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IS_220_February_04_Gossamer_Journal_outline - IS 220...

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IS 220 February 4, 2008 Lecture/Discussion 11 The Gossamer Journal The author: 937?-995. Daughter of a provincial governor. Accomplished poet, one of “three beauties” in Japan Second wife of Fujiwara no Kaneie (929-90), only one son, Michitsuna (955-1020) Became active in poetry and literature, may have become a “nun” late in life Kaneie – a Fujiwara, ruthless pursuit of power, original defeated by rival brothers but eventually became Regent; father of Empress Akiko (through first wife). Outgoing, showed little respect for the Throne (appeared at court improperly dressed….) The book has three parts: in parts 2 and 3, she gradually comes to accept her situation and to view Kaneie objectively. There once was a woman who led a forlorn, uncertain life, the old days gone forever and her present status neither one thing nor the other. Telling herself that it was natural for a man to attach no value to someone who was less attractive than others and not very bright, she merely went to bed and got up day after day. But then it occurred to her, as she leafed through the many current tales of the past, that such stories were only conventional tissues of fabrications, and that people might welcome the novelty of a journal written by an ordinary woman. If there were those who wondered what it was like to be married to a man who moved in the very highest circles, she might invite them to find an answer here.
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