Silhouettes and Shadows
The Sun never knew how wonderful it was
until it fell on the wall of a building.
Louis Kahn, Architect
quoted in forward of In Praise of Shadows, Junichiro Tanizaki
Look round and round upon this bare bleak plain,
and see even here, upon a winter’s day,
how beautiful the shadows are.
Alas! It is the nature of their kind to be so.
The loveliest things in life are but shadows,
and they come and go, and change and fade away…
– Charles Dickens
Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows,
the light and dark which that thing provides.
– Junichiro Tanizaki
We are but dust and shadow.
You can only come to the morning through the shadows.
– J.R. R. Tolkien
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow.
– T. S. Eliot
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow.
The shadow is what we think of it. The tree is the real thing.
– Abraham Lincoln
A shadow on the wall
boughs stirred by the noonday wind
that’s enough earth
and for the eye
enough celestial participation.
– Gottfried Benn
Translated from the German by Michael Hofmann