Which I was first tempted to dismiss out of hand as being unbelievably, preciously, pretentious. But it's actually not -- some of her reviews seem really good. But how does she manage to go to the theatre with such staggeringly high frequency?
"He wrote me that the Japanese secret—what Lévi-Strauss had called the poignancy of things—implied the faculty of communion with things, of entering into them, of being them for a moment. It was normal that in their turn they should be like us: perishable and immortal."
– from the voice-over text (English version) of the Chris Marker film Sans Soleil / Sunless, (1983) a very personal contemplation of Japanese culture, in comparison with the culture Guinea-Bissau.
It strikes me that "the poignancy of things" would be a good translation of mono no aware. I haven't been able to track down the Lévi-Strauss reference.
Since I came upon this curious term I've taken it to describe the awareness of the transience of things as embodied in those things. An innate sadness of objects, or emotion experienced directly through contact with objects.
It's very hard to describe; sometimes I'll read a book or poem which is full of it (not music, though).
Wow. Unfortunately, I am not sure this word is usable in English, since it would seem to mean something like "one-sided insensitivity" (monadic non-awareness). What would be a close equivalent in English? Nostalgia? Wistfulness?
As per Wikipedia: lit. "the pathos of things", also translated as "an empathy toward things," or "a pity toward things." A Japanese term used to describe the awareness of the transience of things and a gentle sadness at their passing.