Download In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki PDF

By Junichiro Tanizaki

An essay on aesthetics by means of the japanese novelist, this ebook explores structure, jade, foodstuff, or even bathrooms, combining an acute experience of using house in constructions. The e-book additionally contains descriptions of laquerware lower than candlelight and ladies within the darkness of the home of delight.

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Extra resources for In Praise of Shadows

Example text

Indeed, it is because of this system of reference, of (to cast the net wider) mirroring and imaging the actual, that words can aspire to be revelatory of something called reality, that they can aspire to cast light on the world of the speaker. The sceptic shows that literary language performs none of these semantic acts, and thus that humanism, requiring as it does that literary language be revelatory of our world, appears a hopeless position. The humanist asks us to accept that literature informs us about our world when the very nature of literary language—its wedding words to fictions—makes it tremendously difficult to find anything that is real enough in a literary text to ground a humanist view of literature.

Very few philosophers except Walton himself are happy to use the term ‘game’ to describe this (for one thing it hints that literary involvement is less than properly serious); but it is impossible to overstate how widespread the use of the notion of make-believe is (and cognate attitudes) in the contemporary analytic drift. What the imaginative theorists have in common is the starting point of accepting that texts assert nothing about how things stand in the world—they have neither worldly truth nor reference.

The poststructuralist exchanges the humanist’s desire to find a vision of world for what she takes to be an honest view of the instability of language. When we turn to the analytic drift we tend to see, to continue with poststructuralist vocabulary, not a wholesale claim to the effect that there is nothing outside the text³⁷—with all its anti-realist implications—but a picture of literature that suggests that whatever is outside the literary text is beyond the reach of the words of that text. Much of the analytic drift of literary theory is continuous with the general analytic interest in the nature of truth, reference, and correspondence (or, rather, grows out of this.

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