Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Tale of Genji: (Penguin Classics Deluxe…

The Tale of Genji: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (edition 2002)

by Murasaki Shikibu, Royall Tyler (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,558331,487 (3.93)1 / 248
Title:The Tale of Genji: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Authors:Murasaki Shikibu
Other authors:Royall Tyler (Translator)
Info:Penguin Classics (2002), Paperback, 1216 pages
Collections:Priority Reads, Your library, To read

Work details

The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu (Author)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (30)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Thought to be the first novel ever written, this book is still vibrant. Blending the sounds and sights of seasonal change with the goings on in the Heian court, it succeeds in portraying a world and its context. Don't expect too much to happen - hey, it's about court life in the 11th century after all - but it's about a real world...[in progress] ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
An 11th C. Japanese saga of love & life in the Imperial family. Arguably the world's first novel. Fabulous.
Read Samoa June 2003 ( )
  mbmackay | Nov 28, 2015 |
This is a very old Japanese novel that has six parts. My copy is a 1925 translation of just the first part. Genji was the illegitimate son of the emperor and had many privileges, including his own palace. He was unhappily married and spent a great deal of time in the company of women who were not his wife. Most of the book described his adventures based on the troubles caused during his evenings away. The interesting aspect of this was the poetic communication to arrange these evenings, with short verses sent back and forth. It is amusing to imagine this now- sending a poetic text somehow would not have the same feel.

In some ways this was difficult reading. Women of Genji's acquaintance essentially belong to him. They make discreet arrangements and try to oblige him so that they will not be seen as frigid. In this world, it is possible to essentially adopt a child and when raised to be sufficiently what is desired, take sexual advantage. It is really clear to a modern audience that rape occurred. It is also clear to Genji that his advances were unwanted, but he feels entitled and expresses that eventually the young lady will get over it and love him. Throughout the book Genji was presented as extremely handsome, intelligent, and graceful. By the end of the book he just seemed like a rapist- his ward clearly felt that trust was violated. Where context is relevant is that Genji is shown as having the right to violate that trust and this event does not seem out of the ordinary to the other characters.

I admit that this book has value in that it is a relic of a different time period, but just couldn't enjoy it in the end. It is possible that reading the complete version would allow a picture of Genji that is more favorable. This book could be recommended to anyone interested in the time period. ( )
  karmiel | Aug 4, 2015 |
The world’s first novel. Kogimi, an attractive 12/13-year-old, catches the eye of 18-year-old Genji who grooms the boy as his son, dressing him in his own clothes and taking him to court. Genji uses Kogimi as a go-between to take love letters to his older sister Utsusemi. Genji’s then takes Kogimi to bed with him when Kogimi’s sister resists his advances. ( )
  TonySandel2 | Mar 20, 2014 |
On the surface, the language is simple and flows beautifully, and the chapters (episodes?) tend to be fairly short, so it is easy to read a bit here & there. Genji was surprisingly excellent subway read (ebook, clearly) due to the brief sections and the repetitiveness. Reading during the commute is strangely like being an avid fan of a sitcom it to being addicted to a sitcom -- both have a core group of main characters and an extensive cast of extras (some with reoccurring roles, others in only one episode), and for both, while the plot details vary, the general arc/outline of individual episodes are similar.

I suppose if I had been reading the Penguin edition with the fantastic end notes that explained the significance of the colors, kimono patterns, etc, it would have been slower going. ( )
  ELiz_M | Apr 6, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
The main thing required of a noble gentleman in Heian Japan was a sense of style. Seducing another man’s wife could be forgiven; a bad poem, clumsy handwriting, or the wrong perfume could not.
added by Jozefus | editThe New Yorker, Ian Buruma (Jul 15, 2016)
Het verhaal van Genji is dé klassieke roman uit de Japanse literaire historie. Het boek werd in de elfde eeuw geschreven door Murasaki Shikibu, pseudoniem van een hofdame in de keizerlijke hoofdstad Heian-kyo (Kyoto). Het torent al duizend jaar als de berg Fuji uit boven het literaire landschap van Japan.
added by Jozefus | editNRC Handelsblad, Auke Hulst (pay site) (Nov 15, 2013)

» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shikibu, MurasakiAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Соколова-Д… Татьяна Львовнапер.main authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buckley, PaulCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seidensticker, Edward G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tyler, RoyallTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waley, ArthurTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
In a certain reign (whose can it have been?) someone of no very great rank, among all His Magesty's Consorts and Intimates, enjoyed exceptional favor.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
There are reportedly three basic translations of "The Tale of Genji" into English. Arthur Waley produced a six part translation between 1925 and 1933. Edward Seidensticker produced the second English version in 1976, described as "doggedly faithful" to the original. The most recent translation into English is Royall Tyler's, published in 2001.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (9)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014243714X, Paperback)

Written in the eleventh century, this exquisite portrait of courtly life in medieval Japan is widely celebrated as the world’s first novel. Genji, the Shining Prince, is the son of an emperor. He is a passionate character whose tempestuous nature, family circumstances, love affairs, alliances, and shifting political fortunes form the core of this magnificent epic. Royall Tyler’s superior translation is detailed, poetic, and superbly true to the Japanese original while allowing the modern reader to appreciate it as a contemporary treasure. Supplemented with detailed notes, glossaries, character lists, and chronologies to help the reader navigate the multigenerational narrative, this comprehensive edition presents this ancient tale in the grand style that it deserves.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:15 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The Tale of Genji is one of the world's earliest novels, written in the 11th century. The novel's plot centers on the romantic relationships of the noble hero Genji.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
5 avail.
206 wanted
3 free
28 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.93)
1 7
1.5 1
2 18
2.5 5
3 79
3.5 18
4 132
4.5 23
5 116

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,251,350 books! | Top bar: Always visible