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."

Sunday, November 11, 2018

एक युद्ध जमा झाले ....A Peace To End Peace...Otto Dix's Lady with Mink and Veil


World War I ended, 100 years ago, on November 11 1918.

बाळ सीताराम मर्ढेकर:
पावसाळे आले गेले;
दोन युद्धे जमा झाली;
रस्त्याकडां वीजबत्ती
कितीकदां आली गेली.
(पृष्ठ ६१, 'मर्ढेकरांची कविता ', १९५९/१९७७)

Simon Heffer, Literary Review, November 2018
My favourite story about Armistice Day – reported by A J P Taylor in his English History 1914–45 – is inevitably contained in Guy Cuthbertson’s superbly researched and exhaustive survey of the day the Great War ended. Taylor (who, as Cuthbertson points out, was a schoolboy at the time and in bed with flu in Buxton) observed that ‘total strangers copulated in doorways and on the pavements. They were asserting the triumph of life over death.’ One of the strengths of this fine book is that the reader has the sensation that he or she actually took part in what, at the time, was regarded as the greatest day in the history of the world, though with his or her clothes on....”

Christopher Hitchens:
...If General Pershing’s fresh and plucky troops had not reached the scene in the closing stages of the bloodbath, universal exhaustion would almost certainly have compelled an earlier armistice, on less savage terms. Without President Wilson’s intervention, the incensed and traumatized French would never have been able to impose terms of humiliation on Germany; the very terms that Hitler was to reverse, by such relentless means, a matter of two decades later....” 

David Motadel, History Today, September 2014:
....The most important of all the German missions, however, was aimed at spreading revolt from Afghanistan into the Muslim borderlands of British India – the North-west Frontier – led by the Bavarian artillery officer Oskar Ritter von Niedermayer and his rival, the diplomat Werner Otto von Hentig. Although, after an odyssey through Arabia and Iran, Niedermayer and Hentig reached Afghanistan in 1915, they failed to convince local Muslim leaders to join the jihad.Overall, German-Ottoman attempts to employ Islam for their war effort failed....”

 The people of Brighton offered a warm welcome to the Indian soldiers sent to convalesce at the Sussex resort during the First World War. But the military authorities found much to be nervous about writes Suzanne Bardgett. History Today, March 2015:
 “....In a letter from February 1915, a Mahratta medical subordinate wrote: The people are so very good & kind that they make no difference between black & white. Everyone seeks every opportunity of becoming fast friends with us & of serving us in any way in their power. In the evening we always go for a walk. The people treat us very well indeed. Men and women alike greet us with smiling faces and take great pleasure in talking with us.
One thing that struck the Indians was that the English they were meeting behaved altogether better than those they had met back in India. Sub-Assistant Surgeon J.N. Godbole wrote to his friend in Poona: We do not hear the words ‘damn’ and ‘bloody’ at all frequently as in India. But this only applies to those who have not seen India. Those who have gnash their teeth at us, some laugh and some make fun, but there are not many who do this. The people here are charming. It is impossible to ask why they become so bad on reaching India...."

Bob Dylan:
The First World War, boys
It came and it went
The reason for fighting
I never did get
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side.

Artist: Otto Dix, '.Lady with Mink and Veil', 1920

Lena Schipper writes about the painting in 1843 magazine:
"This unforgiving depiction of an ageing prostitute is typical of Dix, who sought to emphasise the ruin and moral degradation of Germany after the first world war. A soiled, ill-fitting night dress sliding off the woman’s shoulder to reveal a sagging cleavage makes her look ridiculous rather than enticing. Her face is painted in garish colours that succeed only in highlighting her bad teeth; the veil, meant possibly to lend an air of girlish flirtatiousness, merely emphasises the grotesque choice of colours. The mink, usually a symbol of wealth, high class or even royalty, is the final insult: piercing red eyes glare diabolically from its scruffy fur. Viewed next to works such as Jeanne Mammen’s “Ash Wednesday”, the painting illustrates the different ways in which male and female artists of the era looked at women."

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