Sunday, 4 January 2009

Interesting Lady: Murasaki Shikibu

Name: Murasaki Shikibu

Place of birth: Japan

Interesting achievement: Writing one of the first novels in history, Tale of Genji

When: Between 1002 and 1022 AD

Excerpt from The Tale of Genji
a woman writer replies to Prince Genji's comments about novels and the women who write them

"I have a theory of my own about what this art of the novel is and how it came into being. To begin with, it does not simply consist of the author's telling a story about the adventures of some other person. On the contrary, it happens because one's own experience of people and things has moved one to an emotion so passionate that it can no longer be shut up in one's own heart. Again and again something in one's own life or in the lives of those around one will seem so important that the thought of letting it pass into oblivion is unbearable. There must never come a time, one feels, when people do not know about it. That is my view of how this art arose."

Writing Murasaki Shikibu, by Kikuchi Yosai (1788–1878)

More,but unfortunately not much, here
Excerpt can be found in
Top illustration: Tosa Mitsuoki (17th century)

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