Friday, December 13, 2019

183. Culture. K M Munshi Essay Reintroduced By P S Remesh Chandran

183

Culture. K M Munshi Essay Reintroduced

P. S. Remesh Chandran

 
Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 
00. Article Title Image By . Graphics: Adobe SP.


K. M. Munshi was a Gujarati freedom fighter, writer and social worker in India. After India’s independence he turned pro-Hindu and founded several Hindu organizations, institutions and journals. He was considering more the future of Hinduism in India than the future of India. ‘Culture’ is an extract from Munshi’s book ‘Foundations of Indian Culture.’ Even while disagreeing with many of his political views there are arguments in this article which we have to agree with.

Culture is a product of the social environment; civilization is an end result of technological advancement.
 

01. K M Munshi In 1950. Portrait By Photo Division, Govt of India. 

Culture and civilization are different. Culture is a product of the social environment. It has a national continuity. Civilization is an end product of technological advancement. Sri Rama and Sita put on bark clothes and walked on foot; we have nylons to wear and giant airlines to travel in. It only means that we are now more civilized than them. But we cannot say we are more cultured than them. Culture is a way of life. It is based on fundamental values. It has little to do with the material equipments of life. Culture is reflected in the art, literature and religion.

Culture comes from the past, adjusts itself to the present, and moves forward to shape the future.
02. K M Munshi in 1950 with (LtoR) Sardar Baldev Singh and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar near Indian Parliament By Unknown.

Culture is continuous. It comes from the past, adjusts itself to the present, and moves forward to shape the future. Continuous collective life of a people causes a steadily flowing stream of culture. For countries like Africa and India where there are different people with different traditions and social systems, a common culture is a good cementing force. The mythological, historical or imaginary triumphs of the past must be woven into the collective conscience of the people. Thus a vital culture can be built. Different religious communities should be having common triumphs in the past to remember.

The life and works of K. M. Munshi.
03. K M Munshi in 1950 at Somnath Temple planting tree as Minister for Food and Agriculture.

K. M. Munshi, 1887-1971, or Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi in full, was born in 1887 in Gujarat and practiced as lawyer in the Bombay High Court. Even while working in the Indian National Congress, he did not accept the secular policies of Congress and its attitude towards Muslims. He even thought about a civil war to suppress the idea of the dividing of India and the formation of Pakistan. But Congress did not favour such ideas of civil wars and splitting people. He was pro-Hindu. As Congress had no place for communal zealots he left Congress and joined the right wing Swatantra Party which evolved into Bharatiya Jana Sangh, precursor to the present ruling Hindu party of India- the Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP. Under Congress, he was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India, and was made the Governor of Uttar Pradesh and the Minister for Food and Agriculture. He founded the famous Indian educational trust Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and the Hindu organization Vishva Hindu Parishad. He was the one who initiated the renovation of the Somanath Temple by the Government of India.

04. K M Munshi as Governor of Uttar Pradesh 1952-57 By Basantlal.

Munshi wrote in Gujarati, English and Hindi. He started the Bhavan's Journal. His novels are dramas were based on ancient Indian religious and fictional historic themes. His works in English include The End of an Era, Gujarat and Its Literature and Bhagavad Gita and Modern Life.


(Prepared as a lecture to undergraduate literature students in November 2002)
 
First published on: 13 December 2019

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Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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Tags:
 
Bharatiya Janata Party BJP, Dividing of India, Formation of Pakistan, Free Student Notes, Gujarati, Indian Writers Politicians, Jana Sangh, K M Munshi, Pro-Hindu, Splitting people,


About the Author P. S. Remesh Chandran:


05. Author Profile Of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives.

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan: The Intelligent Picture Book. Born and brought up in the beautiful village of Nanniyode in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Trivandrum, in Kerala. Father British Council trained English teacher and Mother University educated. Matriculation with distinction and Pre Degree Studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship. Discontinued Diploma studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single.

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSRemeshChandra
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos
Blog: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/
Site: https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/
E-Mail: bloombookstvm@gmail.com

Post: P. S. Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum, Padmalayam, Nanniyode, Pacha Post, Trivandrum- 695562, Kerala State, South India.




Wednesday, December 11, 2019

182. My Uncle Jules. Maupassant Story Reintroduced By P S Remesh Chandran

182

My Uncle Jules. Maupassant Story Reintroduced

P. S. Remesh Chandran

 
Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 
00. Article Title Image By . Graphics: Adobe SP.


Guy de Maupassant In 1888 Foto By Félix Nadar.

Maupassant was a French writer, a keen observer of human nature. The average middle class and the poor families were where he found his characters from. In his stories he described how they suffered, mostly due to ignorance, negligence, ostentation and vanity. His stories opened a new style of story telling and there were soon many writers to follow his path. He is considered the founder of the modern short story and one of the greatest writers of the nineteenth century.

There were terrible scenes in the house on account of lost buttons and torn trousers.

The Davranch family consisted of the boy Joseph Davranch, his parents and his two sisters. They were not rich and so suffered to make both ends meet. They accepted no invitations to dinner, for they would have to be returned. They had simple meals, with provisions bought at reduced prices. The sisters made their own gowns. There were terrible scenes in the house on account of lost buttons and torn trousers. The author's words remind us of the terrible poverty among the masses which preceded and caused a blood-thirsty revolution in France, raised the ideal of socialism for the first time in the world, and forever changed the social set up of our world.

How else could poor families send daughters away in marriage?

The only luxury in the family was their trip to church every Sunday. Then they put on their very best dresses and marched on ceremoniously like in procession. The sisters walked in front arm-in-arm and the rest followed behind. This they did to exhibit the sisters. Of cource there must have been admirers who watched this Sunday procession without fail and possibly future suitors for the girls among them there too. How else could very poor families send daughters away in marriage?

Dreams centred on an uncle who is making riches abroad.

In the story the boy Joseph Davranch describes the folly that was his Uncle Jules. Joseph's uncle Jules in his very early age spent his money foolishly and soon became a pauper. He was shipped off to the New World that was America- in those days America was everyone’s dream- and letters came telling he was doing well there, making much money and would return rich soon. These letters caused much sensation in the family, were read and reread many times and were shown to all in the neighborhood.

Hope- that is what sustains the poor.

When we learn an abandoned family member is now making riches abroad and may come home someday, there is a natural tendency among people to forget the treacheries and betrayals he did to them and begin praising him for his eternal love for them. The once-disowned one would become their most endeared one and their favourite among family members. So the Davranch family's negative attitude towards Jules changed and he began to be considered as a saviour of the family. The sisters would be married away and a new house bought in the village, when he comes. Hope- that is what sustains the poor.

The sailor selling oysters to passengers on a steamer, in the Channel.

Time passed on and nothing happened for ten years. Then a clerk married the younger sister and the family decided to make a steamer trip to the English island of Jersey two hours away from their village. In the steamer the parents bought oysters from a ragged seller, and to their horror recognized that the old ragged sailor selling oysters to passengers was their loser Jules. They got bewildered, upset, trembled, their speech stammered, and in a hushed up voice began to talk of him again as a thief and a cheater in the family. Joseph overheard their speech and guessed it was his uncle. The sisters and the son-in-law were not told of the news. It was not sure whether Jules himself had recognized them or not.

Poor relations are always disowned by people.

There is an element of unkindness in human nature which is evident in the character of Joseph's parents. They disown their brother seeing that he has fallen in his financial position. Perhaps they may never again meet anywhere in this world, after this accidental meeting. Perhaps, and most surely, this fellow might have been longing for a family reunion in his fall and yearning for family care and tenderness in his wretchedness. Prosperity, money and riches would have added charm to the relationship, but now the sanguine ties of blood are forgotten. Perhaps crushing poverty may suppress virtues in the poor.

Children yearn for reviving long-lost relations of the family.

But young Joseph is kind, generous and sympathetic to call the man, ‘His Uncle'. So when he was sent to pay price for the oysters, he paid him a generous tip of half a Franc. But when he went looking for the man for a second time, he was much disappointed and sad to see that his uncle had disappeared into the dirty hold of the steamer. Perhaps Jules might have recognized his brother and his family too, but did not want to trouble them any more. Most certainly he might have been watching his nephew from somewhere hidden, with a broken heart. Maupassant has a habit of palpitating our hearts, constricting our throats and wetting our eyes, through his stories of the poor. So it is impossible here to write anything more on this story. We will wonder why such great stories of the poor evolved from France and England where the immensely rich and the shockingly opulent aristocrats lived- Maupassant, Victor Hugo and Dickens. Then we understand why there was a French Revolution.

THE LIFE AND WORKS OF GUY DE MAUPASSANT 1850-1893.

The poor man’s story teller was born in a castle.

Maupassant was born in a castle near Dieppe in the Seine district of France on 5 August 1850. His father was Gustave Maupassant and mother Laure Le Poittevin, both from rich families. Maupassant meant ‘mere Maupassant’ and de Maupassant would mean ‘Maupassant of noble birth’. In France, in those times, being born without a title was a disgrace in social circles. So his mother compelled his father to buy the title ‘de’ to be used as family name which he did. He traced an ancestor of his with the same name and moved to obtaining that ennobling title through a decree of the King. So when Guy Maupassant was born, he became Guy de Maupassant. Maupassant had a younger brother, Hervé.

From boyhood to government service to writing career.

His father later became a very rude and violent person and so his mother parted from his father and taking her two children went to live in the seaside village Villa des Verguies at Étretat. She was a very dignified person well-read in classical literature and was the first inspiration for her eldest son. Maupassant’s education was first at the Institution Leroy-Petit and then higher studies at the Lycée Pierre-Corneille, both in Rouen. He was displeased with the first and finally succeeded in getting expelled from this institution for ‘unreligious beliefs’. At the second he was a success and was introduced to his second greatest inspiration, Gustave Flaubert, by his mother. After graduating in 1870 he joined the Franco-Prussian War in Normandy and in 1871 joined the Department of Navy in France. He served in Paris ten years as a clerk in the Departments of Navy and Public Instruction. It was during this time that he took up writing seriously, wrote several novels and short stories and also served as contributing editor to such leading dailies as Le Figaro, Gil Blas, Le Gaulois and l'Écho de Paris.

It is a rare writer who manages his finances as well as his writing well.

His first volume of short stories came out in 1881. Since then and till 1891- the most productive years of his literary career- not less than two collections of stories came out every year, sometimes four. His first novel A Woman’s Life came out in 1885 and other novels followed. They were all successes- his novels and his short story collections. They had several print runs every year. Altogether Maupassant wrote around 300 short stories, six novels, three travelogues, and one poetry collection.

Travelling through countries and keeping to himself was his hobby. He even kept a private yacht for these travels. And he came back from these travels always with new books. Most good writers are bad financial managers but Maupassant was not. He managed his finances well and became richer out of his writings.

The master story teller who enjoyed creating plots.

From the great number of short stories he produced, it seemed, it was very easy and interesting for him to produce stories. In fact he enjoyed producing plots. Maupassant was a master story teller who enjoyed creating plots. And they all became models for future writers imitating him in style, if not in content. That is why he is considered as the inventor of the modern short story. Writers including Somerset Maugham and O. Henry followed in his footsteps.

Alexander Dumas loved him as a son. Flaubert was his literary guide. Flaubert was actually the one who inspired him to journalism and writing. The French novelist Émile Zola and the Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev became his friends through Flaubert. He saved the famous poet Charles Swinburne from drowning in sea when Maupassant was only eighteen. Living close to sea must have horned in his seafaring skills.

The man with many names who opposed the construction of the Eiffel Tower.

The man known as Maupassant, Guy de Maupassant, Guy de Valmont, Maufrigneuse and Joseph Prunier were all one and the same- Henri-René-Albert-Guy de Maupassant. The others were names he was called or pseudonyms he used at various times. He died in Paris on 6 July 1893 at the young age of 42. Maupassant had a younger brother, Hervé.

Maupassant loved Paris and was against constructing the Eiffel Tower in the heart of the city. He considered it an obscenity marring the beautiful landscape, cityscape and skyline of Paris. Along with others he even petitioned authorities to refrain from constructing this ugly monster. But it was constructed anyway and since then no one was able to avoid seeing this mammoth iron structure looked from anywhere. So, naturally, the coffee shop at its base became Maupassant’s haunt only where could he avoid seeing it from.

Many a people have wept and laughed reading Maupassant stories.

Maupassant’s stories have fine twists towards their end, like his successor O. Henry's had. In The Diamond Necklace, he ridiculed the vanity and ostentation of women and their lust for wearing costly ornaments. The story conveyed the plain message that no one shall borrow ornaments for wearing in a party; or rather do not go to a party. In My Uncle Jules he portrays how young children yearn for their relations; or rather hate parents for distancing them from their poor relatives. Anyway, his stories end in a tear or a slight laughter. Many a people have wept and laughed reading Maupassant stories.

Works of Guy de Maupassant.


Short-story collections:

Les Soirées de Médan (The Evenings of Medan 1880), La Maison Tellier (The Tellier House 1881), Mademoiselle Fifi (1883), Contes de la Bécasse (Tales of the Woodcock 1883), Miss Harriet (1884), Les Sœurs Rondoli (The Rondoli Sisters 1884), Clair de lune (Moonlight 1884), Yvette (1884), Contes du jour et de la nuit (Tales of the Day and the Night 1885), Monsieur Parent (Mr. Parent 1886), La Petite Roque (The Little Roque 1886), Toine (1886), Le Horla (The Horla 1887), Le Rosier de Madame Husson (The Rose of Madame Husson 1888), La Main gauche (The Left Hand 1889), and L'Inutile Beauté (The Useless Beauty 1890).

Novels:

Une Vie (One Life 1883), Bel-Ami (1885), Mont-Oriol (1887), Pierre et Jean (Peter and John 1888), Fort comme la mort (Strong as Death 1889), Notre Cœur (Our Heart 1890), and L’Angelus (The Angelus 1910).

Poetry:

Des Vers (Worms 1880)

Travelogues:

Au soleil (In the Sun 1884), Sur l'eau (On the Water 1888), and La Vie errante (The Wandering Life 1890).


(Prepared as a lecture to undergraduate literature students in July 1995)
 
First published on: 11 December 2019

__________________________
Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
__________________________
 

Tags:
 

English Articles, Economical Living, English Essays, Free Student Notes, French Short Stories, French Writers, Guy De Maupassant, My Uncle Jules, Poor Relatives, Poverty,

About the Author P. S. Remesh Chandran:


08. Author Profile Of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives.

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan: The Intelligent Picture Book. Born and brought up in the beautiful village of Nanniyode in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Trivandrum, in Kerala. Father British Council trained English teacher and Mother University educated. Matriculation with distinction and Pre Degree Studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship. Discontinued Diploma studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single.

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSRemeshChandra
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos
Blog: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/
Site: https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/
E-Mail: bloombookstvm@gmail.com

Post: P. S. Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum, Padmalayam, Nanniyode, Pacha Post, Trivandrum- 695562, Kerala State, South India.



Tuesday, December 10, 2019

181. Helen Keller. Ishbel Ross Essay Reintroduced By P S Remesh Chandran

181

Helen Keller. Ishbel Ross Essay Reintroduced

P. S. Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 
00. Article Title Image By . Graphics: Adobe SP.


The American wonder Helen Keller was deaf, dumb and blind but mastered the use of language and became a very famous writer and public speaker. Author Ishbel Ross wrote a fine article on Helen Keller. In girlhood, Helen was strong and behaved angrily. Anne Sullivan became her tutor at the age of six and they grew together. She put the child under control. Anne Sullivan later commented that ‘the girl's restless spirit was groping in the dark’.

That living word awakened her soul and gave it light, hope and joy and set it free.


01. Helen Keller with Anne Sullivan in July 1888. The Earliest Photo. By New England Historic Genealogical Society. 

Anne Sullivan spelt words into the child's hand and the first letters she learned were d-o-l-l. Then the teacher poured water into the child’s hand and spelt the word w-a-t-e-r. It was a wonderful moment in her life. The child dropped the mug down and stood transfixed. A new light came into the child’s face- a godly radiance- which only the teacher witnessed. ‘That living word awakened her soul and gave it light, hope and joy and set it free.’ She learned four hundred words in the following three months. Counting was taught with beads, and addition and subtraction with bits of straw. Then at the Perkins Institute she learned using Braille books and learned the alphabet.

The deaf dumb and blind following Theodore Roosevelt’s speeches, Mark Twain’s jokes and Enrico Caruso’s music.

Helen’s mastery of speech was the greatest individual achievement in the history of education. She learned it from Mrs. Fuller, another of her tutors, at the age of ten. She made sounds by positioning her tongue and breathing through it. She thus produced ‘i, a, and o’. Mamma and Pappa were the first words she spoke. ‘I am not dumb now’ was the first sentence she spoke. She learned listening also by placing her fingers on the speaker’s lips and throat and feeling the vibrations. That was how she ‘heard’ voice. She followed Theodore Roosevelt’s speeches, Mark Twain’s jokes and Enrico Caruso’s music and instrumental music- something which would have raised the hairs of these celebrities if they knew.

People wept at the sight of God making this incapacitated child walk before them in full glory.

 
02. Helen Keller with Anne Sullivan in 1897 By Notman.

Since she had learned to listen, speak and write, Helen Keller graduated at Twenty four. She travelled through foreign countries to collect funds for the blind and became a living legend. People got excited at the very sight of her and the crowds took roses from her hat and her dresses were torn. People wept out of emotion at the sight of God making this incapacitated child walk before them in the full glory of faculties. She was a very spiritual personality who always took the Braille Bible with her and learned whole passages by heart. She more liked the light of day than the darkness of night. Helen Keller considered death as a blessing which would free her from her physical limitations. Moreover, she could then be in Heaven to meet her beloved teacher Anne Sullivan.

THE LIFE OF HELEN KELLER.

The army, literary, Swiss and American backgrounds of Helen Keller.

Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Her father Arthur Henley Keller 1836–1896 was as an editor of the Tuscumbia North Alabamian and a captain in the Confederate Army. Her mother, Catherine Everett Adams Keller 1856–1921 was the daughter of a Confederate Army general, Charles W. Adams. Her paternal origins were in Switzerland. The family lived in the Ivy Green House, her grandfather built. Helen Keller had a sister, a brother and two half-brothers- Mildred Campbell Keller Tyson, Phillip Brooks Keller, and James McDonald Keller and William Simpson Keller.

The child begins to communicate to people through home signs and recognized people through footstep vibrations.


  
03. Helen Keller in 1904 By Unknown.

At the age of one and half years an illness left her deaf and blind. The child communicated to people through home signs and recognized people through footstep vibrations. The sound magician Alexander Graham Bell experimenting with the deaf advised the parents to take her to the Perkins School and thus in 1887Anne Sullivan came to reside with her in her Alabama home and teach her. Their companionship lasted 50 years till Anne Sullivan died in 1936.

She traveled through 35 countries, speaking and stealing the hearts of people.

In 1894 Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan temporarily moved from Perkins School in Massachusetts to the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in New York and after two years returned and joined first at The Cambridge School for Young Ladies and then at the Radcliff College of Harvard University where graduated as the first deaf and blind earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. It was Mark Twain’s initiative in introducing the Standard Oil Chairman that financed her studies. Where she was deaf and dumb her lip reading, touch, sign language and Braille faculties were acute. By learning to speak, she began her famous tour of speeches. She traveled through 40 countries speaking and stealing the hearts of people. Consequently she became the most beloved author, public speaker and political activist of that time. She became a favourite of people, especially of the Japanese. The American Foundation for the Blind greatly benefited from her tours and speeches. During this period, the Australian philosopher Wilhelm Jerusalem discovered the writer in her.

Of her 12 works The Frost King 1891 was written at the age of eleven. Her autobiography The Story of My Life 1903 was written at the age of 22 while still at college. The World I Live In 1908 told how she felt about the world. Out of the Dark 1913 contained essays on her views on socialism. Light in My Darkness 1927, previously known as My Religion, explained her views on Christian theology.

When she became a socialist, those who praised her frowned upon her.

 
04. Helen Keller in 1904 Graduation By Whitman, Chelsea.

The most unexpected thing of Keller was her becoming a radical socialist. She joined the American Socialist Party in 1909 and the Industrial Workers of the World in 1912. Utter poverty of the people and her social conscience moved her to do this. She was also a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union. When she became a socialist many American journalists who were praising her earlier began to shame her in their writings. Even a few among the press refused to print her works.

Died in sleep and buried beside lifelong companions.

Besides Anne Sullivan, there were other companions for Helen Keller. Polly Thomson who kept her house became her constant companion and secretary. Winnie Corbally who nursed Polly Thomson in illness never left Helen Keller since then.

Helen Keller was awarded the U. S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964. She died in her sleep on 1 June 1968 at the age of 88 in Connecticut. She was buried beside her lifelong companions, Anne Sullivan and Polly Thomson. The most acclaimed film based on Helen Keller’s autobiography was The Miracle Worker, emphasizing the contributions of Anne Sullivan- the miracle worker- to the celebrity. In Switzerland, France, Israel, Portugal, Spain and the United States, there are roads named after her. Also there have been stamps, coins and statues in her honour.

ANNE SULLIVAN: THE LIFELONG COMPANION OF HELEN KELLER.

 
05. Helen Keller in 1909 By Unknown.

Johanna Mansfield Sullivan Macy (1866-1936) or Anne Sullivan in short was an American teacher, and the tutor and lifelong companion of Helen Keller. She was born in 1866. Her family emigrated from Ireland to America. When her mother died and her father abandoned, she grew up in a poor home in Massachusetts. While very young she had eye ailment which several operations could not cure. She remained partially blind and could not read or write. In 1880 she was admitted to the Perkins School for the Blind at the age of 14, after staying as a destitute in a multitude of places. While studying there she had more operations and her eye sight improved, slightly. She graduated in 1886.
 06. Helen Keller in 1909 Reading Braille By Unknown.

Helen Keller’s father Arthur Keller approached the Perkins School’s director for a teacher for the seven-year-old deaf and blind Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan was recommended by the director. Thus at the age of 21 Anne became the teacher of Helen at Alabama and there began a lifelong companionship. She spelled words out into the palm of Helen who within a few months mastered many words, multiplication tables and the Braille system. In 1888 she accompanied Helen to Perkins School for proper education and stayed with here there for so many years during which years the bright child gained fame and funds for the school and the teacher and her protégée also rose to fame. The director's cottage at the Perkins School is still called the Keller-Macy Cottage in this duo’s honour. Helen Keller graduated from Radcliff College.

Anne Sullivan married Harvard teacher and literary critic John Albert Macy who also lived with them in the Keller home but after nine years they parted. The problem for someone honouring Helen Keller was they had to honour Anne Sullivan also because without her Helen’s achievements would not have been possible. So the Scottish Educational Institute awarded them both honorary fellowships in 1932 and the Temple University honorary degrees. She died on 20 October 1936 in Helen Keller’s hands.


07. Helen Keller in 1913 with Anne Sullivan By W H Langley.

THE LIFE AND WORKS OF ISHBEL ROSS.

Ishbel Ross was an American author-journalist born in Scotland, emigrated to Canada and started career as a reporter in the Toronto Daily News. In 1919 she joined the New-York Tribune. In 1932 her first novel Promenade was published. She left reporting, turned to novel writing and four more novels followed in her life. In 1936 she published her classic work on women journalists- Ladies of the Press. Soon she became famous as a biographer of famous women. Her literary career lasted around sixty years. She died on 21 September 1975 in New York.

Books written by Ishbel Ross.

Promenade Deck 1932, Highland Twilight 1934, Ladies of the Press 1936, Isle of Escape 1942, Child of Destiny 1944, Journey into the Light 1951, Rebel Rose 1954, First Lady of the South 1958, The General's Wife 1959, The Expatriates 1970, The President's Wife 1973, and Silhouette in Diamonds 1975 are her most noted works.


(Prepared as a lecture to undergraduate literature students in January 1996)
 
First published on: 11 December 2019

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Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
__________________________
 

Tags:
 
Anne Sullivan, Braille Books Bible, Deaf Dumb Blind, Helen Keller, Ishbel Ross, Learning Alphabet, Lip Throat Vibration, Living Legend, Mastering Speech, Mrs Fuller, Physical Limitation, Spiritual,

About the Author P. S. Remesh Chandran:


08. Author Profile Of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives.

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan: The Intelligent Picture Book. Born and brought up in the beautiful village of Nanniyode in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Trivandrum, in Kerala. Father British Council trained English teacher and Mother University educated. Matriculation with distinction and Pre Degree Studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship. Discontinued Diploma studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single.

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSRemeshChandra
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos
Blog: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/
Site: https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/
E-Mail: bloombookstvm@gmail.com

Post: P. S. Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum, Padmalayam, Nanniyode, Pacha Post, Trivandrum- 695562, Kerala State, South India.




Sunday, December 8, 2019

180. Our Own Civilization. C E M Joad Essay Reintroduced By P S Remesh Chandran

180

Our Own Civilization. C E M Joad Essay Reintroduced


P. S. Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 
00. Article Title Image By . Graphics: Adobe SP.


Our own civilization is not a very bad one. It is a flourishing civilization. British philosopher C. E. M. Joad discusses its merits and defects in his vivid and systematic analysis in his essay Our Own Civilization which is part of his famous book The Story of Civilization. He discusses our civilization’s encouraging as well as discouraging aspects.

Cranes trains and typewriters were invented to do the works of arms, legs and brains.

Man invented machines to help him in his works. He expected to spend the excess time liberated through the engagement of machines on developing his civilization. But strangely the machines became his masters and now he is a slave to them. Modern man is far dependent on machines. He cannot now just live without them. Cranes trains and typewriters were invented to do the works of arms legs and brains. ‘Man seems very inventive and is not at all lazy.’ In fact man is the most restless and energetic of all living creatures. His intention in inventing machines was to spend the excess leisure time generated through machines on developing beneficial things for the world.

Order and safety are as necessary to our civilization as the air we breathe is to our existence.

Our own civilization has many merits as well as a few defects. The order and safety it offers, the health conditions it provides, its habit of spreading, and the unity of the world it encourages are the merits. In the old world people decided things through fighting. But now we can go to the police station or a court of law for the redressal of our grievances and settling of things. ‘Thus in disputes between man and man, right has taken the place of might.’ Law guarantees order and safety in our society. Order and safety are things without which civilization would be impossible. They are as necessary to our civilization as the air we breathe is to our existence. We have now grown such used to them that we do not notice them anymore than we notice the air we breathe.

Modern civilization succeeded in lowering death rate and elevating life span.

Modern European civilization also guarantees health to all. In the past diseases and death were common and people died in large numbers in every society. Modern civilization has succeeded in lowering the death rate among human beings and elevating their life span. Unless we have good health we cannot enjoy or achieve anything. Thanks to modern civilization men and women not only enjoy better health but live longer also now.

Ancient civilizations were like oases in a surrounding desert of savagery. Soon or later the desert closed in.

What most differentiates modern civilization from earlier civilizations is its ability to spread. Earlier civilizations were contained within the boundaries of their local mountains or water bodies and spread nowhere. They were secluded and so, suffered brutal attacks from barbarians with no civilization at all. This was the fate of Babylon and Assyria and it happened over and over again in India and China. ‘It brought about the end of Greece and the fall of Rome.’ Ancient civilizations were like oases in a surrounding desert of savagery. Soon or later the desert closed in and the oasis was no more. But today it is the oasis that is spreading and the desert that is withdrawing. Today, civilization is surrounding and closing in on savagery. Modern civilization is spreading over Europe America and Australia, Asia and Africa. Joad is confident in saying that because of its ability to spread our civilization will exist.

Even modern man’s meals are made up of things brought from different parts of the world.

Another encouraging aspect of modern civilization is it guarantees the unity of the world. Even modern man’s meals are made up of things brought from different parts of the world. Oranges from Brazil, dates from Africa, rice from India, tea from China and sugar from Cuba or other distant country of the world reach the modern European’s dining table. ‘Not even the great caliphs of Arabia, the eastern kings, not even Solomon in all his glory, could enjoy such a variety of eating pleasures from so many different and distant lands.’ So far as buying and selling is concerned the world is a unity already.

Civilized means thinking freely, living rightly, and maintaining equal justice between man and man.

Machines save time and energy for us. ‘On the whole it must be admitted that we do very little.’ Almost all major and dangerous works are executed by the machines. With the time and energy they thus save for us we should try to become more civilized. Machines are not civilization but an aid to civilization. Civilized means making and liking beautiful things, thinking freely, living rightly, and maintaining equal justice between man and man. Our civilization is already great. But by making more beautiful things, by finding out more about the universe, by avoiding quarrels between nations, and by discovering how to prevent poverty, we can make our civilization the greatest.

When we say our civilization is great it does not mean our civilization has not defects.

When we say our civilization is great it does not mean our civilization is devoid of defects. War and the threat from machines are its main drawbacks. Inequality and injustice in the distribution of wealth is another defect. The rich rules even democratic states. While some live in luxury most do not have enough to eat and drink and wear. In the great cities of the world millions of people live in unclean surroundings, in overcrowded congested rooms. ‘They live like this not for fun, but because they are too poor to afford another room.’

After an apocalyptic destruction, everything will have to be begun from the beginning.

The danger from war is another defect of our civilization. A Swiss historian, Jean Jacques Bebel, has recorded that ‘in the past five thousand years’ written history of the world, just thirty nine years were free of any kind of wars anywhere’. Since man learned how to split the atom he has been making atom bombs which would one day destroy the whole world. Dropping atom bombs on civilizations would be the most inhuman act man could do. Civilizations could be wiped out without a trace from the face of the earth. Someone once remarked that ‘in the next war men would be fighting with atom bombs but in the war next they will be fighting with bows and arrows and stones’. After an apocalyptic destruction, everything will have to be begun from the beginning.

A time may come when machines rule us like we rule animals.

The threat to mankind and its civilization from machines is yet another defect of our civilization. Machines were meant to liberate man from heavy works. They were designed to serve him as servants but now they have become his masters. ‘And the machines are very stern masters.’ Most of man’s time is now consumed by them. The machines need on exact times coal to feed, petrol to drink and oil to wash in. They should be maintained at the right temperatures too. If they are not given these in time they refuse to work, burst and blow up, and spread ruin and destruction all around. Joad predicts that a time may come when machines rule us like we rule animals.

THE LIFE AND WORKS OF C. E. M. JOAD.

A socialist suspicious of Marxism and against too much industrialization.

Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad 1891-1953 was an English philosopher and BBC broadcaster. His two books Guide to Modern Thought 1933 and Guide to Philosophy 1936 made him a prominent figure in philosophy. George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells were the two inspirations in his life. He was suspicious of Marxism as a philosophy even though he remained a socialist. Joad was against too much industrial exploitation of the English countryside and can be considered as one of the early naturists of England.

Equal status as George Bernard Shaw and Bertrand Russell as philosopher.

Joad was born in Durham and studied at Oxford Preparatory School, Blundell's School, Devon and Balliol College, Oxford. He entered the civil service in 1914. In 1915 he married but separated in 1921 having had three children. In 1930, he became the Head of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London. Joad enjoyed equal status as George Bernard Shaw and Bertrand Russell in England as an intellectual and a philosopher. He died on 9 April 1953 at his home in London.

Noted books written by C. E. M. Joad.

The most noted among C. E. M. Joad’s works are:

Mind and Matter 1925, The Future of Life 1928, Matter, Life and Value 1929, The Story of Civilization 1931, Essays in Common-Sense Philosophy 1933, Return to Philosophy 1935, Guide to Philosophy 1936, The Story of Indian Civilization 1936, Why War? 1939, For Civilization 1940, Journey Through the War Mind 1940, About Education 1945, Conditions of Survival 1946, Fewer and Better 1946, How Our Minds Work 1946, On No Longer Being A Rationalist 1946, A Year More or Less 1948, Decadence 1948, Turning-Points 1948, The Principles of Parliamentary Democracy 1949, The Pleasure of Being Oneself 1951, The Recovery of Belief 1952, Shaw and Society 1953. There were also many other books, essays and articles.


(Prepared as a lecture to graduate literature students in December 1994)
 
First published on: 08 December 2019
 

Tags:
 
Ancient Civilizations, Barbarians, British philosophers, CEM Joad, Eating Pleasures, Free Student Notes, Machine Masters, European Civilization, Order And Safety, Story Of Civilization, World Unity, 

About the Author P. S. Remesh Chandran:


00. Author Profile Of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives.

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan: The Intelligent Picture Book. Born and brought up in the beautiful village of Nanniyode in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Trivandrum, in Kerala. Father British Council trained English teacher and Mother University educated. Matriculation with distinction and Pre Degree Studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship. Discontinued Diploma studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single.

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSRemeshChandra
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos
Blog: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/
Site: https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/
E-Mail: bloombookstvm@gmail.com

Post: P. S. Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum, Padmalayam, Nanniyode, Pacha Post, Trivandrum- 695562, Kerala State, South India.



Friday, December 6, 2019

179. On Not Answering The Telephone. William Plomer Essay Reintroduced By P S Remesh Chandran

179

On Not Answering The Telephone. William Plomer Essay Reintroduced


P. S. Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 
00. Article Title Image By . Graphics: Adobe SP.


William Plomer has written a fine article on not answering the telephone, in which he discusses the impact on his mind of telephone, typewriter and car. He used them reluctantly and was eager to avoid them as much as possible. When he often said he was not available on the telephone, people said it was inconvenient, unbelievable and foolish and called him mad. Plomer does not think that phone is essential because he can eat, breathe, sleep and play without it.

Telephones create unnecessary anxiety, suspense and delay.

It creates unnecessary anxiety, suspense and delay and is a pest and time-waster. Public Telephone Booths are unventilated and smoky and people curse you on your back for taking too much time to finish speaking. It is a nuisance since it rings while you are eating, sleeping or bathing. All telephone numbers are wrong numbers since they ring idiotically at wrong hours in a house's privacy. Whatever news is there would reach you anyway, even without a telephone. Good news has begun to seem to be travelling just as fast as ill news. Truth will out anyway.

Telephone directories invite strangers and criminals to engage you in conversation.

Saying Hallo to a stranger on the line is unbearable to an Englishman. Printing names on the telephone directory invites strangers and criminals to engage you in conversation. One needn't own a telephone to do so, i.e. to engage you in conversation, since telephone calls can be made from anywhere. Once a well-known actor said that if he was left alone to live on a desert island and allowed to take just one luxury, he would take the telephone with him, for he would be happy that it would never ring in the desert and he would not have to answer it. In spite of its usefulness, dislike of telephone is a universal thing. Closing his article, William Plomer humorously says that his business with the use of words is about to stop as he is wanted on the telephone.

Typewriters ring at the end of each line and heavy traffic and innumerable rules make cars boring.

Plomer dislikes not only telephones, but typewriters and cars also. Typewriters ring at the end of each line. He is not mechanical-minded and does not like cleaning, oiling and mending them. Though he can type well, he enjoys the act of forming letters and words with a pen. Plomer learned to drive at the age of Seventeen in South Africa. He often drove very fast and soon the speedometer of his car was broken. Rock, mud and sand did not prevent him from driving carefully. He never injured or killed anyone anyway. But heavy traffic and the innumerable rules and regulations to be followed while driving made him bored.

Whenever he touches machines, they tend to break down, catch fire or blow up.

Though he condemns telephones, typewriters and cars, Plomer says that he is not an escapist, crank or a simple-lifer who is trying to put the clock of modernity back. He just wishes not to be dominated by machines and avoids them wherever possible. He hates machines and the machines him. When he touches them, they tend to break down, catch fire or blow up.

THE LIFE AND WORKS OF WILLIAM PLOMER.

The literary editor who recognized the James Bond series by Ian Fleming.

William Charles Franklyn Plomer 1903-1973 was a Transvaal-born South African novelist, poet, short story writer and literary editor who later left South Africa to live in Japan and then in England. He used the pseudonym Robert Pagan occasionally. In England Plomer worked as literary editor for the famous publishers Faber & Faber and Jonathan Cape. He was the first one to recognize the sales potential of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels and the first editor of this series, and Goldfinger is dedicated to him. Plomer was an active contributor to BBC also.

Awards, honours and knighthood.

Plomer was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in1951, president of the Poetry Society in 1958, awarded honorary D. Litt. by the University of Durham in 1959, won the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1963, and awarded the order Commander of the British Empire (CBE), the third highest in the order, in 1968.

Novels, poems, short stories and autobiography written by William Plomer.

Turbott Wolfe, The Invaders, The Case Is Altered and Museum Pieces are the novels written by William Plomer. The Family Tree, The Fivefold Screen, Visiting The Caves, In A Bombed House, Taste And Remember and A Choice Of Ballads are his poetry collections. His short stories are compiled in I Speak Of Africa, Paper Houses, The Child Of Queen Victoria and Four Countries. Double Lives is his autobiography. His other works including essays were collected and published as Electric Delights in 1978 which included the essay, On Not Answering the Telephone. 
 

(Prepared as a lecture to undergraduate literature students in December 1995)


First published on: 07 December 2019
 
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Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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Tags:
 
Answering Telephone, Driving, Escapist, Machine Domination, Mechanical Minded, Phone Directory, Saying Hallo, Telephone Booths, Telephone Ringing, Telephone Typewriter Car, William Plomer,

About the Author P. S. Remesh Chandran:


00. Author Profile Of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives.

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan: The Intelligent Picture Book. Born and brought up in the beautiful village of Nanniyode in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Trivandrum, in Kerala. Father British Council trained English teacher and Mother University educated. Matriculation with distinction and Pre Degree Studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship. Discontinued Diploma studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single.

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/psremeshchandra.trivandrum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSRemeshChandra
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos
Blog: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/
Site: https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/
E-Mail: bloombookstvm@gmail.com

Post: P. S. Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum, Padmalayam, Nanniyode, Pacha Post, Trivandrum- 695562, Kerala State, South India.