The Diary of Lady Murasaki

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Penguin Books Limited, Mar 7, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 144 pages
5 Reviews
The Diary recorded by Lady Murasaki (c. 973-c. 1020), author of The Tale of Genji, is an intimate picture of her life as tutor and companion to the young Empress Shoshi. Told in a series of vignettes, it offers revealing glimpses of the Japanese imperial palace - the auspicious birth of a prince, rivalries between the Emperor's consorts, with sharp criticism of Murasaki's fellow ladies-in-waiting and drunken courtiers, and telling remarks about the timid Empress and her powerful father, Michinaga. The Diary is also a work of great subtlety and intense personal reflection, as Murasaki makes penetrating insights into human psychology - her pragmatic observations always balanced by an exquisite and pensive melancholy.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmhale - LibraryThing

Murasaki is the author of one of Japan's acclaimed literary accomplishments, [The Tale of Genji]. While I've read excerpts of this novel in college, and own a lovely hardcover boxed edition, I haven't ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - antiquary - LibraryThing

Interesting as being the diary of the author of the Tale of Genji, though the diary itself is not as colorful as that of her contemporary Sei Shonagon. The most interesting moment may be the one in which she rejects the powerful Fujiwara chancellor Read full review

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About the author (1996)

Murasaki Shikibu, born in 978, was a member of Japan's Fujiwara clan, which ruled behind the scenes during the Heian Period by providing the brides and courtesans of all the emperors. Lady Murasaki's rare literary talent, particularly her skill as a poet, secured her a place in the court of Empress Akiko. After the death of her husband, she cloistered herself to study Buddhism, raise her daughter, and write the world's first novel Genji Monogatari, the tale of the shining Prince Genji.

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