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Home Learning. In Praise of Shadows. Description An intimate reflection on Japanese art and architecture from one of the country's greatest novelists.
This is an enchanting essay on aesthetics by one of the greatest Japanese novelists. Tanizaki's eye ranges over architecture, jade, food, toilets, and combines an acute sense of the use of space in buildings, as well as perfect descriptions of lacquerware under candlelight and women in the darkness of the house of pleasure. The result is a classic description of the collision between the shadows of traditional Japanese interiors and the dazzling light of the modern age.
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Review quote I am convinced that Tanizaki is one of the few great writers of our time. He is an author of outstanding stature and deserves to be far better known outside Japan than he is -- Ivan Morris This is a powerfully anti-modernist book, yet contains the most beautiful evocation of the traditional Japanese aesthetic About Jun'ichiro Tanizaki Junichiro Tanizaki was one of Japan's greatest twentienth century novelists.
Born in in Tokyo, his first published work - a one-act play - appeared in in a literary magazine he helped to found. Tanizaki lived in the cosmopolitan Tokyo area until the earthquake of , when he moved to the Kyoto-Osaka region and became absorbed in Japan's past. He was awarded an Imperial Award for Cultural Merit in and in he was elected an honorary member of the American Academy and the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the first Japanese writer to receive this honour.
Tanizaki died later that same year. Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews.
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In Praise of Shadows
And yet we forget that the darkness they cast evidences the light — palpable proof without which we might not appreciate or even notice the radiance itself. Tanizaki, translated here by Thomas J. Harper and Edward G. Seidensticker, examines the singular standards of Japanese aesthetics and their stark contrast — even starker today, almost a century later — with the value systems of the industrialized West. He writes:. We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates… Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty. At the heart of this philosophy is a fundamental cultural polarity.
Rereadings: AC Grayling on In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki
Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? An essay on aesthetics by the Japanese novelist, this book explores architecture, jade, food, and even toilets, combining an acute sense of the use of space in buildings. The book also includes descriptions of laquerware under candlelight and women in the darkness of the house of pleasure.
A fully illustrated, beautifully produced edition of Junichiro Tanizaki's wise and evocative essay on Japanese culture. This book is in fact a portal. If you are accustomed to equate light with clarity, the faded with the worthless and the dim with the dreary, prepare for a courteous but powerful realignment of your ideas. In Praise of Shadows is a poetic paean to traditional Japanese aesthetics — in a free-ranging style that moves from architecture to No theatre, and from cookery to lighting, Tanizaki teaches us to see the beauty in tarnished metal, the sombre dignity in unglazed pottery, the primacy of organic materials that bear witness to the regular touch of human hands. It is also astonishingly prescient, offering a gentle warning against the quest for airbrushed perfection, and reminding us that too much light can pollute and obscure our natural world.
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