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."

Sunday, June 25, 2017

टागोरांचा टीरोलियन ड्रेस घातलेला गूढवाद...Franz Kafka on Indian Religious Devotions and Rabindranath Tagore

फ्रान्झ काफ्का भारताबद्दल अस बोलले होते:

“...I lent Kafka a German translation of the Indian religious text, the Bhagavad Gita.

Kafka said, ‘Indian religious writings attract and repel me at the same time. Like a poison, there is something both seductive and horrible in them. All these Yogis and sorcerers rule over the life of nature not because of their burning love of freedom but because of a concealed and icy hatred of life. The source of Indian religious devotions is a bottomless pessimism.’ ...”

(‘Conversations with Kafka’ by Gustav Janouch, 1951/ 2012)

डॉक्टर सर्वपल्ली राधाकृष्णन याला काहीस उत्तर अस देतात :


“...The main charges against Indian philosophy are those of pessimism, dogmatism, indifference to ethics and unprogressiveness.  Almost every critic of Indian philosophy and culture harps on its pessimism. We cannot, however, understand how the human mind can speculate freely and remodel life  when it is filled with weariness and overcome by a feeling  of hopelessness. A priori, the scope and freedom of Indian thought are inconsistent with an ultimate pessimism. Indian philosophy is pessimistic if by pessimism is meant a sense of dissatisfaction with what is or exists. In this sense all philosophy is pessimistic. The suffering of the world provokes the problems of philosophy and religion. Systems of religion which emphasise redemption seek for an escape from life as we live it on earth. But reality in its essence is not evil....”

 (Dr. Sarvepalli  Radhakrishnan, 'Indian Philosophy Vol I & II', 1923)

थोडक्यात : काफ्का जे म्हणत होते  ते नवीन नव्हते पण त्यांच्या बोलण्यात दम आहे. भारतीय तत्वज्ञाना बद्दल ह्या अंगाने चर्चा अलिकडे कुठ वाचली नाहीय.

याच पुस्तकात काफ्का टागोरांबद्दल काय म्हणतात ते पहा:
"...I repeated Reimann’s amusing story about Kurt Wolff, the Leipzig publisher, who at eight o’clock in the morning rejected a translation of Rabindranath Tagore, and two hours later sent the firm’s reader to the central post office to reclaim the rejected manuscript, because in the meanwhile he had seen in the paper that Tagore had won the Nobel Prize.

‘Odd that he should have refused Tagore,’ said Franz Kafka slowly. ‘Tagore is after all not very different from Kurt Wolff. India and Leipzig, the distance between is only apparent. In reality Tagore is only a German in disguise.’

‘A schoolmaster, perhaps?’

‘A schoolmaster?’ repeated Kafka gravely, drew down the corners of his tight-pressed lips, and slowly shook his head. ‘No, not that, but he could be a Saxon – like Richard Wagner.’

‘Mysticism in Tyrolean dress?’

‘Something like that.’

We laughed."

रिचर्ड वागनर यांची ज्यू संबंधात तयार झालेली प्रतिमा ध्यानात घेता ज्यू काफ्का यांनी त्यांचा केलेला उल्लेख लक्षणीय आहे. तसेच त्यांच्या पोषाखाची केलेली किंचित थट्टा ('we laughed') सुद्धा : टीरोलियन ड्रेस घातलेला गूढवाद.... टागोरांच्या रेशमी छाटीची महाराष्ट्रात पण काही गोटातून थट्टा होत असे..... 


on the left Vintage Tyrolean dresses, on the right, sitting, the late Mr. Rabindranath Tagore with a companion

courtesy: blue17.co.uk and Timesnow

कै विलास सारंगांनी हे बहुदा वाचल नसणार. मला कै दुर्गा भागवत आणि त्यांची या सगळ्यावरची प्रतिक्रिया ऐकायला खूप आवडले असते.

4 comments:

अवधूत डोंगरे said...

गुस्ताव यानुशच्या या पुस्तकाचं मराठी भाषांतर त्र्यं. वि. सरदेशमुखांनी केलंय: काफ्काशी संवाद, पद्मगंधा प्रकाशन, २००६ (बहुधा संक्षिप्त). ते वाचनात आलं होतं. पण नंतर यानुशच्या या पुस्तकाबाबत इतरही काही संदर्भ वाचनात आले. उदाहरणार्थ: 'काफ्काज् अनरिलायबल फ्रेंड' हे 'न्यूयॉर्क रिव्ह्यू ऑफ बुक्स'मधलं वाचकाचं पत्र.

त्यापेक्षा, निकोलस मरी यांनी लिहिलेल्या काफ्काच्या चरित्रात (काफ्का: अ बायॉग्रफी, येल युनिव्हर्सिटी प्रेस, २००४) दोन ठिकाणी यानुशच्या पुस्तकाबद्दलचे पुढील उल्लेख येतात.
पान ४२: "Kafka's acquintance, who is regarded today as an unreliable witness....." यानंतर मरी यांनी यानुशनं केलेलं काफ्काच्या दिसण्याचं वर्णन नोंदवलंय
पान ३१६: "[...] Gustav Janouch, son of one of Kafka's colleagues at the Institute, who had started to visit him at the office in March 1920 at the age of seventeen. janouch, who had literary ambitions, kept notes of his meetings with kafka and later published them as a book, Coversations with Kafka (1953). Scholars have always been uneasy about this collection, worried about its authenticity (often this is a Kafka who doesn't sound at all like Kafka, though Brod insisted otherwise) and, according to one critic, so unreliable is this Bohemian Boswell that it was resulted in the 'virtual removal from the cannon'*[a reference] of the book as a biographical source. It has not been drawn on for this [Murray's] biography."

याउपर माहीत नाही. पण काहीही असलं तरी 'बॉटमलेस पेसिमिझम' या शब्दप्रयोगाचा काफ्काचा अर्थ कदाचित 'नकारात्मक' राहिला नसता. पत्रांमधून किंवा इतर ठिकाणांवरून जो काफ्का समोर येतो तो जगण्यातील 'अंतहीन नैराश्या'ला 'हेट्रेड ऑफ लाइफ'शी बहुधा जोडणार नाही. तिरस्कार निराळा, आणि अंतहीन नैराश्य निराळं, असं वाटतं.

Aniruddha G. Kulkarni said...

Thanks Avadhoot.

Yes I was aware of the attacks on the credibility of the book. But I agree with Francine Prose:

"reading Janouch, I thought: If Kafka didn’t say all these things, he said some of them and should have said the rest. Perhaps he might have admired Janouch’s exploration of the line between appropriation, ventriloquism, and spirit possession: channeling, we might call it. I want to believe that Kafka said what Janouch wrote down, just as I want more than ever to pretend that I am walking in Janouch’s place, pestering Franz Kafka with sophomoric questions and thirstily imbibing the gnomic, goofy poetry of the master’s pontifications."

In fact I feel Kafka I quote is authentic because his criticism of Hinduism was NOT new.

Also तिरस्कार निराळा, आणि अंतहीन नैराश्य निराळं, असं वाटतं...I agree but I can see how the one can, at lease sometimes, lead to another.

Nikheel Shaligram said...

I am surprised to find the word छाटी used in your post for Shawl worn by Tagore. It is wrong. छाटी had been used by monks. Tagore was never a monk.

Aniruddha G. Kulkarni said...

Thanks Mr. Shaligram.


I have not used it. I have just quoted what used to be said in some quarters of Maharashtra.

It's entirely possible the usage of the word 'chhati' itself, instead of shawl, was for a purpose.