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In Praise of Shadows

This is an enchanting essay on aesthetics by one of the greatest Japanese novelists. Tanizaki's eye ranges over architecture, jade, food, toilets, and combines an acute sense of the use of space in buildings, as well as perfect descriptions of lacquerware under candlelight and women in the darkness of the house of pleasure. The result is a classic description of the collision between the shadows of traditional Japanese interiors and the dazzling light of the modern age.
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An intimate reflection on Japanese art and architecture from one of the country's greatest novelists.

About the Author

Junichiro Tanizaki was born in 1886 in Tokyo where his family owned a printing establishment. He studied literature at Tokyo Imperial University and his first published work, a one-act play, appeared in a literary magazine in 1909. He received the Imperial Prize for Literature in 1949 and was elected an Honorary Member of the American Academy and the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1964, the first Japanese to receive this honour. He died in 1965


"An elegant essay on traditional Japanese aesthetics by the great novelist. A delight to read" * Independent on Sunday * "A highly infectious essay lauding all things shady and subtly hidden" * Guardian * "The outstanding Japanese novelist of this century" -- Edmund White "This is a powerfully anti-modernist book, yet contains the most beautiful evocation of the traditional Japanese aesthetic... More like a poem than an essay" * Building Design * "I am convinced that Tanizaki is one of the few great writers of our time. He is an author of outstanding stature and deserves to be far better known outside Japan than he is" -- Ivan Morris

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