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In Praise of Blandness: Proceeding from Chinese Thought and Aesthetics Hardcover – 27 Apr 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Zone Books (27 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890951412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890951412
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,125,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Blandness is a sub rosa self-help book and a map to the sublime." Village Voice

About the Author

Francois Jullien is Professor at the Universite Paris VII-Denis Diderot and director at the Institut de la Pensee Contemporaine. He is the author of Detour and Access: Strategies of Meaning in China and Greece, The Propensity of Things: Toward a History of Efficacy in China, and In Praise of Blandness: Proceeding from Chinese Thought and Aesthetics all published by Zone Books.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mina Fred on 19 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautiful well-founded thinking, written in a very subtle way, describing the core without necessarily touching it. Highly interesting for artists/musicians wanting to develop their perspective of beauty.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Book that takes you down a path. 22 Mar. 2008
By J. Braun - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I read this book as an artist, and as part of my interest in understanding more about what might be at the center of our human actions and responses in the realm of the arts. Beyond the ideas of taste or of commercial practices. I was quite moved by what I found in these pages. The author takes the reader on a slow navigation of the concept of "blandness" and its profound meanings in Chinese philosophy and arts. Through examples of rituals, writings, images, and teachings, we are given an ever deepening view of how and why "blandness" is actually full of potential, not a description of emptiness as it may sound. I particulary responded to the notion of its being a maturation; a place that is reached, after the youthful battles of preferences have been fought, settled and harmonized. But not by superficially pacifying differences. Rather this blandness is more like the fade of mountains and clouds at the horizon, suggesting the ongoing infinitude of possiblities. The whole book reads a bit like poetic prose, so that the absorption of the contents happens in concert with the subject matter.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Draws together Chinese philosophy, art, music and spirituality 15 Dec. 2011
By Dean - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read this book due to having an interest in Eastern philosophy and spirituality, rather than art or aesthetics. I was very impressed with how the author tied all these areas together. I feel the author really touches on the essence of "blandness" and the "tasteless taste", if such a thing can be spoken of, and its influence throughout Eastern culture ancient and modern. There are also lots of good original sources used and quoted in the work.
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