Shibumi Quotes

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Shibumi Shibumi by Trevanian
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Shibumi Quotes (showing 1-25 of 25)
“Irony is Fate's most common figure of speech.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“It was not their irritating assumption of equality that annoyed Nicholai so much as their cultural confusions. The Americans seemed to confuse standard of living with quality of life, equal opportunity with institutionalized mediocrity, bravery with courage, machismo with manhood, liberty with freedom, wordiness with articulation, fun with pleasure - in short, all of the misconceptions common to those who assume that justice implies equality for all, rather than equality for equals.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“It's not Americans I find annoying; it's Americanism: a social disease of the postindustrial world that must inevitably infect each of the mercantile nations in turn, and is called 'American' only because your nation is the most advanced case of the malady, much as one speaks of Spanish flu, or Japanese Type-B encephalitis. It's symptoms are a loss of work ethic, a shrinking of inner resources, and a constant need for external stimulation, followed by spiritual decay and moral narcosis. You can recognize the victim by his constant efforts to get in touch with himself, to believe his spiritual feebleness is an interesting psychological warp, to construe his fleeing from responsibility as evidence that he and his life are uniquely open to new experiences. In the later stages, the sufferer is reduced to seeking that most trivial of human activities: fun.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“Your scorn for mediocrity blinds you to its vast primitive power. You stand in the glare of your own brilliance, unable to see into the dim corners of the room, to dilate your eyes and see the potential dangers of the mass, the wad of humanity. Even as I tell you this, dear student, you cannot quite believe that lesser men, in whatever numbers, can really defeat you. But we are in the age of the mediocre man. He is dull, colorless, boring — but inevitably victorious. The amoeba outlives the tiger because it divides and continues in its immortal monotony. The masses are the final tyrants. See how, in the arts, Kabuki wanes and withers while popular novels of violence and mindless action swamp the mind of the mass reader. And even in that timid genre, no author dares to produce a genuinely superior man as his hero, for in his rage of shame the mass man will send his yojimbo, the critic, to defend him. The roar of the plodders is inarticulate, but deafening. They have no brain, but they have a thousand arms to grasp and clutch at you, drag you down.”
Trevanian , Shibumi
“Hana: What on Earth is a 'barbeque'? Hel: A primitive tribal ritual featuring paper plates, elbows, flying insects, encrusted meat, hush puppies, and beer. Hana: I daren't ask what a 'hush puppy' is. Hel: Don't.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“You can gain experience, if you are careful to avoid empty redundancy. Do not fall into the error of the artisan who boasts of twenty years experience in craft while in fact he has had only one year of experience–twenty times. And never resent the advantage of experience your elders have. Recall that they have paid for this experience in the coin of life, and have emptied a purse that cannot be refilled.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“Generalization is flawed thinking only when applied to individuals. It is the most accurate way to describe the mass, the Wad. And yours is a democracy, a dictatorship of the Wad.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“And he recalled the ancient adage: Who must do the harsh things? He who can.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“Go is to Western chess what philosophy is to double-entry accounting.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“(...) shibumi has to do with great refinement underlying commonplace appearances. It is a statement so correct that it does not have to be bold, so poignant it does not have to be pretty, so true it does not have to be real. Shibumi is understanding, rather than knowledge. Eloquent silence. In demeanor, it is modesty without pudency. In art, where the spirit of shibumi takes the form of sabi, it is elegant simplicity, articulate brevity. In philosophy, where shibumi emerges as wabi, it is spiritual tranquility that is not passive; it is being without the angst of becoming. And in the personality of a man, it is . . . how does one say it? Authority without domination? Something like that.”
Nicholai’s imagination was galvanized by the concept of shibumi. No other ideal had ever touched him so. “How does one achieve this shibumi, sir?”
“One does not achieve it, one . . . discovers it. And only a few men of infinite refinement ever do that. Men like my friend Otake-san.”
“Meaning that one must learn a great deal to arrive at shibumi?”
“Meaning, rather, that one must pass through knowledge and arrive at simplicity.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“In seeming contradiction of physical laws, time is heavy only when it is empty.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“It is revealing of the American culture that its prototypic hero is the cowboy: an uneducated, boorish, Victorian migrant agricultural worker.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“Niko? I have decided to christen this little pool Le Cagot's Soul."
"Oh?"
"Yes. Because it is clear and pure and lucid."
"And treacherous and dangerous?"
"You know, Niko, I begin to suspect that you are a man of prose. It is a blemish on you."
"No one's perfect."
"Speak for yourself.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“— Шибуми, сър? — Николай познаваше думата, но само когато се използваше за градини и архитектура, където означаваше ненатрапчива красота. — В какъв смисъл използвате понятието, сър?

— О, неясно. И предполагам, неправилно. Глупав опит да се обясни неизразимо качество. Както знаеш, при шибуми трябва да има едно пречистване на ниските, баналните мисли. Това е едно изразяване — толкова правилно, че няма нужда да е смело, толкова трогателно, че няма нужда да е красиво, толкова вярно, че няма нужда да е истинско. Шибуми е разбиране, не познание. Красноречиво мълчание. В поведението това е скромност без срамежливост. В изкуството, където духът на шибуми приема формата на саби, това е елегантна простота, изразителна яснота. Във философията, където шибуми се явява като ваби, това е душевно спокойствие, което не е пасивно; това е да бъдеш, без да те е страх да станеш. А в личността на един човек, това е… как може да се каже? Авторитет без доминиране? Нещо такова.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“All right. But take my advice, Mr. Hel. Don’t let this chance get away. Opportunity doesn’t knock twice, you know.”
“Penetrating observation. Did you make up the epigram?”
“I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Very well. And ask the guard to knock on my cell door twice. I wouldn’t want to confuse him with opportunity.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
tags: humor
“Listen!” Hannah pled. “Is there someone who could drive me to the Château of Etchebar?” A quick conference was held between the café owner and the mousse players. There was some argument and a considerable amount of clarification and restatement of positions. Then the proprietor delivered the consensus opinion. “No.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“A lee-tle bit”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“As you know, shibumi has to do with great refinement underlying commonplace appearances. It is a statement so correct that it does not have to be bold, so poignant it does not have to be pretty, so true it does not have to be real. Shibumi is understanding, rather than knowledge. Eloquent silence. In demeanor, it is modesty without pudency. In art, where the spirit of shibumi takes the form of sabi, it is elegant simplicity, articulate brevity. In philosophy, where shibumi emerges as wabi, it is spiritual tranquility that is not passive; it is being without the angst of becoming.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“It is a truism of American politics that no man who can win an election deserves to.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“Obtuseness was its own defense”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“Sıkılmak ve kızmak benim dostumun kullandığı duygulardan değildir.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“Zevk, okuma ve rahatlık yeterliydi Nicholai için. (...) Eğlence gibi bir uyuşturucu maddeye de gereksinim duymuyordu.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“But he could feel nothing but disdain for the artificial class of the merchant, who sucks up his living through buying and selling things he does not create, who collects power and wealth out of proportion to his discrimination, and who is responsible for all that is kitsch, for all that is change without progress, for all that is consumption without use.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“Confession is good for the soul, it empties the spirit making more room for sin.”
Trevanian, Shibumi
“But we are in the age of the mediocre man. He is dull, colorless, boring—but inevitably victorious.”
Trevanian, Shibumi