Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Tale of Genji

Expand Messages
  • Ii Saburou
    Excuse me while I type for joy! I m back online! Whee! Gomen*. I had to get that out of the way--I ve been without a reliable connection for way too long. I
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 19, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Excuse me while I type for joy! I'm back online! Whee!

      Gomen*. I had to get that out of the way--I've been without a reliable
      connection for way too long.

      I don't know if anybody else made it to the lecture by Royall Tyler or
      not, but it was very interesting, for the most part. I did not realize
      that his is only the third translation of the Tale of Genji into English,
      and the first in about 30 years, it seems.

      I haven't had a chance to start to read through it just yet--I'm actually
      completing another translation and I wanted to finish it first--but from
      what I saw he tries to stick more closely to the intended eroticism of the
      text, which is often glossed over or apologized for by many modern
      students of Genji, he claimed. Also, he has tried to stick close to the
      use of titles and descriptors in place of 'names' that are often given so
      that modern readers can more easily follow the story.

      Another interesting literary note was what he did with the poetry. His
      first attempt was to translate the poetry as best he could without
      worrying about making it fit into the 5-7-5--7-7 tanka scheme. However,
      over half way through the book he changed his mind and redid all of the
      poems (over 700 in the book, so he was rewriting over 400 of them a
      second time). He felt that the 5-7-5 7-7 scheme actually flowed better,
      so he wrote each poem as two lines--the first line is 5-7-5 and the second
      is 7-7.

      The translation also has a nice glossary in back, with many titles and
      explanations of the various Japanese words. He also included a timeline
      of the novel to help readers better understand the flow of the action.

      In his lecture, R. Tyler discussed several interesting features brought
      out in the story. He first noted that, being a romantic novel, the
      actions and characters were no doubt idealized to a great extent--about as
      close to life as it was as a modern tv show might be. After all, if such
      seemingly extraordinary incidents were commonplace, then they would hardly
      be worth writing about.

      Still, there is a lot to be learned from the novel, and a great example he
      brought up was the way that the stories were read in Heian Japan. Nobles
      would, apparently, have one of their men or ladies in waiting read the
      story while they, themselves, examined pictures drawn specifically to
      accomadate the story. In one part of the book, one noblewoman invites
      anoter to just such a reading, and Royall Tyler likened it to sitting down
      and watching tv together.

      I enjoyed the lecture, and wish that I had been able to spend some time
      talking with R. Tyler after the lecture. He really seems to have a wealth
      of knowledge that is inspiring.

      -Ii


      *Excuse me.
    • Emily Glick
      on 2/21/02 9:30 AM, sca-jml@yahoogroups.com at sca-jml@yahoogroups.com ... I just got the Royall translation and it is wonderful. I read Seidensticker years
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 21, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        on 2/21/02 9:30 AM, sca-jml@yahoogroups.com at sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
        wrote:

        >> I've picked up copies of Sei Shonagon's 'Pillow Book' and Lady Murasaki's
        >> Diary, but I haven't yet committed myself to a particular translation of 'The
        >> Tale of Genji'. I know there are several versions around - which would you
        >> recommend, and why?
        >>
        >
        > Royall's is by far the best. It's both very true to the source and an easy
        > read. Seidensticker is true to the source, but he writes with a 500 pound pen,
        > if you get my drift. Waley is evil <ack-ptui> and should be avoided by anyone
        > who wants to learn anything about Japan.

        I just got the Royall translation and it is wonderful. I read Seidensticker
        years ago from the library and never had my own copy. I'm glad I waited.

        One of the best parts of the Royall translation is the illustrations which
        are contemporary but very effective and (for me at least) add to the
        experience of reading it.

        -akime-
      • makiwara_no_yetsuko <makiwara_no_yetsuko
        Has anyone read the new Royall Tyler translation of The Tale of Genji? I saw it in paperback while Christmas shopping and am debating whether to make the
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 26, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          Has anyone read the new Royall Tyler translation of "The Tale of
          Genji?" I saw it in paperback while Christmas shopping and am
          debating whether to make the investment in time and cash. I've only
          previously sampled the abridged Seidensticker edition.

          Many thanks,
          Makiwara
        • tatsushu <logan@modzer0.cs.uaf.edu>
          Well, I ve only had a chance to sample it, but I did get to listen to Royall Tyler discuss it and met with him briefly as he autographed copies. I m rather
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 27, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            Well, I've only had a chance to sample it, but I did get to listen to
            Royall Tyler discuss it and met with him briefly as he autographed
            copies. I'm rather impressed with his expressed approach to it, and
            made sure to get a copy for myself (just haven't had time to get to
            it in any sort of a critical way). He definitely seems to know what
            he is talking about, and I've been fairly satisfied with his other
            works.

            -Ii

            --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "makiwara_no_yetsuko
            <makiwara_no_yetsuko@y...>" <makiwara_no_yetsuko@y...> wrote:
            > Has anyone read the new Royall Tyler translation of "The Tale of
            > Genji?" I saw it in paperback while Christmas shopping and am
            > debating whether to make the investment in time and cash. I've only
            > previously sampled the abridged Seidensticker edition.
            >
            > Many thanks,
            > Makiwara
          • daviem01 <ellen.m.davis@att.net>
            ... I have not yet read much of it-- I was lucky to find it tucked in my stocking on Christmas morning. I have only slightly sampled the Waley and
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 28, 2002
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "makiwara_no_yetsuko
              <makiwara_no_yetsuko@y...>" <makiwara_no_yetsuko@y...> wrote:
              > Has anyone read the new Royall Tyler translation of "The Tale of
              > Genji?" I saw it in paperback while Christmas shopping and am
              > debating whether to make the investment in time and cash. I've only
              > previously sampled the abridged Seidensticker edition.
              >

              I have not yet read much of it-- I was lucky to find it tucked in my
              stocking on Christmas morning. <g>

              I have only slightly sampled the Waley and Seidensticker editions, so
              I am a neophyte on the subject, but this edition already seems at
              least to have better annotations, plus a large number of explanatory
              illustrations.

              -Aine
            • makiwara_no_yetsuko <makiwara_no_yetsuko
              ... my ... Felicitations! I just hope your stocking isn t too badly stretched out. ;- ... so ... explanatory ... Hmmm, I received a Borders gift card and this
              Message 6 of 6 , Dec 28, 2002
              • 0 Attachment
                --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "daviem01 <ellen.m.davis@a...>"
                <ellen.m.davis@a...> wrote:
                > I have not yet read much of it-- I was lucky to find it tucked in
                my
                > stocking on Christmas morning. <g>
                Felicitations! I just hope your stocking isn't too badly stretched
                out. ;->

                > I have only slightly sampled the Waley and Seidensticker editions,
                so
                > I am a neophyte on the subject, but this edition already seems at
                > least to have better annotations, plus a large number of
                explanatory
                > illustrations.

                Hmmm, I received a Borders gift card and this edition sounds rather
                promising.....

                Many thanks,
                Makiwara
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.