The Diary of Lady Murasaki

Murasaki Shikibu Richard Bowring

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The Diary of Lady Murasaki

The Diary of Lady Murasaki When I go out to sit on the veranda and gaze I sem to be always conjuring up visions of the past The Diary recorded by Lady Murasaki c c author of The Tale of Genji is an intimate picture

  • Title: The Diary of Lady Murasaki
  • Author: Murasaki Shikibu Richard Bowring
  • ISBN: 9780140435764
  • Page: 163
  • Format: Paperback
  • When I go out to sit on the veranda and gaze,I sem to be always conjuring up visions of the past The Diary recorded by Lady Murasaki c 973 c 1020 , author of The Tale of Genji, is an intimate picture of her life as tutor and companion to the young Empress Shoshi Told in a series of vignettes, it offers revealing glimpses of the Japanese imperial palace the auspicious When I go out to sit on the veranda and gaze,I sem to be always conjuring up visions of the past The Diary recorded by Lady Murasaki c 973 c 1020 , author of The Tale of Genji, is an intimate picture of her life as tutor and companion to the young Empress Shoshi Told in a series of vignettes, it offers revealing glimpses of the Japanese imperial palace the auspicious birth of a prince, rivalries between the Emperor s consorts, with sharp criticism of Murasaki s fellow ladies in waiting and drunken courtiers, and telling remarks about the timid Empress and her powerful father, Michinaga The Diary is also a work of great subtlety and intense personal reflection, as Murasaki makes penetrating insights into human psychology her pragmatic observations always balanced by an exquisite and pensive melancholy.In his illuminating introduction, Richard Bowing discusses what is known of Murasaki s life, and the religion, ceremonies, costumes, architecture and politics of her time, to explain the cultural background to her vivid evocation of court life This edition also includes an explanation of Japanese names and dates, appendices and updated further reading.Translated and introduced by RICHARD BOWRING

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      Posted by:Murasaki Shikibu Richard Bowring
      Published :2019-01-06T11:43:36+00:00

    One thought on “The Diary of Lady Murasaki

    1. Edward on said:

      PrefaceA Note on Japanese Names and DatesIntroduction (Cultural Background, The Author, The Diary)--The Diary of Lady MurasakiAppendix 1: Ground-plans and MapAppendix 2: Additional SourcesA Guide to Further Reading

    2. Leajk on said:

      It has come to my attention through that I’m quite the slow reader nowadays. Personally I blame the Internet, or rather I spend a great deal of time reading, but more of it turns out to be silly digital articles than books. The upside of all this that when I do finish a book it becomes quite a significant milestone in my mind. This would explain why I feel there is so much to say about this rather slim thing of a diary left to us by Lady Murasaki, author of The Tale of Genji and court lady an [...]

    3. Justin Evans on said:

      There's no meaning to the star rating here, so I forgo it. This was a very odd reading experience: the editor and translator of the Penguin edition seemed most keen to stop me reading the actual diary itself. He stressed, time and again, that it's very hard to understand what's going on and there's really not that much here etc etc Well, that's true. On the other hand, the actual diary is very short, Bowring's annotations, introductions and appendices are helpful, and, unless we've all been mass [...]

    4. Nickolas on said:

      "The Diary of Lady Murasaki" written by Murasaki Shikibu and translated by Richard Bowring isn't for everyone. It begins as a very detailed record of the birth of a new Prince in the Heian Japanese Court, as seen through Murasaki's eyes. Detailing all the costume and rituals of the court, some readers may get bored of reading paragraphs dedicated to a certain woman's ceremonial dress or what exactly happens on the 5th day of a Prince's life. Later it becomes more reflective on Murasaki's life an [...]

    5. Annie on said:

      So I’m doing a lil survey of Heian-period female-written literature consisting of six books: The Diary of Lady Murasaki, The Tale of Genji, As I Crossed A Bridge of Dreams, The Gossamer Years, The Pillow Book, and The Confessions of Lady Nijo (okay, technically that last one is Kamakura period but what’s a century among friends). Murasaki’s diary was… a little disappointing, honestly. This from the author of the world’s first novel (arguably)? Fairly dry with its dogged insistence of r [...]

    6. Bri Fidelity on said:

      Less a memoir and more a series of pretty, impressionistic word-pictures, strung together like Christmas cards: little sketches of a fussy, formal, effete world, long gone.'It is still the depth of night. The moon has clouded over, darkening the shadows under the trees. There come voices: 'Can we open the shutters?' 'But the servants will not be ready yet!' 'Attendant! Open up!' Then the bell for the dawn watch suddenly wakes everyone up and the Ritual of the Five Mystic Kings begins''I was abse [...]

    7. Aubrey on said:

      I want to reveal all to you, the good and the bad, worldly matters and private sorrows, things that I cannot really go on discussing in this letter. But, even though one may be thinking about and describing someone objectionable, should one really go on like this, I wonder? But you must find life irksome at times. I know you do, as you can see. Write to me with your own thoughts — no matter if you have less to say than all my useless prattle, I would love to hear from you.The problem with a te [...]

    8. Brendan on said:

      "One had a little fault in the colour combination at the wrist opening. When she went before the Royal presence to fetch something, the nobles and high officials noticed it. Afterwards, Lady Saisho regretted it deeply. It was not so bad; only one colour was a little too pale."That's it. That sums up much of the Heian period writing.Which is both wrong, and unfair, but I tell you it doesn't miss the mark. I mean, there's a reason it's considered a kind of golden age. Golden age for the nobility i [...]

    9. Gina on said:

      One word of advice: if you don't know anything about Japanese history or culture and have the Penguin Classics edition, read the introduction, including the notes about Japanese naming. It is so much more helpful in understanding what's going on if you do.Since this was the diary of an actual woman, there's not much to say other than that there are a lot of descriptions of clothing, some amusing moments, and the most interesting parts happen on pages 47-59, when she examines the characters of th [...]

    10. Young At Heart Reader on said:

      As a diary, I can't in fairness give this a star rating. Who am I to judge the star worth of someone's experiences and thoughts?Anyway, I read this book a) because oh my God a diary from 1000 years ago I just have to and b) Murasaki, who wrote the first novel. Though I didn't quite expect the elaborate detail on clothing and rituals, it was interesting to see what great importance these elements had at the time. While I was hoping for some more personal thoughts, what I got was surprisingly rela [...]

    11. Paul on said:

      It’s a slim volume, and indeed in the introduction by Richard Bowring, it is general consensus that the diary as I was holding in my hands is fragments of what it was. Which is a shame because it would have been a beautiful piece of history as a whole. Instead we are left to mere speculation for a lot of parts, including as to why the tone changes from a journal style to that of a letter written to an intimate.Indeed the theories for this are expounded in the thorough introduction which covers [...]

    12. Liz on said:

      Murasaki, I could listen all day to your seesawing between bitching about the other women at court and attacks of shame at your own spiteful pettiness. the appendix of the edition I have includes excerpts from the diaries of other people who were present at the events Murasaki was recording, which cement my suspicion that men are boring.

    13. Alex Pler on said:

      La bloguera Murasaki nos abre la puerta de otro mundo, describiendo con detalle las modas y costumbres de la corte Heian. Es fascinante por recorrer un mundo desaparecido, pero le falta la profundidad que sí tienen otros textos de la época.

    14. Hilâl on said:

      Çok beğenerek okuduğum kitaplardan biri oldu. Beklettiğime üzüldüm biraz ama o arada Murasaki'nin en ünlü eseri Genji Monogatari'nin 2009 yapımı olan animesini izlemek istemiştim (aslında okumak istedim ama çevirisi yok Türkçe'de, bu kitaba öyle rastlamıştım zaten, Genji'yi ararken) ve onu da bitirmem uzun sürdü.Kitabımız Heian döneminde yaşamış, bazı araştırmacıların dünyanın en eski romanı olarak kabul ettiği Genji Monogatari'nin yazarı olan Murasaki Shiki [...]

    15. Frimple on said:

      This edition is very up front about what may well be its only major failing, it doesn't contain the poetry that Murasaki included throughout. Richard Bowring, in the extremely helpful and informative introduction, explains that he felt that they would not be of interest to the intended reader and that he didn't feel he was up to the task of translating them and maintaining their poetry and often very obscure meanings and references. I've, perhaps cruelly, taken off a star in recognition of their [...]

    16. Isobel on said:

      It feels rather odd reviewing someone's diary; you can hardly critique the plot or characters, and I doubt it was written in the hope of being a great literary work, so it would be strange to comment on the language and form. I guess what I can talk about is my enjoyment of the book, and how it made me feel.Lady Murasaki is often credited as having written the first ever novel, The Tale of Genji, in the 11th century, and I was interested in reading a snippet of the life of a woman who lived duri [...]

    17. USS on said:

      I wanted to read a non-Western memoir and a memoir from Japan's medieval era (the Heian period), a delicate, diaphanous world of gossip, court frivolity, fastidious fashion, and secret musings and longings. Murasaki Shikibu is known for writing the world's first novel, and reading her vignettes about her daily life at court are a treat. She does have a pensiveness about her, a pervasive melancholy, but it's an exquisite melancholy to be adored. This memoir contains beautiful sentences and observ [...]

    18. Douglas on said:

      I read The Diary of Lady Murasaki in preparation for another attempt on The Tale of Genji. The Diary is a slight work in every sense of the word, registering at 66 pages (not counting the 44 pages of introductory material, well put together by Richard Bowring). You think the English Royal family has it tough? Japanese court life was (and by all accounts, to some degree still is) incredibly insular and stultifying. And it was doubly tough on the female members of the royal family and their entour [...]

    19. Jane Tara on said:

      Quite a wonderful read, although I'm still a card carrying member of team Sei Shonagon over Murasaki.

    20. Bender on said:

      Non vel officiis aut placeat ab. Dolor placeat neque. Ex et perferendis repellendus. Doloribus et beatae occaecati necessitatibus quasi ut. Ipsum aut qui quas consequuntur voluptatem.

    21. Zoe Byrne on said:

      A fantastic snapshot of the thoughts and feelings of a lady a millennium ago.

    22. Zeynep Bal on said:

      inanılmaz güzel bir kitap. Esin Esen'in girişinde verdiği bilgiler kitabın okunmasını kolaylastirmakla birlikte Heian dönemi ile ilgili ciddi bilgiler edinmenize sebep oluyor.

    23. David on said:

      Som historiskt dokument är det uppenbarligen en viktig bok (även om förhållandevis många dagböcker från denna period tycks ha bevarats) som beskriver dagshändelser vid hovlivet i Japan under 1000-talet. Det har också en viss charm att läsa fragment om de små intriger och konflikter som ägde rum som påminner om att vi människor trots de stora förändringarna samhället genomgått sedan den tiden på många sätt är desamma som vi var då.Problemet med boken, som med många dagböc [...]

    24. Carlos Recamán on said:

      Si por alguna esotérica razón eres un freak impenitente del Japón Heian, el diario de Murasaki es mucho más interesante que cualquier libro de historia. La edición es preciosa: detalladísima (¡con la faja y las letras y la contra en color morado!), bien corregida y llena de notas explicativas, transcripciones en hiragana y rōmaji, mapas y hasta árboles genealógicos.Eso sí: cualquier persona que no ame Japón profundamente odiará el libro.

    25. Mariam on said:

      It was interesting because despite how old it is, in the end it felt modern. The same emotions, the same ideas expressed. I felt for when she felt depressed and really identified with how she felt about the tale of genji. There was a LOT of descriptions of women’s robes and their colors.

    26. Brielle on said:

      What a melancholy woman. I feel she lived very much inside her own head.

    27. Luana Coelho on said:

      Estou gostando do Genji Monogatari, mas Desculpa Murasaki, entre o seu diário e o Livro do Travesseiro, sou mais o da Sei Shonagon :p

    28. Gulay Avsar on said:

      I found this book funny and warm. She shows her thoughts and feelings of the time. She is rule- bound and good narrator.

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