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."

Friday, March 24, 2017

फ्रान्झ काफ्कांची एक आवड: भारतीय नाचणारी मुलगी ....Franz Kafka and Nautch Girl



William Dalrymple,  ‘White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India‘, 2002:

“...‘Nautch parties and mehfils in Hyderabad at this period, as in Delhi and Lucknow, tended to be held outside at night in the illuminated garden courtyards of the great palaces. Some of the most alluring descriptions of such parties are given by Farzand Begum’s grandfather, Dargah Quli Khan, who writes how, in the evenings, the courtyards are swept and sprinkled with water and colourful carpets are spread on a raised platform. Then the established poets start the recitation of ghazals … [sometimes] shamiana tents are erected … Dancers entertain the people and good looking women gather in such large numbers that the mere sight of them appeases the appetite, although for the lecherous this does not suffice. The illumination of the lamps and candles is akin to the light in the Valley of Tur. The omrahs occupy a separate side which is adorned with most beautiful carpets. They are courteously offered fruits and other delicacies along with perfume. Those desirous of wine are also provided with it … The sounds emanating from the bow on the strings of the sarangi are like arrows piercing the heart … The music makes people listless with ecstasy and the sounds of appreciation rend the air …”

कै विलास सारंगांना काफ्का खूप आवडायचे...एक मानदंडच होते काफ्का त्यांच्यासाठी...काफ्का म्हणजे वास्तव आणि अद्भुताचे मिश्रण करणारा महान कलावंत...

अद्भुताचे वावडे भारतीयांना कधीच नव्हते...म्हणून भारतीय परंपरेला जवळचा पण ...दुर्दैवाने  मराठी लेखकांनी / टीकाकारांनी / वाचकांनी कित्येक दशके दुर्लक्षिलेला....

रायनर स्टॅक (Reiner Stach) यांचे फ्रान्झ काफ्कांचे त्रिखंडात्मक नावाजलेले चरित्र या शतकात प्रसिद्ध झाले.
स्टॅक लिहतात:

"...Since very few people at that time had seen remote continents for themselves, exoticism was an essential component of the early entertainment industry; but beyond the element of surprise and of foreignness, Kafka was eager to immerse himself in images of nonwhite people and foreign cultures, and he could spend hours listening to people talk about Palestine, Japan, or America, as though taking solace in the fact that a completely different life on this planet was not just the stuff of dreams, but a reality. The “tribal dances,” Kafka later wrote to Felice Bauer, made more sense to him than the annoying singing and hand-clapping his father used to entertain a grandchild. He meant what he was writing: The exotic opened his eyes to magnificent and entertaining utopian vistas.

“What the French woman can do / I can do too. / There’s not much to it—that’s for sure / They just have that French allure / That’s why they have more luck. / But the woman from Vienna does show some pluck.” More popular tune than chanson, warbled with skirts raised high and flicked back and forth, legs kicking way up. Brod dubbed the performance “the wisdom of the cabaret”; it was deemed suitable for minors and thus also for women.

Chantant, variété, cabaret—a series of chiefly French terms were applied to the entertainment spots at which things of that sort were offered, and the advertisements that appeared in the Prague newspapers on a daily basis indicate an astonishing kaleidoscope of performances. There were chansonettes with highly trained voices alongside buffoons, stand-up comedians, and brash emcees; there were satirical and “spicy” scenes; women performing “Indian” dances and exotic-looking singers; striptease acts that were advertised as “veil dances”; one-act vaudeville-style operettas; Japanese performers—and on occasion one could also marvel at Viennese celebrities such as the chansonette Mela Mars (a member of the art nouveau cabaret known as Die Hölle [“Hell”]) or the actor and trend-setting cabarettist Egon Friedell, whose posters never failed to mention that he held a doctorate. “Generally speaking, I quite appreciate these sorts of things,” Kafka wrote to Felice Bauer, “I believe I grasp them from deep down, from incalculably deep down, and enjoy them with a racing heart.”..."

... आणि मॅक्स ब्रॉड (Max Brod) ना लिहलेल्या १६ डिसेंबर १९०६च्या  एका पत्रात काफ्का लिहतात:
"My dear Max,
When are we going to the Indian dancing girl, since the other young woman has escaped us, her aunt for the present being stronger than her talent.

Franz"

Dancing girl Malageer 

(courtesy: William Dalrymple's another book 'The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857', 2006)

 मला ते 'aunt' वाचून  हसू आले .... भारतीय परफॉर्म करणारी मुलगी म्हणजे aunt पाहिजेच!

गाजलेल्या खालील चित्रात, सगळ्यात डावीकडे बसलेल्या, इतर पाच नाचणाऱ्या मुलींच्या aunt असाव्यात ...


'A Group of Courtesans', sometime 1800-1825

Artist:  possibly Ghulam Ali Khan

courtesy: B. N. Goswamy's 'The Spirit of Indian Painting: Close Encounters with 101 Great Works 1100-1900', 2014