sábado, 28 de noviembre de 2015

In Praise of Shadows - Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

In Praise of Shadows

The preference of a pensive luster to a shallow brilliance.


My quiet, soothingly minimalistic room seems of no consequence when juxtaposed with the unearthly beauty that Jun'ichirō Tanizaki described in this splendid essay on aesthetics.

A shōji. Lightning. Electric fans. The right heating system. Food. Architecture.
Every detail to avoid the disruption of harmony in a Japanese room.
An almost imperceptible line between an extremely refine taste and the subtlety of irony.

We delight in the mere sight of the delicate glow of fading rays clinging to the surface of a dusky wall, there to live out what little life remains to them. We never tire of the sight, for to us this pale glow and these dim shadows far surpass any ornament. (9)


Inside this book, there is a room that seems enraptured by the sobriety of the different shades of black.
So much space beholding the magnificence of a dim light on a particular spot, barely illuminating the serene twilight that those walls are made of.

Could this book be applied to people? It shouldn't. But that is subject to one's personality. You could be the reserved, darkened room. Except when writing. And that would be fine.

A book on beauty has its share of ugliness; people's skin and supposed degrees of purity.

Above all, an essay that exalts the enigmatic candlelight.
The particular beauty of a candle emanating a delicate brilliance that timidly embellish a silent room. A most idyllic view under its mystical light.

Nothing superfluous. Nothing pretentious. Nothing loud but the silence. A universe in your thoughts. The encounter with yourself under the tenuous radiance of a candle, evoking a somber night, the bright moon a world is gazing at.

Tanizaki observes. Tanizaki fights. Tanizaki misses. Tanizaki regrets.
The sound of the rain playing gently with the dusky light of a candle.


The mind wanders.

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