The Hindu on problems of translating worlds
To be a work of art, writes the great Martin Heidegger, means to set up a world. To create a universe of grammar and relations that allow for Truth of experience to shine through as meaning. Truth, he writes, happens in van Gogh, not by the virtue of verisimilitude or record keeping. But by van Gogh creating a representation that opens up the world, to reveal a larger Truth. Art is this effort to arrive at the ‘unconcealedness’ of truth in the world it engages with. An instructive example of this idea is when T. Balasaraswathi writes that a Bharatanatyam margam performance is creation of a space that ends with sublimation. To her, the alarippu is the gopuram, the jatiswaram is the ardha mandapam, the shabdam is the mandapam, the varnam is the holy precincts inside the temple, the padam is the clay lamps shining in the garbha griha and the thillana is the final camphor burning itself away in the quest for the Lord.
In my trekking around India, I had understood that the charas
burned in the chillum