Tale of Genji_1

Tale of Genji_1 - Murasaki Shikibu (c.1000) The Tale of...

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Murasaki Shikibu (c. 1000) The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari) What do I need to read? “Murasaki Shikibu” Pages 2174-2182 in Vol. B “The Tale of Genji” Pages 2182-2196, 2261-2270 in Vol. B A painting from Chapter 20, “The Bluebell” Where did this story come from?
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it is considered to be a masterpiece of Japanese literature it was written by Lady Murasaki Shikibu at the beginning of the 11 th  century it is one of the world’s earliest and greatest novels it depicts a unique society of ultra-refined and elegant aristocrats whose indispensable  accomplishments were skill in poetry, music, calligraphy, and courtship it was written during Japan’s golden Heian period (794-1185) it has provided endless inspiration for Japanese painters through the centuries much of the book is concerned with the loves of “the shining prince” - Prince Genji the story is permeated with a sensitivity to human emotions and beauties of nature hardly  paralleled elsewhere the tone darkens as the novel progresses perhaps this reflects a deepening of Murasaki’s Buddhist conviction of the vanity of the world  and of Genji’s maturity some say the last 14 chapters were written by another author How is the story presented? there are 54 chapters, 800 verses the narrator is feminine poetry is a necessary feature in the lovers’ conversations and letters not all of the story is essential to the main plot but it would be expected by readers the digressions add color and impressions to the reality of the story the poetry/letters were used because the lovers could not meet the story was a classic in its own day – a picture of the most elegant society ever known, whether 
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Tale of Genji_1 - Murasaki Shikibu (c.1000) The Tale of...

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