November 30th, 2005

wood cat

Tale of Genji, chapters 1-2

Inspired by rachelmanija, I got Edward Seidensticker's translation of The Tale of Genji out of the library last night and read the first two chapters last night.

This may be Exhibit A in the case for my shallowness, but my verdict so far is "unintentionally hilarious."

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Okay, more seriously: characters obviously aren't going to be the thing that pulls me through this. The introduction has warned me not to expect narrative momentum or structure, either. I'll read a few more chapters at least, for the unintentional hilarity, the historical and cultural content, and some of the language; but it's a long damn book and I don't know how far I'll get. On the other hand, I haven't been reading a lot lately before bed, and this is very unlikely to keep me up reading. We'll see.

Edit: an online edition of the Seidensticker translation: chapter 1, chapter 2 (oddly their introduction is not Seidensticker's). I'm also collecting other people's comments in my memories.