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. 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 cultural background
A grammar of sexual relations
History and fiction
The Tale of Genji
Penance and restitution chapters 1221
Kashiwagis tortured mind
Poetry in prose
Impact influence and reception
Murasaki in hell
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Akashi Lady Akikonomu allusions becomes begins Bo Juyi Buddhist capital centre century chapter titles Chinese Chujo classical commentary Confucian course court culture daughter desire discussion dream early emerge Emperor Daigo eventually exile fact father fiction Fujitsubo Fujiwara garden Heian Heian period historical honorific imperial important Japanese poetry jealousy Kaoru Kashiwagi kind Kiritsubo Kokiden Kokinshu Lady Rokujo language linked literary literature Lotus Sutra major male marriage matters medieval Michinaga monogatari mother Motoori Murasaki Shikibu Nakanokimi narrative narrator Niou obsession ofGenji Oigimi original passage passion poem poet poetic political present prince prose reader realise recognise reference Reizei Rokujo mansion role scene seen Sei Shonagon Seidensticker sense sexual shrine story substitute Sugawara no Michizane Suma Suzaku takes Tale of Genji Tamakazura Teika Third Princess Tokugawa translation turn Ukifune Waley Waley's whole woman women Yang Guifei Yugao Yugiri