a young sailor was duly eaten. Zoffany may thus be said with some confidence to have been the first and last Royal Academician to become a cannibal." 
('White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India', 2002)

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