Un article de Christian Sorand : 'In Praise of Shadows': An insight on Eastern mind and culture
RE: Essay by Junichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965),Vintage Books, London, 1991, ISBN 9780099283577
I have always been a great admirer of Japanese arts and literature. I first discovered Junichiro Tanizaki by reading 'Éloge de l'Ombre', the French translation of 'In Praise of Shadows' (陰翳礼讃, In'ei raisan). It was first published in 1933. In my own mind, this essay has sustainedly remained a key source to unveil Japanese aesthetics and arts. But on a second reading many years later, it has also proved to be an open door to understanding the core values of the East.
I recently met with the French writer Mireille Disdero. She has been living in Bangkok for a few years and comes from the same area of Provence, in France as me. We had planned to meet in an interesting, little café called(UN) Fashion in Ekkamai, a notorious Bangkok district, home of many Japanese expats. Our conversation lasted for several hours inside this tiny vintage coffee shop. One
may argue that it is a familiar trait of French culture to exchange ideas at a café ! Anyhow, the conversation slipped to Japanese literature. So we talked about Yukio Mishima. We evoked 'The Temple of the Golden Pavilion' (1956). I was fortunate to visit the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto (the Kinkaku-Ji 金閣寺) on my first visit to Japan. Yet, it also reminded me of André Malraux's lines on Japan and particularly on Kyoto. Mireille and I are both residents of Thailand. Therefore, we also evoked Mishima's other novel : 'The Temple of Dawn' partly set in Bangkok (วัดอรุณ,Wat Arun – the Temple of Dawn - is on the Thonburi riverside of the Thai capital). But above all, we talked about Junichiro Tanizaki. Mireille Disdero later confessed that it emulated her to read his essay again...
|(UN) Fashion coffeeshop, Ekkamai, Bangkok|