Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘essays’

Best part of an evening for me is that there is a bed to sleep on at the end.

I know my will power is such that I need not command each night: Let there be sleep!’ Getting between the sheets is enough. I keep as with all creatures under the Nature’s sway its rule; I cannot escape bio-rhythm that makes mere routine of bedtime. Be that as it may,the routine has made claim or my will has a preference holds no meaning.
What I know is that there are some events happening below threshold level which is at cellular level, for my rational mind to grasp fully. But its efficiency I must admit at any rate allows me to focus on matters that my corporal body can adequately handle. I do have an office space. Is it a hole in the wall of universe or a negative space as the hole of a doughnut I cannot say. Unknown to me throughout the night my central archive systems are busy rearranging and fixing, labelling, retrieving lost files. This is where my memory is fixed. All roads lead to Rome. So do all the cables, filaments, streams of consciousness hanging from the beams and touch the floorboards that is on Time-Space coordinates. No wonder I know there is always something remarkable about my memory. It carries the distilled flavors of Time and Space and I can for the lack of adequate vocabulary merely label it as Consciousness.
More experience I have acquired I am more than convinced that memory is made up of discrete packets of information held in the hollows of Consciousness as honey in a comb.
Memory thus brings faith of my fathers and cultural milieu of lives lived in the past potent forces to work with. Thus when I who was born and brought up in India most of my life spend quarter of a century in a work that is hatched elsewhere I know why. My attitudes and my faith in my own memory makes me appreciate Omar Khayyam better. Such Consciousness that works on my memory may present many options and my preferences map course of my future that is all.
Sleep signifies an unconscious state in contrast with the wakeful state. Night is often used by poets as metaphor for death. Sleep is a realm where for a Christian is more than nature’s cure for human existence but a sign of hope. It is resurrective power that raised Jesus from death signifying hope, nothing less. What shall we make of insomnia then? I presume value of it as natural as skepticism that can rack a good Christian at times.
benny

Read Full Post »

Physicists still have no proof that dark matter exists at all, but the evidence for it is substantial. The movements of stars and galaxies can apparently be explained only if there is much more gravitating matter in the universe than the visible stuff of atoms and molecules. Attempts to correct the discrepancy by rewriting the rules of gravity in Einstein’s general theory of relativity have repeatedly failed.

WMIPs (weakly interacting massive particles) and Theoretical particles called axions are other oft-mentioned candidates. Dark Matter must be the hand that rocks the cradle of Cosmos, the verb in the sentence I AM THAT I AM.

This reminds me of the lines:

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy..’ (Hamlet Act I. Sc.v)

Shall we insert Science in place of the last word?

 

 benny

Read Full Post »

Pen Portraits- RL Stevenson
(1850-1894)
Beset for much of his life by ill health, it would have been excusable if Robert Louis Stevenson had retreated into imagination and lived his days in story and poem. He chose another route, travelling the Cévennes accompanied by a donkey, living in an abandoned mine in California with a divorcee 10 years older than him, and settling eventually with her in Samoa, where the locals christened him “Tusitala”, the teller of tales.

Stevenson had been born into smothering conformity. The rationalism and propriety of Edinburgh’s New Town were not to his liking, and he did not want to enter the family business of lighthouse engineer. Having qualified as a lawyer, he found his true self in writing, and proved a master of diverse forms such as poetry for children (A Child’s Garden of Verses), adventure stories for all ages (Treasure Island, Kidnapped) and chilling psychological horror (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde). He trusted to reveries, saying “brownies” (spirits) had brought Jekyll and Hyde to him in a dream – albeit a dream affected by the experimental medication he was on at the time.

His most famous book owes a debt to a real-life Edinburgh character, William Brodie, who was gentleman by day and miscreant by night. The young Stevenson knew that a wardrobe in his bedroom had been crafted by Brodie. Bed-bound by childhood ailments, he had also peered down into the gardens below, imagining seas and islands and mysteries to be unravelled.(ack: RLS- My Hero/Ian Rankin-The Guardian of June,8.2012)
When one reads the nonfiction work of Robert Louis Stevenson along with the novels and short stories, a more complete portrait emerges of the author than that of the romantic vagabond one usually associates with his best-known fiction. The Stevenson of the nonfiction prose is a writer involved in the issues of his craft, his milieu, and his soul. Moreover, one can see the record of his maturation in critical essays, political tracts, biographies, and letters to family and friends. What Stevenson lacks, especially for the tastes of this age, is specificity and expertise: he has not the depth of such writers as John Ruskin, Walter Pater, or William Morris. But he was a shrewd observer of humankind, and his essays reveal his lively and perspicacious mind. Though he lacked originality, he created a rapport with the reader, who senses his enthusiastic embrace of life and art. If Stevenson at first wrote like one who only skimmed the surface of experience, by the end of his life he was passionately committed to his adopted land of Samoa, to his own history, and to the creation of his fiction.(www.people.brandeis.edu)
He died on Dec.3,1894

Read Full Post »

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Contrary to popular belief Oscar Wilde did not invent the Aesthetic Movement. But he made a movement that was in danger of collapse (from its lack of substance) hold on much longer. How he came to the forefront as its champion and become spokesman, owes to his genius. Among the writers identified with the 1890s he is the only one whom everyone still reads. The reason is simple really. Other writers took themselves and their case too seriously, as an attorney who having lost the case in the court still makes an indefensible case outside. Wilde merely made a case for the impossible- Decadence, Aestheticism and what have you, with a tongue-in-cheek bon mot that captured the essence of life, seen through whatever label one might care to apply to art. The Movement became the person. When the fall came surely the critics and hypocrisy of the late Victorian saw to it he paid dearly for his morals than for his art.

Image

Wilde an Irishman from as early as 1881 arriving in London chose to provoke the literary circles he moved, with his attitude and in his conduct. He professed he was a socialist while he refused to live within his means. He had put his talents as he would say, in some incomparable plays while he placed his genius on the line, culminating in a trial for his life. In a way he was right: He turned conventional wisdom of his elders on its head But he lived it as well.  (‘All art is at once surface and symbol;Those who go beneath do so at their peril..’)

When the case against Marquess of Queensberry was lost and before the sentence was pronounced  Wilde was given a chance to escape the prison but he stoically refused to take it. He must have remembered his own youth when his father failed to appear in a paternity suit. However the vindictive Victorian society got their man. The two year prison life broke him and except for the Ballad of Readings Gaol he wrote nothing worthwhile. After slumming in France he died in an obscure hotel and buried in the Pere Lachaise cemetery.

Read Full Post »


Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
The clarion call of “Experiment,experiment”was given out by Bacon and it brought all the scholars who were wont to live in their ivory towers to the ground. He ruthlessly dissected existing systems of philosophy,- and found Aristotle much in wanting, and laid down his own line of enquiry. Beginning with induction it was to cut the flab of hypotheses out till the experiments by the process of elimination can lead one to the secrets of nature. As he said,’Put nature to the rack and compel her to bear witness.’ The scientific method of enquiry is considered to be his greatest contribution to thinking. He wrote Novum Organum and it came out in 1621. Next year he was made Viscount of St. Alban. King James appointed him as Lord High Chancellor. Soon he was impeached for bribery, a charge brought against him by his political rival Sir Edward Cole. Fine and imprisonment followed. Shortly thereafter he was pardoned and fine remitted. Ironically his death was caused by his interest in science and experimentation.

Read Full Post »

The second volume of the RM is on sale. This bumper book of anecdotes is a must for all those who are interested in history, role of man in shaping it. While the first book dealt with personalities who impacted the physical world, focus of the second is on men and their ideas. Both books have plenty of portraits drawn by the author. Check it out http://www.lulu.com/content/10524943 These are available as pocket books or download version
benny

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,685 other followers