Kimi's Reviews > The Tale of Genji

The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu
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's review
May 18, 09

generally considered to be the first (successful) novel ever written.
i read an abridged version (wasn't sure if i wanted to get into the 1,000+ page full edition because i hadn't researched which translation was a good one). the version i read was edited and translated by toyall. it is mostly the first 17 chapters (of 54), which are concerned with genji of the title, the son of an emperor. the reader gets a really sense of what life was like in the 11th century japan (descriptions of practices, houses, clothing, etc.). what is great is how the human condition is much the same, a thousand years later: these characters are affected by jealousy, politics, ambition, etc. genji was quite a naughty boy (he sleeps with almost every female character he meets, and even adopts a young girl whom he later seduces - creepy).
i will definitely read more reviews about other translations and buy the full edition some day. for now, onto the icelandic sagas...

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