मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

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.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

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);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

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, July 17, 2017

२०१७सालचा उन्हाळा आणि साहित्यातील वास्तववाद ...Reality Never Makes Sense

कादंबरीतील वास्तववादावर अल्डस हक्सली (Aldous Huxley) काय म्हणतात ते पहा.
"...  “The trouble with fiction,” said John Rivers, “is that it makes too much sense. Reality never makes sense.”
Never?” I questioned.
Maybe from God’s point of view,” he conceded. “Never from ours. Fiction has unity, fiction has style. Facts possess neither. In the raw, existence is always one damned thing after another, and each of the damned things is simultaneously Thurber and Michelangelo, simultaneously Mickey Spillane and Maxwell and Thomas à Kempis. The criterion of reality is its intrinsic irrelevance.” And when I asked, “To what?” he waved a square brown hand in the direction of the bookshelves. “To the Best that has been Thought and Said,” he declaimed with mock portentousness. And then, “Oddly enough, the closest to reality are always the fictions that are supposed to be the least true.” He leaned over and touched the back of a battered copy of The Brothers Karamazov. “It makes so little sense that it’s almost real. Which is more than can be said for any of the academic kinds of fiction. Physics and chemistry fiction. History fiction. Philosophy fiction…” His accusing finger moved from Dirac to Toynbee, from Sorokin to Carnap. “More than can be said even for biography fiction. Here’s the latest specimen of the genre.”
From the table beside him he picked up a volume in a glossy blue dust jacket and held it up for my inspection.
The Life of Henry Maartens “ I read out with no more interest than one accords to a household word. Then I remembered that, to John Rivers, the name had been something more and other than a household word. “You were his pupil, weren’t you?”
Rivers nodded without speaking.
And this is the official biography?”
The official fiction,” he amended. “An unforgettable picture of the Soap Opera scientist—you know the type—the moronic baby with the giant intellect; the sick genius battling indomitably against enormous odds; the lonely thinker who was yet the most affectionate of family men; the absent-minded professor with his head in the clouds but his heart in the right place. The facts, unfortunately, weren’t quite so simple.”
You mean, the book’s inaccurate?”
No, it’s all true—so far as it goes. After that, it’s all rubbish—or rather it’s non-existent. And maybe,” he added, “maybe it has to be non-existent. Maybe the total reality is always too undignified to be recorded, too senseless or too horrible to be left unfictionalized. All the same it’s exasperating, if one happens to know the facts; it’s even rather insulting, to be fobbed off with Soap Opera.”..."  ('The Genius and the Goddess', 1955)

 विलास सारंग:
 "…मला कधी वाटतं, १८९० साली हरिभाऊनी जरा विचार केला असता: 'आपण कशाला ब्रिटीश वाङमयाचं शेपूट पकडून राहायचं?' आपलं कथाकथन विकसित करायचं. एवढं काही कठीण नाही. काफ्काच्या 'मॅटॅमॉर्फसिसचं पहिल वाक्य घ्या. 'पंचतंत्रातल्या एखाद्या गोष्टीत ते फिट बसलं असतं. एवढी फँट्सी झाली. उरलेल्या कथेत वास्तववाद आहेच "  ('लिहित्या लेखकाचं वाचन', २०११)

"...स्वातंत्र्यपूर्व धुरीण पिढीने कवटाळलेले ध्येयवाद, सुधारणावाद १९६० नंतरच्या बहुजन लेखकांनी सब-कॉन्शस अनुकरणप्रियतेने स्वीकारलेला दिसतो. काही नवीन वैचारिक मार्ग शोधण्याचा प्रयत्न क्वचितच आढळतो..." (पृष्ठ ६६, 'वाङ्मयीन संस्कृती सामाजिक वास्तव', २०११) 

कै. सारंगांची ही अवतरणे पूर्वी इथे येऊन गेली आहेत. सारंगांना हरिभाऊंबद्दल आदर आहे पण रुखरुख आहे की त्यांनी फँट्सीसारख्या पारंपारिक भारतीय फॉर्म कडे का पहिले नाही. पण इथे वास्तववादाच्या दुसऱ्या एका महत्वाच्या पैलूचा विचार करायचाय. तो पैलू अमिताव घोष यांनी त्यांच्या 'The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable', २०१६  या पुस्तकात केंद्रस्थानी आणला आहे.

...But the modern novel, unlike geology, has never been forced to confront the centrality of the improbable: the concealment of its scaffolding of events continues to be essential to its functioning. It is this that makes a certain kind of narrative a recognizably modern novel.
Here, then, is the irony of the ‘realist’ novel: the very gestures with which it conjures up reality are actually a concealment of the real.
What this means in practice is that the calculus of probability that is deployed within the imaginary world of a novel is not the same as that which obtains outside it; this is why it is commonly said, ‘If this were in a novel, no one would believe it.’ Within the pages of a novel an event that is only slightly improbable in real life—say, an unexpected encounter with a long-lost childhood friend—may seem wildly unlikely: the writer will have to work hard to make it appear persuasive.
If that is true of a small fluke of chance, consider how much harder a writer would have to work to set up a scene that is wildly improbable even in real life? For example, a scene in which a character is walking down a road at the precise moment when it is hit by an unheard-of weather phenomenon?
To introduce such happenings into a novel is in fact to court eviction from the mansion in which serious fiction has long been in residence; it is to risk banishment to the humbler dwellings that surround the manor house—those generic outhouses that were once known by names such as ‘the Gothic’, ‘the romance’, or ‘the melodrama’, and have now come to be called ‘fantasy’, ‘horror’, and ‘science fiction’..."

माझे वडील (जन्म: १९३६, रहायला : नाशिक शहर) आणि सासरे (जन्म: १९३०, रहायला पुणे शहर) या दोघांचे म्हणणे: २०१७सारखा उन्हाळा त्यांनी आयुष्यात अनुभवला नव्हता.

स्वतः घोषांना खालील अनुभव आलेला आहे:
 "...On the afternoon of 17 March 1978, the weather took an odd turn in north Delhi. Mid-March is usually a nice time of year in this part of India: the chill of winter is gone and the blazing heat of summer is yet to come; the sky is clear and the monsoon is far away. But that day dark clouds appeared suddenly and there were squalls of rain. Then followed an even bigger surprise: a hailstorm.
I was then studying for an MA at Delhi University while also working as a part-time journalist. When the hailstorm broke, I was in a library. I had planned to stay late, but the unseasonal weather led to a change of mind and I decided to leave. I was on my way back to my room when, on an impulse, I changed direction and dropped in on a friend. But the weather continued to worsen as we were chatting so after a few minutes I decided to head straight back by a route that I rarely had occasion to take.
I had just passed a busy intersection called Maurice Nagar when I heard a rumbling sound somewhere above. Glancing over my shoulder I saw a grey, tube-like extrusion forming on the underside of a dark cloud: it grew rapidly as I watched, and then all of a sudden it turned and came whiplashing down to earth, heading in my direction.
Across the street stood a large administrative building. I sprinted over and headed towards what seemed to be an entrance. But the glass-fronted doors were shut, and a small crowd huddled outside, in the shelter of an overhang. There was no room for me there so I ran around to the front of the building. Spotting a small balcony, I jumped over the parapet and crouched on the floor.
The noise quickly rose to a frenzied pitch, and the wind began to tug fiercely at my clothes. Stealing a glance over the parapet, I saw, to my astonishment, that my surroundings had been darkened by a churning cloud of dust. In the dim glow that was shining down from above, I saw an extraordinary panoply of objects flying past—bicycles, scooters, lamp posts, sheets of corrugated iron, even entire tea stalls. In that instant, gravity itself seemed to have been transformed into a wheel spinning upon the fingertip of some unknown power.
I buried my head in my arms and lay still. Moments later the noise died down and was replaced by an eerie silence. When at last I climbed out of the balcony, I was confronted by a scene of devastation such as I had never before beheld. Buses lay overturned; scooters sat perched on treetops; walls had been ripped out of buildings, exposing interiors in which ceiling fans had been twisted into tulip-like spirals. The place where I had first thought to take shelter, the glass-fronted doorway, had been reduced to a jumble of jagged debris. The panes had shattered and many people had been wounded by the shards. I realized that I too would have been among the injured had I remained there. I walked away in a daze.
Long afterwards, I am not sure exactly when or where, I hunted down the Times of India’s New Delhi edition of 18 March. I still have the photocopies I made of it.
30 Dead,’ says the banner headline, ‘700 Hurt As Cyclone Hits North Delhi’..."

हाच तो घोषांच्या पहिल्या परिच्छेदातील उल्लेख  : "a scene that is wildly improbable even in real life"...

त्याच परिच्छेदातील दुसऱ्या एका वाक्याकडे वळू : "those generic outhouses that were once known by names such as ‘the Gothic’, ‘the romance’, or ‘the melodrama’, and have now come to be called ‘fantasy’, ‘horror’, and ‘science fiction’."

भारतामध्ये परंपरेने अशा प्रकारचे साहित्य कुठे लिहले जात होते?  घोषच सांगतात त्याप्रमाणे : "ancient Indian epics to Buddhist Jataka stories and the immensely fecund Islamicate tradition of Urdu dastaans."
पण त्या परंपरेवर, साहित्यावर घणाघाती हल्ला चढवला बंकिमचंद्रांनी (१८३८-१८९४).

घोष लिहतात : "....In a long essay on Bengali literature, written in 1871, Bankim launched a frontal assault on writers who modelled their work on traditional forms of storytelling: his attack on this so-called Sanskrit school was focused precisely on the notion of ‘mere narrative’...."
"...Unlikely though it may seem today, the nineteenth century was indeed a time when it was assumed, in both fiction and geology, that Nature was moderate and orderly: this was a distinctive mark of a new and ‘modern’ worldview. Bankim goes out of his way to berate his contemporary, the poet Michael Madhusudan Datta, for his immoderate portrayals of Nature: ‘Mr. Datta . . . wants repose. The winds rage their loudest when there is no necessity for the lightest puff. Clouds gather and pour down a deluge, when they need do nothing of the kind; and the sea grows terrible in its wrath, when everybody feels inclined to resent its interference.’..."

 'वंदे मातरम'चे निर्माते बंकिम चंद्र हे भारतीय संस्कृतीतले फार मोठे प्रस्थ होते.

"...Bankim exerted both a literary and a personal influence over Tagore in his formative years; he was one of the first to recognise Tagore as a new poetic voice and proclaim its potential genius. The journal he edited made an overwhelming impression on the teenage Rabindranath and no doubt, too, on his beloved sister-in-law, the literary Kadambari Devi, who in 1884 committed suicide for reasons unknown. Her death was the first tragedy in Tagore’s life. There seems hardly any doubt that it was she who inspired Rabindranath to write in 1901 Nastanirh (The Broken Nest), the novella on which Ray based Charulata. She in some ways resembled Charu, he Amal, while his elder brother Jyotirindranath had much of the unworldliness and naivety of Bhupati...." (Andrew Robinson, 'Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye', 1989). 

थोडक्यात म्हणजे बंकिमांच्या मतांचे पडसाद १९व्या शतकातील महाराष्ट्रात निश्चित उमटले असणार. त्यांच्या सर्व गाजलेल्या कादंबऱ्या मराठीत अनुवादीत झाल्या आहेत.

घोष लिहतात : "...Thus was the novel midwifed into existence around the world, through the banishing of the improbable and the insertion of the everyday. The process can be observed with exceptional clarity in the work of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, a nineteenth-century Bengali writer and critic who self-consciously adopted the project of carving out a space in which realist European-style fiction could be written in the vernacular languages of India..."

...आणि हेच लोण पुढे मग मराठीत पसरले! .ना. आपटयांची (१८६४-१९१९) 'पण लक्षात कोण घेतो?' ही 'अस्सल' वास्तववादी- त्या प्रकारच्या वाङ्मयात मैलाचा दगड ठरलेली-  कादंबरी १८९०साली बाहेर आली.

निसर्गाबाबतची मराठी वाङ्मयाची बऱ्याच प्रमाणातील ऐतिहासिक , पारंपारिक उदासीनता दुर्गा भागवतांनी वर्णिली आहे:
"...आणि व्यासाचे उच्छिष्ट खाणारे आम्ही? व्यासाची प्रज्ञा तर घालवून बसलोच, पण आमची प्रतिभाही आटलीमानवी अंतरंग असो किंवा बाह्य सृष्टी असो, प्रकृतीचे आकलन, तेही सूक्ष्म असल्याशिवाय, कल्पना उंचावत नाहीत, भावना संयत होत नाहीत. विभूषित होत नाहीत. आणि म्हणूनच फुलपाखरांचा अभाव हा भारतीय साहित्याच्या अनेक अभांवाचा प्रातिनिधिक अभाव आहे असे मला वाटते " (“पिवळीच मी पाकोळी की,  निसर्गोत्सव, १९९६).
 [अर्थात  भारतीय पारंपारिक साहित्यात  ही उणीव जरी असली तरी त्याची इतर बलस्थाने  आहेत.]

ज्या लेखक समुहाला फुलपाखर 'दिसत' नाहीत, किंवा दिसली तरी लेखनात समाविष्ट करण्याइतकी महत्वाची शेकडो वर्षे वाटत नाहीत, त्या समूहाला, कथा-कादंबरीसाठी,  पर्यावरणातील सध्याच्या  बदलाचे वास्तव कदाचित दिसेल, पण भविष्यात घडू घातलेली मोठी स्थित्यंतर दिसण्यासाठी, वास्तववाद क्षणभर बाजूला ठेवून, ते आपली कल्पनाशक्ती, फँटसी- जी शंभर टक्के भारतीय परंपरेत बसते- वापरणार का?

डेव्हीड ह्यूम हे महान तत्वज्ञ ह्या ब्लॉगवर काहीवेळा येऊन गेले आहेत. अँथनी गॉटलिब (Anthony Gottlieb) त्यांच्याबद्दल लिहतात: "Then there is Hume’s naturalism, by which I mean something different from the Greek “naturalism” mentioned earlier. Here I mean Hume’s determination to see man as wholly a part of nature and fundamentally similar to other creatures—that is, as an animal among other animals."  ह्या ह्यूमना विंदा करंदीकर आपल्या 'अष्टदर्शने', २००३ मध्ये जागा देत नाहीत. हा केवळ योगायोग का आणखी काही?  

मराठ्यांच्या १८व्या शतकातील भारतभरच्या लढायातील शानदार यशाचे महत्वाचे भागीदार त्यांचे घोडे होते. माझी एक फँटसी म्हणा, पण मला पानिपत,१७६१ची मोहीम एका सामान्य भीमथडी तट्टाने वर्णलेली वाचायचीय: १७५९ साली पुण्याहून निघाल्यापासून १७६१ला पुण्याला पोचेपर्यंत. 
गाढव हा शब्द मराठीत इतक्यावेळा वापरला जातो पण 'Au Hasard Balthazar', १९६६ सारखी महान कलाकृती- जिच्या केंद्रस्थानी एक गाढव आहे- माझ्या मते मराठीत कुठल्याही कलाप्रकारात अजून तरी तयार झाली नाहीय. 
एखाद्या कादंबरीचे सेटिंग धरण असेल तर तीचा फोकस धरणग्रस्तांवर, विस्थापितांवर, भांडवलदारांवर, एनजीओ कार्यकर्त्यांवर जास्त असणार आणि वनस्पती, जलचर, पशुपक्षी, किटक, नदी यांवर कमी असणार. [अमिताव घोष यांच्या 'हंगरी टाइड' या (थोड्याश्या कंटाळवाण्या) कादंबरीत इरावती-डॉल्फिनना माणसांइतकेच व्यक्तीमत्व आहे.]

 मराठीतील बरेचसे लेखन मानवता (humanism), सुधारणा (progress), उपयुक्तता (utility),  ध्येयवाद (idealism) यांना केंद्रस्थानी धरून केले जाते. (एखाद्या थोर मृत गायिकेला ते सहजपणे आगरकरी परंपरेत बसवून टाकते!).  कलाकृती निर्माण करताना त्या योगाने समाजाच्या विचारास योग्य ती चालना मिळावी, आणि त्यातील उणिवा भरून काढण्याच्या मार्गाचे सहजगत्या सूचन करावे, हाच कलाकाराचा हेतु असतो. :उदा: कितीही गल्लाभरू चित्रपट काढला तरी जर डायरेक्टर 'चळवळीतला' असेल तर वरील निकषात त्याची 'कला' बसवता येतो. जगभरच्या महान चित्रपटांचे मानदंड वापरायची गरज उरत नाही. सध्याची लोकप्रियता हा एकच निकष लावला जातो, १०-२०-५० वर्षे टिकणारी लोकप्रियता नाही.

डाव्या विचारसरणीचा पगडा मराठी साहित्य वृत्तपत्रीय लेखनावर जास्त असल्याने वरील गोष्टींना पूरक किंवा विरोध करणारे लेखन क्वचितच पाहायला मिळते. शिवाय त्या लेखनाला बऱ्याच वेळा 'पॉसिटीव्ह थिंकिंग'च्या अमेरिकन कोंदणात बसवल जात. विलास सारंग वर म्हणतात त्याप्रमाणे, काही नवीन वैचारिक मार्ग शोधण्याचा प्रयत्न क्वचितच आढळतो आणि लेखन एकसुरी होते. त्यामुळेच घोडे, गाढव, इतर जीवजंतू लेखनापासून लांब जातात आणि सगळ मनुष्यकेंद्रीत होत. बेसुमार लोकसंख्या वाढ, शेतीतील उत्पादकता/ इनोव्हेशन, दलित चळवळीची परिस्थिती, फसलेली भाषावार प्रांतरचना वगैरे कादंबरीचे विषय होऊ शकत नाहीत कारण ते पोलिटिकली करेक्ट नाहीत.

तत्वज्ञ जॉन ग्रे त्यांच्या, प्रचंड गाजलेल्या, 'Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals', २००२ पुस्तकात भारताचा उल्लेख अनेक वेळा करतात. फक्त दोन-तीन उदाहरणे देतो:

"For Plato contemplation was the highest form of human activity. A similar view existed in ancient India. The aim of life was not to change the world. It was to see it rightly."

"If we truly leave Christianity behind, we must give up the idea that human history has a meaning. Neither in the ancient pagan world nor in any other culture has human history ever been thought to have an overarching significance. In Greece and Rome, it was a series of natural cycles of growth and decline. In India, it was a collective dream, endlessly repeated. The idea that history must make sense is just a Christian prejudice."

"If Darwin’s discovery had been made in a Taoist or Shinto, Hindu or animist, culture it would very likely have become just one more strand in its intertwining mythologies. In these faiths humans and other animals are kin. By contrast, arising among Christians who set humans beyond all other living things,…"
पण ह ना आपटेंच्या उदयानंतरचे (साधारण सन १८८६) आघाडीचे मराठी साहित्य वाचून भारताबद्दल हे खरे आहे यावर विश्वास बसत नाही कारण आता लिहणारे सगळे जण उरलेल्या सगळ्यांना सुधरवून टाकायच्या माग असल्यासारखे वाटतात!

ज्या प्रमाणात शाहू, फुले, आंबेडकर या थोर समाज सुधारकांच्या नावांचा जप उठता  बसता करण्यात येतो  तसा ध्यास पर्यावरणाच्या  बाबतीतल्या गोष्टींचा  घेतला जात नाही. अँथ्रोपोसिन (anthropocene) सारख्या गोष्टींची भयानकता पुरेशा प्रमाणात सादर होत नाही. आणि याचे प्रमुख कारण म्हणजे त्यात गुंतलेले समाजातल्या विविध स्तरातील लोकांचे आर्थिक हितसंबंध. शाहू, फुले, आंबेडकरांचे नाव घेतल्या नंतर आपली लाईफ स्टाईल बदलायला लागत नाही, स्वार्थत्याग करायला लागत नाही पण पर्यावरणाचे बाबतीत काहीतरी ठोस करायचे असेल तर त्या दोन्ही गोष्टी करायला लागतील. वाचा रॉय स्क्र्यांटन सारखी लोक काय म्हणतायत: this civilization is already dead...

Roy Scranton, ‘Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization’, 2015:
...From the perspective of many policy experts, climate scientists, and national security officials, the concern is not whether global warming exists or how we might prevent it, but how we are going to adapt to life in the hot, volatile world we’ve created.
There is a name for this new world: the Anthropocene. The word comes from ancient Greek. All the epochs of the most recent geological era (the Cenozoic) end in the suffix “-cene,” from kainós, meaning new. Anthropos means human. The idea behind the term “Anthropocene” is that we have entered a new epoch in Earth’s geological history, one characterized by the advent of the human species as a geological force...
...For humanity to survive in the Anthropocene, we need to learn to live with and through the end of our current civilization. Change, risk, conflict, strife, and death are the very processes of life, and we cannot avoid them. We must learn to accept and adapt...
...The greatest challenge we face is a philosophical one: understanding that this civilization is already dead. The sooner we confront our situation and realize that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, the sooner we can get down to the difficult task of adapting, with mortal humility, to our new reality..."

आपल साहित्य आणि इतर कला या अँथ्रोपोसिनची वास्तवता पुरेशा प्रमाणात परावर्तित करत आहेत का? ज्या गोष्टी वर्तमानात घडत आहेत, भविष्यात घडू शकतात त्यांना आपण ऐतिहासिक निकष  लावतोय काय?

मला सुद्धा २०१७च्या पुण्यातील उन्हाळ्याने आश्चर्यचकित केले आहे. पर्यावरणातील कुठलीच गोष्ट गृहीत धरता येणार नाही याची जाणीव आता  कायमची झाली आहे. बघू हा उन्हाळा कुठल्या मर्ढेकरला लिहत करतोय, कुठल्या सरवटेला काढत करतोय, कुठल्या कुमारला गात करतोय....

Artist: Tom Toro, The New Yorker, 2017

माझी कॅप्शन : 

"हां ग्रह नष्ट झाला खरा पण एका सुंदर क्षणी काय वास्तव उभ केल होत मी माझ्या लेखनातून "