Reading Genji

The Tale of Genji, recommended reading for all, our reviewer mentions two translations.  I have not read the one he/she seems to favor


  1. Steven,

    I've had a copy for several years now but have been afraid to tackle it--1100+ pages is daunting.

    I have a different version. Mine is possibly the first translation of the work ever made into English. I say this because it is the Modern Library Edition and the translation is by Arthur Waley, who was the first to translate many Japanese and Chinese works into poetry.

  2. Dear Fred,

    I've read Arthur Waley's translation, and while it is somewhat stilted and old-languagey by today's standards, it is still a serviceable telling of the tale. Seidenstricker's is magnificent, and there was one further mentioned that I thought I might have to look at because of the notes.

    A nice accompaniment to this is the Diary of Lady Murasaki, which sheds some light on common practices and court life of the time.

    Read, enjoy--it is long, but read in and amongst others, it provides zip, zest, flavor.



  3. Steven,

    I've read several of Waley's translations, so his style might not bother me that much, once I actually get into it.

    I hadn't heard of her Diary. Thanks for the information.


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