I thought that reading forty best essays of all time would bring me closer to my goal. Now I want to share the whole list with you with addition of my notes about writing.
Introduction Two preliminary observations about the Japanese cultural tradition to begin with. The first is that classical Japanese philosophy understands the basic reality as constant change, or to use a Buddhist expression impermanence.
The world of flux that presents itself to our senses is the only reality: The arts in Japan have traditionally reflected this fundamental impermanence—sometimes lamenting but more often celebrating it.
It does not matter how young or strong you may be, the hour of death comes sooner than you expect. It is an extraordinary miracle that you should have escaped to this day; do you suppose you have even the briefest respite in which to relax?
Keene, In the Japanese Buddhist tradition, awareness of the fundamental condition of existence is no cause for nihilistic despair, but rather a call to vital activity in the present moment and to gratitude for another moment's being granted to us.
To this day it is not unusual in Japan for the scholar to be a fine calligrapher and an accomplished poet in addition to possessing the pertinent intellectual abilities.
It also plays a major role in the world's first novel, Murasaki Shikibu's Genji monogatari The Tale of Genjifrom the early eleventh century.
The somewhat later Heike monogatari The Tale of the Heike Clan begins with these famous lines, which clearly show impermanence as the basis for the feeling of mono no aware: The proud do not endure, they are like a dream on a spring night; the mighty fall at last, they are as dust before the wind.
The acceptance and celebration of impermanence goes beyond all morbidity, and enables full enjoyment of life: How is it possible for men not to rejoice each day over the pleasure of being alive?
Foolish men, forgetting this pleasure, laboriously seek others; forgetting the wealth they possess, they risk their lives in their greed for new wealth. But their desires are never satisfied. While they live they do not rejoice in life, but, when faced with death, they fear it—what could be more illogical?
Keene, 79 Insofar as we don't rejoice in life we fail to appreciate the pathos of the things with which we share our lives.
For most of us, some of these things, impermanent as they are, will outlast us—and especially if they have been loved they will become sad things: The well known literary theorist Motoori Norinaga brought the idea of mono no aware to the forefront of literary theory with a study of The Tale of Genji that showed this phenomenon to be its central theme.
He argues for a broader understanding of it as concerning a profound sensitivity to the emotional and affective dimensions of existence in general. The greatness of Lady Murasaki's achievement consists in her ability to portray characters with a profound sense of mono no aware in her writing, such that the reader is able to empathize with them in this feeling.
The most frequently cited example of mono no aware in contemporary Japan is the traditional love of cherry blossoms, as manifested by the huge crowds of people that go out every year to view and picnic under the cherry trees. The blossoms of the Japanese cherry trees are intrinsically no more beautiful than those of, say, the pear or the apple tree: It is precisely the evanescence of their beauty that evokes the wistful feeling of mono no aware in the viewer.
If for the Buddhists the basic condition is impermanence, to privilege as consummate only certain moments in the eternal flux may signify a refusal to accept that basic condition.
Branches about to blossom or gardens strewn with faded flowers are worthier of our admiration. But it is in the art of tea, and the context of Zen, that the notion of wabi is most fully developed.
Implements with minor imperfections are often valued more highly, on the wabi aesthetic, than ones that are ostensibly perfect; and broken or cracked utensils, as long as they have been well repaired, more highly than the intact.
Wabi means that even in straitened circumstances no thought of hardship arises. Even amid insufficiency, one is moved by no feeling of want.
Even when faced with failure, one does not brood over injustice. The way of tea exemplifies this attitude toward life in the elegant simplicity of the tea house and the utensils, which contradicts any notion that beauty must entail magnificence and opulence.
Wabi reaches its peak of austerity in emptiness—which is a central and pervasive idea in Buddhism. An empty space is marked off with plain wood and plain walls, so that the light drawn into it forms dim shadows within emptiness.
There is nothing more. And yet, when we gaze into the darkness that gathers behind the crossbeam, around the flower vase, beneath the shelves, though we know perfectly well it is mere shadow, we are overcome with the feeling that in this small corner of the atmosphere there reigns complete and utter silence; that here in the darkness immutable tranquility holds sway.
Tanizaki, 20 A simple structure, but a special and evocative one, a place of deeply philosophical depths. A space cut out of the room, which cuts off direct light and thereby opens up a new world: See section 7, below, on cutting.
This was the genius of our ancestors, that by cutting off the light from this empty space they imparted to the world of shadows that formed there a quality of mystery or depth superior to that of any wall painting or ornament.
The technique seems simple, but was by no means so simply achieved.In an essay “In Praise of Shadows” () the great novelist Tanizaki Jun'ichirō (–) has this to say about the beauty of the alcove (tokonoma) in the traditional Japanese teahouse: An empty space is marked off with plain wood and plain walls, so that the light drawn into .
- Evanescence, a gothic-rock band originating from Little Rock, Arkansas shows that in the deepest, most private recesses of our minds, a sinister beauty elegantly glides among the darkness of our most horrifying nightmares. Emily Dickinson's more philosophical nature poems tend to reflect darker moods than do her more descriptive poems and are often denser and harder to interpret.
The nature scenes in these poems often are so deeply internalized in the speaker that a few critics deny the reality of their physical scenes and insist that the poems deal exclusively with states of mind.
“End of the Dream” is the ninth track on Evanescence’s self-titled album. It’s one of the songs that got reworked from the Steve Lillywhite recording sessions. The song is about death. Some keep the Sabbath going to Church -- / I keep it, staying at Home -- / With a Bobolink for a Chorister -- / And an Orchard, for a Dome -- / Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice.
Beauty comes in many forms, as it is a very wide concept. Even if we take the beauty of a person: people can judge his or her physical or inner beauty, beauty of the eyes, of behavior and intentions, etc.