Reading The Tale of Genji

These texts provide a fascinating glimpse into Japanese views of literature, poetry, imperial politics, and the place of art and women in society.

Author: Thomas Harper

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231537209

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 656

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The Tale of Genji, written one thousand years ago, is a masterpiece of Japanese literature, is often regarded as the best prose fiction in the language. Read, commented on, and reimagined by poets, scholars, dramatists, artists, and novelists, the tale has left a legacy as rich and reflective as the work itself. This sourcebook is the most comprehensive record of the reception of The Tale of Genji to date. It presents a range of landmark texts relating to the work during its first millennium, almost all of which are translated into English for the first time. An introduction prefaces each set of documents, situating them within the tradition of Japanese literature and cultural history. These texts provide a fascinating glimpse into Japanese views of literature, poetry, imperial politics, and the place of art and women in society. Selections include an imagined conversation among court ladies gossiping about their favorite characters and scenes in Genji; learned exegetical commentary; a vigorous debate over the morality of Genji; and an impassioned defense of Genji's ability to enhance Japan's standing among the twentieth century's community of nations. Taken together, these documents reflect Japan's fraught history with vernacular texts, particularly those written by women.
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The Tale of Genji

The first translation of the Japanese masterpiece in a generation introduces modern readers to this brilliant account of courtly life in medieval Japan, in an edition that also features line drawings, notes, glossaries, maps, character ...

Author: Murasaki Shikibu

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143039490

Category: Fiction

Page: 319

View: 130

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The first translation of the Japanese masterpiece in a generation introduces modern readers to this brilliant account of courtly life in medieval Japan, in an edition that also features line drawings, notes, glossaries, maps, character lists, and chronologies. Reprint.
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The Tale of Genji

Genji is also a master poet, dancer, musician and painter. The Tale of Genji follows Prince Genji through his many loves and varied passions.

Author: Murasaki Shikibu

Publisher: Tuttle Publishing

ISBN: 9781462900046

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 224

View: 702

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The most famous work of Japanese literature and the world's first novel—written a thousand years ago and one of the enduring classics of world literature. Written centuries before the time of Shakespeare and even Chaucer, The Tale of Genji marks the birth of the novel—and after more than a millennium, this seminal work continues to enchant readers throughout the world. Lady Murasaki Shikibu and her tale's hero, Prince Genji, have had an unmatched influence on Japanese culture. Prince Genji manifests what was to become an image of the ideal Heian era courtier; gentle and passionate. Genji is also a master poet, dancer, musician and painter. The Tale of Genji follows Prince Genji through his many loves and varied passions. This book has influenced not only generations of courtiers and samurai of the distant past, but artists and painters even in modern times—episodes in the tale have been incorporated into the design of kimonos and handicrafts, and the four-line poems called waka which dance throughout this work have earned it a place as a classic text in the study of poetry. This version by Kencho Suematsu was the first-ever translation in English. Condensed, it's a quarter length of the unabridged text, making it perfect for readers with limited time. "Not speaking is the wiser part, And words are sometimes vain, But to completely close the heart In silence, gives me pain." —Prince Genji, in The Tale of Genji
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The Tale of Genji

Michael Emmerich thoroughly revises the conventional narrative of the early modern and modern history of The Tale of Genji.

Author: Michael Emmerich

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231534420

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 644

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Michael Emmerich thoroughly revises the conventional narrative of the early modern and modern history of The Tale of Genji. Exploring iterations of the work from the 1830s to the 1950s, he demonstrates how translations and the global circulation of discourse they inspired turned The Tale of Genji into a widely read classic, reframing our understanding of its significance and influence and of the processes that have canonized the text. Emmerich begins with an analysis of the lavishly produced best seller Nise Murasaki inaka Genji (A Fraudulent Murasaki's Bumpkin Genji, 1829–1842), an adaptation of Genji written and designed by Ryutei Tanehiko, with pictures by the great print artist Utagawa Kunisada. He argues that this work introduced Genji to a popular Japanese audience and created a new mode of reading. He then considers movable-type editions of Inaka Genji from 1888 to 1928, connecting trends in print technology and publishing to larger developments in national literature and showing how the one-time best seller became obsolete. The study subsequently traces Genji's reemergence as a classic on a global scale, following its acceptance into the canon of world literature before the text gained popularity in Japan. It concludes with Genji's becoming a "national classic" during World War II and reviews an important postwar challenge to reading the work after it attained this status. Through his sustained critique, Emmerich upends scholarship on Japan's preeminent classic while remaking theories of world literature, continuity, and community.
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The Tale of Genji

The Tale of Genji is presented here in a flowing new translation for contemporary readers, who will discover in its depiction of the culture of the imperial court the rich complexity of human experience that simultaneously resonates with ...

Author: Shikibu Murasaki

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393248074

Category: Fiction

Page: 1360

View: 988

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“A fluid, elegant rendition.” —Washington Post Murasaki Shikibu, born into the middle ranks of the aristocracy during the Heian period (794–1185 CE), wrote The Tale of Genji—widely considered the world’s first novel—during the early years of the eleventh century. Expansive, compelling, and sophisticated in its representation of ethical concerns and aesthetic ideals, Murasaki’s tale came to occupy a central place in Japan’s remarkable history of artistic achievement and is now recognized as a masterpiece of world literature. The Tale of Genji is presented here in a flowing new translation for contemporary readers, who will discover in its depiction of the culture of the imperial court the rich complexity of human experience that simultaneously resonates with and challenges their own. Washburn sets off interior monologues with italics for fluid reading, embeds some annotations for accessibility and clarity, and renders the poetry into triplets to create prosodic analogues of the original.
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The Tale of Genji

The classic novel of court life in tenth and eleventh-century Japan centers on the exploits of a nobleman known as the shining Genji, son of an emperor, and those of Kaoru, grandson of Genji's best friend.

Author: Lady Murasaki

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 9780486414157

Category: Fiction

Page: 190

View: 183

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The classic novel of court life in tenth and eleventh-century Japan centers on the exploits of a nobleman known as the shining Genji, son of an emperor, and those of Kaoru, grandson of Genji's best friend.
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Reading the Tale of Genji

In other words, the reader interprets the Genji Scrolls before his eyes within the greater context of the narrative (the reader ...

Author: Richard Stanley-Baker

Publisher: Global Oriental

ISBN: 9789004212978

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 243

View: 990

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Six essays by international scholars addressing the Tale of Genji scrolls and the Tale of Genji texts in the context of new critical theory relating to cultural studies, narrative painting, comparative literature and a global view of medieval romance. It links new critical theory with multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary interests.
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Genji Heike

The Tale of Genji and The Tale of the Heike are the two major works of classical Japanese prose.

Author:

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804722587

Category: Social Science

Page: 490

View: 333

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The Tale of Genji and The Tale of the Heike are the two major works of classical Japanese prose. The complete versions of both works are too long to be taught in one term, and this abridgement answers the need for a one-volume edition of both works suitable for use in survey courses in classical Japanese literature or world literature in translation and by the general reader daunted by the complete works. The translator has selected representative portions of the two texts with a view to shaping the abridgments into coherent, aesthetically acceptable wholes. Often called the world's earliest novel, The Tale of Genji, by Murasaki Shikibu, is a poetic evocation of aristocratic life in eleventh-century Japan, a period of brilliant cultural efflorescence. This new translation focuses on important events in the life of its main character, Genji. It traces the full length of Genji's relationship with Murasaki, the deepest and most enduring of his emotional attachments, and contains all or parts of 10 of the 41 chapters in which Genji figures, including the "Broom Tree" chapter, which provides a reprise of the themes of the book. In romanticized but essentially truthful fashion, The Tale of the Heike describes the late twelfth-century political intrigues and battlefield clashes that led to the eclipse of the Kyoto court and the establishment of a military government by the rival Minamotho (Genji) clan. Its underlying theme, the evanescence of worldly things, echoes some of the concerns of the Genji, but its language preserves many traces of oral composition, and its vigor and expansivelness contrast sharply with the pensive, elegant tone of the Genji. The selections of the Heike, about 40 percent of the owrk, are taken from the translator's complete edition, which received great acclaim: "this verison of the Heike is superb and indeed reveals to English-language readers for the first time the full scope, grandeur, and literary richness of the work."—Journal of Asian Studies For both the Genji and the Heike abridgments, the translator has provided introductions, headnote summaries, adn other supplementary maerials designed to help readers follow the sometimes confused story lines and keep the characters straight. The book also includes an appendix, a glossary, a bibliography, and two maps.
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Yosano Akiko and the Tale of Genji

Nobutsuna's little joke can nonetheless be read as his attempt to pronounce upon what a woman should be reading : The Tale of Genji .

Author: Gaye Rowley

Publisher: U of M Center for Japanese Studies

ISBN: 9780472038329

Category:

Page: 234

View: 197

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Yosano Akiko (1878-1942) has long been recognized as one of the most important literary figures of prewar Japan. Her renown derives principally from the passion of her early poetry and from her contributions to 20th-century debates about women. This emphasis obscures a major part of her career, which was devoted to work on the Japanese classics and, in particular, the great Heian period text The Tale of Genji. Akiko herself felt that Genji was the bedrock upon which her entire literary career was built, and her bibliography shows a steadily increasing amount of time devoted to projects related to the tale. This study traces for the first time the full range of Akiko's involvement with The Tale of Genji.The Tale of Genji provided Akiko with her conception of herself as a writer and inspired many of her most significant literary projects. She, in turn, refurbished the tale as a modern novel, pioneered some of the most promising avenues of modern academic research on Genji, and, to a great extent, gave the text the prominence it now enjoys as a translated classic. Through Akiko's work Genji became, in fact as well as in name, an exemplum of that most modern of literary genres, the novel. In delineating this important aspect of Akiko's life and her bibliography, this study aims to show that facile descriptions of Akiko as a "poetess of passion" or "new woman" will no longer suffice.
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Murasaki Shikibu s the Tale of Genji

Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji is variously read as a work of feminist protest, the world's first psychological novel and even as a post-modern masterpiece.

Author: James McMullen

Publisher: Oxford Studies in Philosophy a

ISBN: 9780190654979

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 328

View: 889

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Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji is variously read as a work of feminist protest, the world's first psychological novel and even as a post-modern masterpiece. Commonly seen as Japan's greatest literary work, its literary, cultural, and historical significance has been thoroughly acknowledged. As a work focused on the complexities of Japanese court life in the Heian period, however, the The Tale of Genji has never before been the subject of philosophical investigation. The essays in this volume address this oversight, arguing that the work contains much that lends itself to philosophical analysis. The authors of this volume demonstrate that The Tale of Genji confronts universal themes such as the nature and exercise of political power, freedom, individual autonomy and agency, renunciation, gender, and self-expression; it raises deep concerns about aesthetics and the role of art, causality, the relation of man to nature, memory, and death itself. Although Murasaki Shikibu may not express these themes in the text as explicitly philosophical problems, the complex psychological tensions she describes and her observations about human conduct reveal an underlying framework of philosophical assumptions about the world of the novel that have implications for how we understand these concerns beyond the world of Genji. Each essay in this collection reveals a part of this framework, situating individual themes within larger philosophical and historical contexts. In doing so, the essays both challenge prevailing views of the novel and each other, offering a range of philosophical interpretations of the text and emphasizing the The Tale of Genji's place as a masterful work of literature with broad philosophical significance.
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A Reading of the Tale of Genji

The seven essays in this book present an in-depth reading of The Tale of Genji.

Author: Royall Tyler

Publisher:

ISBN: 0994571534

Category:

Page: 294

View: 890

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The seven essays in this book present an in-depth reading of The Tale of Genji. They are entitled "Genji and Murasaki: Between Love and Pride"; "Genji and Suzaku: The Disaster of the Third Princess"; "Genji and Suzaku: The Possibility of Ukifune"; "Genji and the Luck of the Sea"; "Pity Poor Kaoru"; "Two Post-Genji Tales on The Tale of Genji"; and "Feminine Veils over Visions of the Male."
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Tale of Genji A Reader s Guide

"Those who wish to deepen their acquaintance with Murasaki's wondrous world will certainly find Puette's guide most helpful." —The Japan Times This is the most complete reader's guide available on Japan's highly revered novel, the ...

Author: William J. Puette

Publisher: Tuttle Publishing

ISBN: 4805310847

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 192

View: 248

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"Those who wish to deepen their acquaintance with Murasaki's wondrous world will certainly find Puette's guide most helpful." —The Japan Times This is the most complete reader's guide available on Japan's highly revered novel, the eleventh-century classic, The Tale of Genji, by Murasaki Shikibu, referred to by Nobel Laureate Yasunari Kawabata as the "highest pinnacle of Japanese literature." Written specifically to accompany the translation of the work by Arthur Waley and Edward G. Seidensticker, this guide offers detailed summaries and thematic commentaries, as well as cross-referenced notes on the novel's many characters. It also charts the essential progress of The Tale of Genji and introduces the reader to the more subtle complexities, literary devices, and conventions of Lady Murasaki's Heian Japan. No longer does the reader have to try and guess the novel's cultural and historical milieu. The author presents brief, illustrated essays on historical, philosophical, and cultural features of the novel, and discusses such relevant aspects as the balance between the tenets of Shintoism and Buddhism, the pervasive concepts of karma in human relationships, and the poetic aspects of aware. Both general readers and literature students will find the background information contained in this "companion" indispensable to their reading and interpretation of this complex novel.
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The Tale of Genji

The tale unfolds in time. “Sense, in Genji monogatari, is suspended,” Mitani continues: our Àrst, straightforward reading is fractured by contradictions ...

Author: Michael Emmerich

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231162722

Category: History

Page: 494

View: 964

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Tracing the canonization through translation of The Tale of Genji from the 1830s to the 1950s, Michael Emmerich rewrites the early modern and modern history of the work, illuminating the intricate process by which it came to be recognized as a classic of both Japanese and world literature.
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The Bridge of Dreams

The Bridge of Dreams is a brilliant reading of The Tale of Genji that succeeds both as a sophisticated work of literary criticism and as an introduction this world masterpiece.

Author: Haruo Shirane

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804717192

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 276

View: 385

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The Bridge of Dreams is a brilliant reading of The Tale of Genji that succeeds both as a sophisticated work of literary criticism and as an introduction this world masterpiece. Taking account of current literary theory and a long tradition of Japanese commentary, the author guides both the general reader and the specialist to a new appreciation of the structure and poetics of this complex and often seemingly baffling work. The Tale of Genji, written in the early eleventh century by a court lady, Murasaki Shikibu, is Japan's most outstanding work of prose fiction. Though bearing a striking resemblance to the modern psychological novel, the Genji was not conceived and written as a single work and then published and distributed to a mass audience as novels are today. Instead, it was issued in limited installments, sequence by sequence, to an extremely circumscribed, aristocratic audience. This study discusses the growth and evolution of the Genji and the manner in which recurrent concerns--political, social, and religious--are developed, subverted, and otherwise transformed as the work evolves from one stage to another. Throughout, the author analyzes the Genji in the context of those literary works and conventions that Murasaki explicitly or implicitly presupposed her contemporary audience to know, and reveals how the Genji works both within and against the larger literary and sociopolitical tradition. The book contains a color frontispiece by a seventeenth-century artist and eight pages of black-and-white illustrations from a twelfth-century scroll. Two appendixes present an analysis of biographical and textual problems and a detailed index of principal characters.
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The Tale of Genji

One day when someone had been reading The Tale of Genji out loud to the Emperor, His Majesty said: “This lady has certainly been reading the Annals of Japan ...

Author: Lady Murasaki

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 9780486111650

Category: Fiction

Page: 208

View: 863

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One of the world's oldest novels and the greatest single work of Japanese literature, this 11th-century romance offers a vast tapestry of court life, rich in poetry and subtle social, psychological observations.
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Envisioning the Tale of Genji

... A very similar complaint and provocative remark about The Tale of Genji were made by Masamune Hakuchō in “Koten o yonde” (On Reading Classics, 1926).

Author: Haruo Shirane

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231142366

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 400

View: 104

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Bringing together scholars from across the world, Haruo Shirane presents a fascinating portrait of The Tale of Genji's reception and reproduction over the past thousand years. The essays examine the canonization of the work from the late Heian through the medieval, Edo, Meiji, Taisho, Showa, and Heisei periods, revealing its profound influence on a variety of genres and fields, including modern nation building. They also consider parody, pastiche, and re-creation of the text in various popular and mass media. Since the Genji was written by a woman for female readers, contributors also take up the issue of gender and cultural authority, looking at the novel's function as a symbol of Heian court culture and as an important tool in women's education. Throughout the volume, scholars discuss achievements in visualization, from screen painting and woodblock prints to manga and anime. Taking up such recurrent themes as cultural nostalgia, eroticism, and gender, this book is the most comprehensive history of the reception of The Tale of Genji to date, both in the country of its origin and throughout the world.
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Murasaki Shikibu The Tale of Genji

Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji, written in Japan in the early eleventh century, is acknowledged to be one of Japan's greatest literary achievements, and sometimes thought of as the world's first novel.

Author: Richard Bowring

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521539757

Category: Fiction

Page: 106

View: 801

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Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji, written in Japan in the early eleventh century, is acknowledged to be one of Japan's greatest literary achievements, and sometimes thought of as the world's first novel. It is also one of the earliest major works to be written by a woman. This introduction to the Genji sketches the cultural background, offers detailed analysis of the text, discusses matters of language and style and ends by tracing the history of its reception through nine centuries of cultural change. This book will be useful for survey courses in Japanese and World Literature. Because The Tale of Genji is so long, it is often not possible for students to read it in its entirety and this book will therefore be used not only as an introduction, but also as a guide through the difficult and convoluted plot.
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The Tale of Genji

... a pictorial system works in conjunction with the blown-off roofs and provides an appropriate counterpart to the experience of reading The Tale of Genji.

Author: John T. Carpenter

Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art

ISBN: 9781588396655

Category: Art

Page: 368

View: 289

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With its vivid descriptions of courtly society, gardens, and architecture in early eleventh-century Japan, The Tale of Genji—recognized as the world’s first novel—has captivated audiences around the globe and inspired artistic traditions for one thousand years. Its female author, Murasaki Shikibu, was a diarist, a renowned poet, and, as a tutor to the young empress, the ultimate palace insider; her monumental work of fiction offers entry into an elaborate, mysterious world of court romance, political intrigue, elite customs, and religious life. This handsomely designed and illustrated book explores the outstanding art associated with Genji through in-depth essays and discussions of more than one hundred works. The Tale of Genji has influenced all forms of Japanese artistic expression, from intimately scaled albums to boldly designed hanging scrolls and screen paintings, lacquer boxes, incense burners, games, palanquins for transporting young brides to their new homes, and even contemporary manga. The authors, both art historians and Genji scholars, discuss the tale’s transmission and reception over the centuries; illuminate its place within the history of Japanese literature and calligraphy; highlight its key episodes and characters; and explore its wide-ranging influence on Japanese culture, design, and aesthetics into the modern era. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Verdana}
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Idealism Protest and the Tale of Genji

He remained cautious over recommending it to readers , unless they were ' above mediocrity ' ( v . 366-7 ) . Certain aspects of the novel that aroused ...

Author: James McMullen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198152515

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 539

View: 864

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This book takes a fresh look at early modern Japanese Confucian thought through a study of Kumazawa Banzan (1619-91). It argues that, contrary to the often-held view that Confucianism was an ideological tool used to support the current regime, Banzan's thought suggests that the traditioncontained elements subversive to the status quo: Banzan is presented as a figure of protest. The book explores his stormy relations with feudal authority and his remonstrations against contemporary maladministration. Banzan also criticized the historical militarization of Japanese societyand high consumption, which he believed to cause deforestation and climatic warming. His thinking extended to metaphysics and the question of Japan's national identity. A remarkable feature of his thought was his identification of an arcadian society in the Tale of Genji, a book condemned bymost of his fellow Confucian thinkers. This book is based on Banzan's written works, both published and in manuscript, his correspondence, and other contemporary sources.
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