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The Tale of Genji: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by [Murasaki Shikibu, Royall Tyler]

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The Tale of Genji: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Kindle Edition

4.7 4.7 out of 5 stars 548 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Written in the 11th century, Lady Murasaki's account of court life in Heian Japan stands as one of the undisputed monuments of world literature and one of the first novels in the modern sense of the term. Stretching over several generations, it focuses on the Shining Prince, his defendants, and their shifting fortunes. Much of the substance of the novel resides in the layers and subtle nuances of etiquette, gesture, and ritual. There are two previous English translations available in both full and abridged forms, Arthur Waley's (1933) and Edward Seidensticker's (1976). Waley's efforts are groundbreaking, though they distort the work's form and make Genji into an Edwardian gentleman. Seidensticker's translation is solid, though it often simplifies the syntax. Tyler, who taught Japanese language and literature for many years at the Australian National University, offers a version that effectively captures the indirection and shades of Murasaki's court language. Tyler also includes a series of appendixes, explaining clothing, colors, and poetic allusions, as well as a general glossary. A major contribution to our understanding of world literature; highly recommended. T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Widely recognized as the world's first novel, as well as one of its best, the 11th-century tale of Genji the shining prince has been painstakingly and tenderly translated by Tyler, a retired professor of Japanese language and literature. Genji, the son of an emperor by one of his "Intimates" and preternaturally blessed with beauty and charm, is the center of this two-volume opus though he and his heroine die some two-thirds into the book which details both his political fortunes and his many amorous adventures. Chronicling some 75 years of court life with a dizzyingly large cast of characters, it is an epic narrative; it is also minutely attentive to particulars of character, setting, emotion even costume. While two complete English translations exist (Arthur Waley's of 1933 and Edward Seidensticker's of 1976), Tyler clearly intends his to be the definitive one. It is richer, fuller and more complicated than the others indeed, Tyler's fidelity to the bygone Japanese custom of not writing proper names can sometimes make it difficult, for example, to determine which of Genji's myriad lovers he is thinking about. Unlike Waley's translation, Tyler's is unexpurgated; unlike Seidensticker's, his is heavily annotated. New line drawings of Japanese architecture and activity complement the text, while character lists at chapter beginnings, a plot summary at the conclusion and two glossaries one of offices and titles, the other of general terms orient the reader in a multigenerational and unfamiliar world. Tyler's formality of tone (contrast Seidensticker's anachronistic "He could see her point" to Tyler's simple "He sympathized") offers readers a more graceful, convincing rendering of this 1,000-year-old masterpiece. Scholars and novices alike should be pleased. 6-city translator tour. (Oct. 15)Forecast: This massive project involved a whole team at Viking (see PW Interview with editor Wendy Wolf, Aug. 20). The 20,000-copy first printing may seem ambitious, but the attractive boxed edition and landmark translation effort should convince a substantial number of readers to finally add this classic to their collections.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00AEDDQQS
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (January 31, 2006)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ January 31, 2006
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 13112 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 1217 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 014243714X
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 4.7 out of 5 stars 548 ratings

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I retired from the Australian National University in 2000. For twenty years my wife and I bred alpacas on our farm in New South Wales. Although we sold our main herd in 2013, we still have a few beautiful brown, grey, or black alpacas, and we still live on our farm. In summer we often see blue-tongue skinks: a fairly big, slow lizard that really does have a blue tongue. Sometimes one turns up at my study window, asking to come in.

In the meantime, since 2012 I've been self-publishing books with CreateSpace. By April 2016 there were five. Now, in May 2016, there are seven. So I've bought my own ISBNs and moved to my own imprint: Blue-Tongue Books. I've re-published the earlier, CreateSpace books under the Blue-Tongue imprint, and of course the two new ones start out with it. Perhaps in time there will be one or two more, or perhaps not.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
548 global ratings

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