By Donald Richie
This provocative booklet is a tractate—a treatise—on good looks in jap artwork, written within the demeanour of a zuihitsu, a free-ranging collection of principles that “follow the brush” anywhere it leads. Donald Richie appears to be like at how perceptual values in Japan have been drawn from uncooked nature after which changed via dependent expressions of sophistication and flavor. He explains aesthetic options like wabi, sabi, conscious, and yugen, and ponders their relevance in paintings and cinema today.
Donald Richie is the key explorer of jap tradition in English, and this paintings is the fruits of sixty years of gazing and writing from his domestic in Tokyo.
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Additional info for A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics
György Lukács, “The Foundering of Form Against Life,” in György Lukács’ Soul and Form, 56. 52. See Søren Kierkegaard, The Seducer’s Diary, ed. and trans. Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong, with a new foreword by John Updike (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997), 107. See also Chanderlos de Laclos, Dangerous Liaisons, trans. with an introduction and notes by Helen Constantine (London: Penguin, 2007). 53. Agnes Heller, “Georg Lukács and Irma Seidler,” in Lukács Revalued, 27. 54. Agnes Heller, “Georg Lukács and Irma Seidler,” in Lukács Revalued, 27.
Heterogeneity and homogeneity, difference and total effect, are now brought together under a single constellation where each main star has its own planets. The jigsaw puzzle is put together and the jackpot won. But winning the jackpot also became downfall of the Concept of the Beautiful. If Beauty resides in art, if the Beautiful is the beauty of works of art and if the good work of art is the beautiful work, then Beauty must have a specific standing in the world of artworks. It must occupy the highest place there.
It is not just the bodily senses (as allegedly in the instances of taking mere pleasure). It is not mainly the “soul” (as in the case of the good). There is, I repeat, a total all-encompassing effect. The experience of the beautiful remains the total experience of mortals—of single mortals, of each one separately. WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF BEAUTY? What can be the source of this elevating, splendid, and still disquieting experience? The traditional (Platonian, metaphysical) answer is straightforward and makes everything clear.
A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics by Donald Richie