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.”

Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~

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, January 12, 2017

(डोम) कावळे, एडगर अॅलन पो आणि मी ...NEVERMORE


January 19 2017 will be Edgar Allan Poe's 208th birth anniversary, his poem 'The Raven' was published this month 172 years ago.

"...But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
            Then the bird said “Nevermore.”..."


Crows/ravens indeed are mysterious creatures. I have observed that whenever the volume of the voice in our household raises, for any reason- joy, grief, fight, electronics, plain talking etc, one of them perches itself on the wall of our terrace and starts crowing until we calm down, lower our voice!

Sometimes it really gets on my nerves and I chase it with a cricket stump...!

Here it is in June 2016:


Sitting across me...I wonder if it is crowing: NEVERMORE, NEVERMORE...


I came upon this cartoon in "The New Yorker" in May 2016.

Artist: David Borchart, The New Yorker, May 2016

I took my son's help to 'decipher' this cartoon.

It depicts Poe and a raven are playing scrabble. Raven is from Poe's "The Raven", 1845. It's holding a letter 'N' in is beak and is gunning for the word 'NEVERMORE' that recurs in the poem!

Wikipedia informs:


‘…"The Raven" is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. First published in January 1845, the poem is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven's mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man's slow fall into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student, is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. Sitting on a bust of Pallas, the raven seems to further instigate his distress with its constant repetition of the word "Nevermore"…’

In the cartoon, Poe's distress is going to increase further because the raven is going to score some points with that word! 

This must easily one of the best cartoons I have seen.

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