By Donald Richie
This provocative e-book is a tractate—a treatise—on attractiveness in eastern artwork, written within the demeanour of a zuihitsu, a free-ranging collection of principles that “follow the brush” anyplace it leads. Donald Richie seems at how perceptual values in Japan have been drawn from uncooked nature after which converted by means of stylish expressions of sophistication and flavor. He explains aesthetic strategies like wabi, sabi, acutely aware, and yugen, and ponders their relevance in artwork and cinema today.
Donald Richie is the key explorer of eastern tradition in English, and this paintings is the fruits of sixty years of staring at and writing from his domestic in Tokyo.
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Extra info for A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics
No matter how many concepts understanding offers for that aesthetic unity that imagination passes on to it as a candidate for conceptualization, no concept ever sufﬁces. Yet the attempts at ﬁnding an appropriate concept cannot be abandoned. Ever new conceptual suggestions have to be made. This process is, in principle, endless because it can never be brought to a satisfying conclusion. Aesthetic pleasure, therefore, always renews itself. We don’t get tired of looking at a familiar painting or listening to the same symphony because we do not come to terms with these sources of aesthetic pleasure by placing them under a concept to which we could then return for future reference.
Aesthetic pleasure, therefore, always renews itself. We don’t get tired of looking at a familiar painting or listening to the same symphony because we do not come to terms with these sources of aesthetic pleasure by placing them under a concept to which we could then return for future reference. This thought is expressed in a slightly different fashion in Kant’s notion of the aesthetic idea. e. concept ever being adequate to it and that can therefore not be reached and rendered comprehensible by any language.
In Rhapsody, Mendelssohn adds that sensual pleasure not only improves our bodily condition but leads to a harmonious play of all human faculties. While the pleasure of viewing a painting here comes dangerously close to that of eating a cake, Mendelssohn nevertheless advances the fruitful idea of the harmonious play of faculties caused by aesthetic cognition. Moreover, he distinguishes between the perfection of the object and the perfection of its representation in the subject. This important differentiation allows for a beautiful representation of objects that fail to be perfect themselves: “This artistic representation can be sensually perfect even if the object of it would be neither good nor beautiful in nature” (Main Principles, 431).