Showing posts from March, 2013

Black Pearl

"Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti" said my cousin.

And with that I will pause to set up context. I am told interruption is the thing, these days.  I am told that, you dear reader, are not likely to be interested in what I tell you, unless I tell you why I am telling you what I am telling you.

I shan't  - been a while since I said that (which is smugger than last season’s 'always wanted to say that') – protest, saying the context is invariably such a flimsy apology. You know that. And a concise explanation of context does not do justice to my usually cosmic intent. Now, having anti-sold well enough, I will appear to yield.

One of the many reasons why I liked Manu Joseph's 'The Illict Happiness of Other People' is the depiction of the anguish of the weak and not-so-smart Thoma, who desires, among other things, appreciation. He nurses the ambition of being a writer, but is terrified by the problem that 'even writers need to know facts' - whi…

Aurobindo on Indian Poetics

The vital law governing Hindu poetics is that it does not seek to represent life and character primarily or for their own sake; its aim is fundamentally aesthetic: by the delicate and harmonious rendering to awaken the aesthetic sense of the onlooker and gratify it by moving and subtly observed pictures of human feeling; it did not attempt to seize a man's spirit by the hair and drag it out into a storm of horror and pity and fear and return it to him drenched, beaten and shuddering.

Certainly poetry was regarded as a force for elevation as well as for charm, but as it reaches these objects through aesthetic beauty, aesthetic gratification must be the whole basis of dramatic composition, all other super-structural objects are secondary. The Hindu mind therefore shrank not only from violence, horror and physical tragedy, the Elizabethan stock-in-trade, but even from the tragic in moral problems which attracted the Greek mind; still less could it have consented to occupy itsel…