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."

Monday, January 02, 2017

Painting and Writing Souls...August Stindberg err Strindberg by Edvard Munch @125

Year 2017 is 125th anniversary of August Strindberg's portrait by Edvard Munch


I first came to know about  August Stindberg because I fell in love with his quote, used as an epigram by the late  G A Kulkarni's (जी कुलकर्णी) for his book "Pingla Vel"  (पिंगळा वेळ), 1977:
"Shallow people demand variety – but I have been writing the same story throughout my life, every time trying to cut nearer the aching nerve".


dated 1892, Location: Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm, Sweden 



Henrik Bering, WSJ, May 23 2012 writes:
“…While living in Paris in 1895, the Swedish author and playwright August Strindberg asked his friend Edvard Munch to create a portrait of him. Presented with the resulting lithograph, Strindberg was not entirely satisfied: Munch had misspelled his name "Stindberg"—stind is Swedish for "stout" and carries a suggestion of pompousness—and had placed a naked woman along the border, which somewhat detracted from the seriousness of the image. At their next encounter, without saying a word, Strindberg placed a revolver on the table. Munch got the message: In the new version, he corrected the spelling and removed the lady.
From then on, their friendship deteriorated rapidly. Strindberg was given to absinthe-fueled paranoia, at one point believing that assassins were lurking next-door, playing three grand pianos simultaneously. He accused Munch of trying to kill him with a stream of gas through the wall and fired off a postcard: "Your attempt to kill me by the Pettenkofer method failed. Enjoyed the evening." Munch chose to leave town in a hurry.

Despite the tumult of their friendship, the two men were vital intellectual foils, as Sue Prideaux, the author of the superb "Edvard Munch: Behind the Scream" (2005), shows in her rich "Strindberg: A Life." They were part of a generation of writers and artists who in the last decades of the 19th century rebelled—not against science as such, Ms. Prideaux writes, but against the notion that there was a materialist explanation for everything. Instead, they strove for "a great renaissance of the soul against the intellect," she writes: "Munch was considered 'to paint souls' and Strindberg to write about them. Together they slaked the great thirst for the acknowledgment of the metaphysical."…”