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A Sensitivity to Things > beauty

Mono no aware: Beauty in Japan

Meaning literally “a sensitivity to things,” mono no aware is a concept coined by Japanese literary and linguistic scholar Motoori Norinaga in the eighteenth century to describe the essence of Japanese culture, and it remains the central artistic imperative in Japan to this day. The phrase is derived from the word aware, which in Heian […]

Poetic Realism: the film genre a director died to make

More a tendency than a genre in its own right, Poetic Realism was a highly influential yet short-lived movement in French cinema of the 1930s, a brief outbreak of lyricism sandwiched between the bludgeoning horrors of two world wars. Unlike Soviet montage or French impressionism, poetic realism was never a unified movement or ideology, rather […]

Beautiful Moments in Film #1: Dedication

Dedication (2007) by Justin Theroux Rudy: That’s life Henry. Henry: Yep. Rudy: You know what life is? Henry: Life is a horrible little giggle in the midst of a forced death march towards hell. Rudy: No it isn’t. Henry: An interminable wail of grief… Rudy: No! Life is a single skip for joy. Henry: (sigh) […]

Lion-sized love

[kml_flashembed movie="/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/lion-love.swf" width="420" height="400" wmode="transparent Awwwwww! King-sized cute more like it! An African lion in Colombia meets the woman who rescued him six years previously, bonding human style with a hug and a kiss. Tell me which animal is the “king of the beasts” again?

The selfish, selfless Yukio Mishima

I’ve been going through something of a Yukio Mishima phase again recently. I did once before, many years ago, until a cursory read of his biography saw me dismiss him as deeply flawed, and in his fascination with violence, perhaps more ugly than beautiful. But I am having second thoughts. I don’t think I will […]

Life is but a dream…

Serendipity: Thanks, Horace Walpole by Sumangali Morhall has left me reaching for superlatives and floundering in imitation. A total of two mentions to this web diary? Flattered beyond due, how could I not be effusive in my praise! On the topic of serendipity, still, I am reminded of a friend from very long ago, an […]


I discovered a new website today; new to me and to the rest of the world, for much like this site it has only just started. Sumangali.org, named after its owner, is dedicated to and I quote: “…to the spirit of serendipity: finding good-fortune from unexpected sources; discovering the extraordinary in the ordinary, and the […]