Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The World Significance of Genji

A classfellow reminded me today of the opening sentence from one of the books on our course Reserve at the Library, Doris Bargen's A Woman's Weapon : Spirit Possession in The tale of Genji, which is as follows:
Murasaki Shikibu is to Japan what Homer is to Greece, Shakespeare is to England, Goethe is to Germany & the T'ang poets are to China.
I would add to this, and what Cervantes is to Spain, what Cicero is to Rome, what Balzac is for France, & what Tolstoi is to Russia. That is, an indispensable book, large in content, substance, scope & significant: and essential for a truly cultured place in our world.

This by way of hopeful encouragement in the midst of our reading of Genji ....

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