The gem In Praise of Shadows (public library) by Japanese literary titan Tanizaki, translated here by Thomas J. Harper and Edward G. Buy In Praise Of Shadows (Vintage Classics) New Ed by Junichiro Tanizaki ( ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free . In Praise of Shadows [Junichiro Tanizaki] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. An essay on aesthetics by the Japanese novelist, this book.

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And so it has come to be that the beauty of a Japanese room depends on a variation of shadows, heavy shadows against light shadows — it has nothing else Westerners shadoes amazed at the simplicity of Japanese rooms, perceiving in them no more than ashen walls bereft of ornament.

To take a trivial example near at hand It does not take much to show that this idea has many expressions in the western tradition; for example, an analogy exists in Walter Pater’s final Renaissance essay, where he says, “The service of speculative culture towards the human spirit is to rouse, to startle it to a life of constant and eager observation.

In Praise Of Shadows

I didn’t enjoy the hatred of black people being chalked up to white sensitivities the cart did not come before the horseor the usual bemoaning of the youth, as if any country’s youth had the means to control its respective form of capitalism.

Tanizaki appreciates the world and its ordinary pleasures, and offers a sharp contrast to the functional, plastic, disposable aesthetic of modern western culture.

Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide. Some of his points are well-taken and consistence with esthetic judgments in jn West, such as the value and importance of praiise and ambiguity in art, Western photographers for example knowing well that photos are more successful if taken at dawn and dusk, when shadows and softened light enhance the effect compared with the harshness and glare of midday.

Kids are too good for that now.

An almost imperceptible line between an extremely refine taste and the subtlety of irony. In Praise of Shadows is his tribute to the Japanese aesthetic, to the beauty of darkness, to moonlight rather than sunshine, shadow rather than glare, softness rather than neon.

Would I like it as much if it were the only thing I knew? Technically I started Naomi in December ofbut the majority of mulling it over happened firmly in ’17, so the fact that Tanizakj was able to bounce back so quickly is worthy of note, even if the half-star rating in this case happened to tip backwards rather than forwards.


A luster here would destroy the soft fragile beauty of the feeble light. But we are time-poor, we are tempted, we drive to the supermarket after all.

The wooden pillar withered through the tantrums of changing seasons, ageing into oblivion equates to a wrinkled face, the shadows dwelling the wrinkly creases, augmenting the beauty of the face that has weathered the rambunctious life exemplifying that nothing is permanent, not even the tautness of a youthful skin and yet in those imperfect shadows of ugly deep wrinkles lay an unconventional beauty of perfection.

I’d recommend this to those who are super serious about Japanese literature. The result is a classic description of the collision between the shadows of traditional Japanese interiors and the dazzling light of the modern age.

He contrasts what he views as a Western fascination with light and clarity, newness and brightness, openness and change, with a Japanese focus on subtlety, nuance, mystery, darkness, ancientness, and stillness.

Jul 22, Steve added it Shelves: Tanizaki tells a story of when her late husband decided, as he frequently did, to build a new house. And so, as we must if we are not to disturb the glow, we finish the walls with sand in a single neutral color.

In Praise of Shadows – Wikipedia

It addresses the felt quality of experience in any lived moment, not just as an end in itself but because each such moment belongs to a lifelong series in which beauty and richness of experience are important components of the good life. The essay consists of 16 sections that discuss traditional Japanese aesthetics in contrast with change. English, in the early 19th century, controversial till much later on.

The English translation was published in by Leete’s Island Books. The Quiet American Graham Greene. Nothing loud but the silence. In his delightful essay on Japanese taste Junichiro Tanizaki selects for praise all things delicate and nuanced, everything softened by shadows and the patina of age, anything understated and natural – as for example the patterns of grain in old wood, the sound of rain dripping from eaves and leaves, or washing over the footing of a stone lantern in a garden, and refreshing the moss that grows about it – and by doing so he suggests an attitude of appreciation and mindfulness, especially mindfulness of beauty, as central to life lived well.


In any case, I am satisfied that Tanizaki concluded that change is change, and to forgo the accommodations of technology for the sake of warmly tinted toilet rooms and complete lack of utilities was beyond his standard of comfortable living. However, like many Japanese novelists, Tanizaki was concerned with the slow Westernisation of Japanese culture, as Japan’s uniqueness, it’s customers, it’s ideal and aesthetics were slowly being overcome by a kind of vapid, vulgar Westernisation, its identity slowly being eroded under a suffocating homogenisation.

If we had been left alone 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. Again this was shaddows enriching, but this one was a lot more poetic and captivating.

In Praise Of Shadows : Jun’ichiro Tanizaki :

Pdaise studied Japanese literature at Tokyo Imperial University, and his first published work, a one-act play, appeared in in a literary magazine he helped to found. Some of his works present a rather shocking world of sexuality and destructive erotic obsessions; others, less sensational, subtly portray the dynamics of family life in the context of the rapid changes in 20th-century Japanese society.

He writes of drinking soup from a lacquerware dish as a form of meditation. View all 44 comments. And then he adds the famous – to some, taniizaki infamous – words that inspired the “Decadent” movement of the late 19th century: The sweetened jelly concocted from red bean paste is rather splendid with its semi-translucent structure; the opaque tinted shadows that hover on this confectionery bring a pleasurable aura to its velvety consistency. There is a rich thought here about the subjectivity of experience that is missed by Western aesthetics.

Dec 31, Tony rated it did not like it. Jul 22, Dolors rated it really liked it Recommended to Dolors by: Somewhere along the centuries it wasn’t considered wise to have everything in the eye of the beholder, so beauty pushed all else out and has reigned supreme till this day.