Sunday, 9, May, 2021
StartFC ReviewBook | Shibumi

Book | Shibumi

A survivor of Hiroshima, Nicolai Hel resurfaces as the world's most skilled and well-paid hired killer lover. Hel is a genius, a mystic, a master in different languages and cultures, and his secret is his determination to achieve a rare type of personal excellence, a state of spontaneous perfection known as shibumi.
Currently living with his exquisite lover in an isolated fortress in the mountains, when a beautiful strange girl knocks on his door seeking help and refuge, and Hel is unwillingly dragged back to a type of life he had tried to leave behind. Before long, it becomes evident that Hel is being hunted by his most sinister enemy, an international espionage super-organization known only as the Mother Company. The battlefield is ready: on the one hand, corruption and merciless power, and on the other ... shibumi.
Livro | Shibumi 1shibumi.jpg
This is not a new book. Its launch in Brazil was in 1984 and later a new edition in 2006 by Landscape. Shibumi is not an easy book to read. For many born after 1995, a good search by Google or people who are of the time is necessary.
Trevanian manages to hold us back from the beginning to the end of his adventure with Hel. At times you can think that the character is a James Bond. But then that is gone from the reader's mind.
Hel is unique! He is a character full of mysticism. A man grown up in World War II.
He has no homeland. He was born Russian, spent part of his childhood in China and became a man in Japan. And now he lives in Europe.
Hel is a mixture of cultures and symbolism that makes it unique.
Shibumi is a book with references to espionage. It has doses of adventure with wonderful places described by the author. It is an agile book and full of twists and turns.
Trevanian plays against the American and European lifestyle. And it shows a side of Japan that no longer exists and criticizes its evolution. But you also understand the need for change. And that accepting is not the same as giving in to these changes.
It makes you reflect on our existence. What are the values that we really want for ourselves. Those that we end up forgetting at some point in time and that now, as much as we want to bring him back, it becomes almost impossible.
Shibumi is not just a spy and history book. He's about philosophy. The book is a time machine that travels between the past and the future showing the growth of the character and highlighting his choices that made him who he is. During this journey, we are still introduced to the Company. The great antagonist of the hero.
It is interesting to read and understand how much the author throws in our face what our world is through the Company. Even for a book written at the time of the Cold War, Shibumi is still current. The characters of the past are removed and those of today are added. Change the year and everything remains the same. Wars remain the same and the search for a few is still for their Shibumi.
kanji-shibumi
“- Shibumi, sir?
Nicholai knew the word, but only when applied to gardens or architecture, when he wanted to mean an understated beauty. - In what sense do you use the word, sir?
"Ah, in a vague way." And I think that's incorrect. An unfortunate attempt to describe an ineffable quality. As you know, Shibumi tries to define a great refinement hidden under an ordinary appearance. It is a statement so correct that it doesn't have to be bold, so accurate that it doesn't have to be beautiful, so true that it doesn't have to be real.
Shibumi has more to do with understanding than knowing. An eloquent silence. In conduct it is modesty without humility. In art, where the spirit of shibumi
it takes the form of sabi, it means elegant simplicity, an articulated brevity. In philosophy, where shibumi emerges as wabi, it is a non-passive spiritual tranquility; the being without the anguished becoming. And, in a man's personality, it's ... how to say? Authority without domination? Something like that.
Nicholai's imagination was galvanized by the concept of shibumi. No other ideal concept had ever affected him so deeply.
"And how does a person achieve this shibumi, sir?"
—The shibumi is not reached…
it is discovered. And only a few men, extremely refined, achieve this feat. Men like my friend Otake-san.
"What does it mean that the person has a lot to learn to get to shibumi?"
- I don't think so. One has to overcome wisdom to reach simplicity.
(…)
Although they talked together until late that last night about what shibumi meant or could mean, in the deepest essence they were not in agreement. For the general, shibumi was a kind of submission; for Nicholai a kind of power.
They were both prisoners of their generations. ”

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