Anna's Reviews > The Tale of Genji

The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu
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's review
Nov 22, 2011

it was ok

It certainly gives you an idea of the stifling nature of Heian court life (and may also drive you to write some bad haiku ^_^). I ran into the confusing experience of having a protagonist who is such a hedonistic jerk (example: discovered your good friend's long-lost love? Why tell him she's still alive when you can make her your own mistress instead?) and yet the way he is written about, you can tell you're supposed to like and admire him. Unless that's some on-purpose literary device that I missed by not reading a heavily annotated version. Admittedly I haven't finished it yet (it isn't exactly a light or riveting read--largely consisting of poetry- and perfume-contests and selection of clothes, at least when no-one is getting seduced), so maybe it gets better in the last quarter.

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