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."

Saturday, July 20, 2019

50 Years After So Huge a Phallic Triumph of Our Aesthetic Instincts


Rod Liddle, The Spectator, September 2018:
"...In truth, the moonshot was quintessentially about American triumphalism and almost nothing else — the good of humanity was not a consideration, except insofar as more successful rocket technology at last put the US ahead of the Soviet Union, behind which repulsive country it had lagged alarmingly, well into the 1960s. It was two fingers to the Russkies and a reminder to the rest of the world that the US was the greatest country on earth. In short, as President Kennedy knew, it was the only thing which could trump Sputnik, Laika and Yuri Gagarin. It won the space race...."


Matthew Walther, July 17 2019:

“...The significance of Apollo also has nothing to do with the speculative images of "space" with fake color embellishments that we put today in front of children who do not know the names of trees and flowers. Nothing could be less awful, in the old-fashioned sense of the word, than today's space program.
I would like to suggest that the moon landing was above all a triumph of our aesthetic instincts. What Goethe began at Weimar in 1789 ended on August 15, 1969. Apollo 11 was the culmination of the Romantic cult of the sublime prefigured in the speculations of Burke and Kant, an artistic juxtaposition of man against a brutal environment upon which he could project his fears, his sympathies, his feelings of transcendence...”
 
W H Auden, August 1969:

Moon Landing
   
 It's natural the Boys should whoop it up for
    so huge a phallic triumph, an adventure
        it would not have occurred to women
        to think worth while, made possible only

    because we like huddling in gangs and knowing
    the exact time: yes, our sex may in fairness
        hurrah the deed, although the motives
        that primed it were somewhat less than menschlich.

    A grand gesture. But what does it period?
    What does it osse? We were always adroiter
        with objects than lives, and more facile
        at courage than kindness: from the moment

    the first flint was flaked this landing was merely
    a matter of time. But our selves, like Adam's,
        still don't fit us exactly, modern
        only in this---our lack of decorum.

    Homer's heroes were certainly no braver
    than our Trio, but more fortunate: Hector
        was excused the insult of having
        his valor covered by television.

    Worth going to see? I can well believe it.
    Worth seeing? Mneh! I once rode through a desert
        and was not charmed: give me a watered
        lively garden, remote from blatherers

    about the New, the von Brauns and their ilk, where
    on August mornings I can count the morning
        glories where to die has a meaning,
        and no engine can shift my perspective.

    Unsmudged, thank God, my Moon still queens the Heavens
    as She ebbs and fulls, a Presence to glop at,
        Her Old Man, made of grit not protein,
        still visits my Austrian several

    with His old detachment, and the old warnings
    still have power to scare me: Hybris comes to
        an ugly finish, Irreverence
        is a greater oaf than Superstition.

    Our apparatniks will continue making
    the usual squalid mess called History:
        all we can pray for is that artists,
        chefs and saints may still appear to blithe it.


Artist: Tom Gauld


Artist: P.S. Mueller