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The Tale of Genji: (Penguin Classics Deluxe…

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

by Murasaki Shikibu, Royall Tyler (Translator)

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3,450281,558 (3.94)1 / 236
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)


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English (27)  Spanish (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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 |
Once I figured out how to hold this book with one hand and a nursing newborn in the other, I tore through this book. ( )
  VikkiLaw | Apr 4, 2013 |
reading this in spurts at the bookstore; finished chapter 5
  serrulatae | Mar 31, 2013 |
Stopped. Page 400 of 1120. Might resume later.

My God, I can't take it anymore. Shining Genji this, pretty Genji that. Everything is always pretty and everybody always cries because things are so beautiful. Genji has affairs with women at the rate of one per chapter, Genji has affairs with a woman who looks like his mom, Genji adopts a little girl which he raises to be his wife, and builds a nice house to move them all in. His children are all fantastically beautiful. Everything is peach fuzz. Courtship -> the affair -> then the noble ladies pine for Genji. This happens multiple times.

Of course, there is the whole matter of my being raised in a completely different time and place, and thus missing out on a huge background of cultural context. Perhaps all this could be explained. So this isn't the end of my affair with Genji yet.

I'm not quite sure, in my uninformed opinion, that Genji can still be considered a novel. There is a definite prose style, multiple recurring characters. and even some form of psychological insight. There is also extensive usage and quotation of poetry. There also isn't much of an overarching plot, just several small narrative arcs which span a few chapters at most.

Blech. I might reread one of Vollmann's novels about whores to get the taste out of my mouth.
1 vote HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (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
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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.
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(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.
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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

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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