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Murasaki Shikibu


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Table of Contents

Preface; Genji chapter titles; Genealogical chart; Part I. The Cultural Background: 1. Politics; 2. Murasaki Shikibu; 3. Religion; 4. Language; 5. A grammar of sexual relations; 6. History and fiction; Part II. The Tale of Genji: 7. Sexual politics (chapters 1-12); 8. Penance and restitution (chapters 12-21); 9. A prospect of flowers (chapters 22-33); 10. Dangerous obsessions (chapters 34-41); 11. A passion for self-destruction (chapters 42-54); Part III. Language and style: 12. The narrator's presence; 13. Kashiwagi's tortured mind; 14. Equivocal narration; 15. Poetry in prose; 16. Translations; Part IV. Impact, Influence and Reception: 17. Early textual history; 18. Murasaki in hell; 19. Medieval commentaries; 20. Tokugawa readings; 21. Modern readings; Guide to further reading.

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This introduction to The Tale of Genji sketches the text's cultural background and offers an analysis of the text's language.


'... an erudite commentary encouraging the reader to investigate one of the most important Japanese texts by exploring a plethora of ideas in a guided but open manner.' Forum for Modern Language Studies

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