This is the prose masterpiece of the Heian era of the 10th and 11th centuries, which is recognized as a great period in Japanese literature. It is an account of the intricate, exquisite, highly ordered court culture which made such a masterpiece possible.
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(212mm x 140mm x 54mm)
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US Kirkus Review »
More complete than Arthur Waley's classic translation, despite fewer words. One chapter (38, "The Bell Cricket") and many shorter passages cut by Waley are back in, while all of Waley's embellishments, explanations, clarifications, and attempts to make Lady Murasaki's "novel" more familiar, are out. The result is sometimes drier, even awkwardly vague at some transitional points, but in other instances more lucid, beautifully understated, and definitely closer to the spare style of the original period Japanese. And this makes Seidenstricker's version not only superior today but the one future stylists will work from for any improvements. (Kirkus Reviews)
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