IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS Paperback – 1 Dec 1977
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"Tanizaki captures in an amusing, flowing commentary on beauty, architecture, drama, food, feminine beauty, and many other aspects of Japanese life the uneasy mixing of two clashing esthetic traditions." --Edwin O. Reischauer, Harvard University
Tanizaki captures in an amusing, flowing commentary on beauty, architecture, drama, food, feminine beauty, and many other aspects of Japanese life the uneasy mixing of two clashing esthetic traditions. Edwin O. Reischauer, Harvard University"
An intimate reflection on Japanese art and architecture from one of the country's greatest novelists. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Tanizaki makes a good argument that Japanese art (eg, lacquerware, calligraphy, gold statues, no and kabuki, etc.) cannot be best appreciated in bright, white and shiny surroundings, which he characterizes as Western. He prefers a natural diffused light, softer colours and the 'wear and tear' of wasi-sabi.
At this point in his life Tanizaki (1933) had turned against Western influence, so this is really "In Praise of All Things Japanese!" He does stray from his subject and ramble on like a 'Grumpy Old Man,' which he admits. Partly nostalgia - for he is really railing against the Japanese who had already embraced the 'bright lights' of the West, I'd say he crosses the politically correct line several times and made me feel uncomfortable.
Nevertheless, Tanizaki offers us a valuable link to a rich past, and there is still much we can learn from there. Like how a setting can enhance or destroy our appreciation of an object, a person or theatre. Or, why we should not be afraid of the dark!
Short, cheap, and easy to read, it can be recommended to almost any thoughtful person. It is well worth taking as a companion to Tanizaki's novels, too, as an elucidation of his style of thought. (In particular, 'Some Prefer Nettles' addresses related themes of culture, custom, enjoyment and appreciation.)
A very enjoyable read but with arguments so full of holes that a 12 year old could criticise them!
It's a good entry point to Japanese aesthetics, and worth a read, even if you don't like it its a very slim book and you won't have wasted much time in doing so.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is utterly sublime. It seems such a simple small book about aesthetics in Japanese culture but it is more than that, It is the truth about objects and the preciousness of... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sue