In a story about Professor Dennis Washburn’s new translation of The Tale of Genji, The Wall Street Journal writes that the 11th-century court romance is “one of the most emphatically erotic yet discreetly hushed works of literature ever written.”
It is not without reason, writes the Journal, that The Tale of Genji has been called “ ‘the world’s first novel’ because of the level of psychological depth achieved in its depiction of character. Mr. Washburn asserts that the label ‘novel’ is false in that it retrospectively imposes a literary category, with its own history in place and time, onto Murasaki’s work.”
A subscription is needed to read the full story, published 2/1/16 by The Wall Street Journal.
Washburn is the Jane and Raphael Bernstein Professor in Asian Studies.