Japanese novelist Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s essay In Praise of Shadows filters ordinary pleasures through a tranquil half-light, illuminating how light and shade’s dependence on one another nuances everyday moments with repose and beauty.
First published in 1933, In Praise of Shadows shines a light on Japanese aesthetics and how, when light falls upon spaces and objects, grace is cast in its shade. For American educator and architect Charles Moore, reading Tanizaki’s delicate prose came “with the thrill of a slap.” Here, Moore’s introduction to an English translation, written during a post at the UCLA School of Architecture, discusses the charm in realizing the unseen.
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