Sunday, June 07, 2015

Tanizaki's Praise of Shadows

'The quality that we call beauty, however, must always grow from the realities of life, and our ancestors, forced to live in dark rooms, presently came to discover beauty in shadows, ultimately to guide shadows towards beauty's ends.'

'I wonder if my readers know the color of that "darkness seen by candlelight". It was different in quality from darkness on the road at night. It was a repletion, a pregnancy of tiny particles like fine ashes, each particle luminous as a rainbow. I blinked in spite of myself, as though to keep it out of my eyes.'

Junichiro Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows, p. 29, 52

(a lovely, illuminating, at times I daresay wise, little book)

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