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The Tale of Genji: Part Two, The Sacred Tree
The Tale of Genji Part Two The Sacred Tree Author:Lady Murasaki (translated from the Japanese by Arthur Waley) The Tale of Genji, composed in the early part of the eleventh century by a lady of the Japanese Imperial Court, is the world's first real novel. The Sacred Tree, the second of its six parts, continues the history of Prince Genji, son the the Emperor, after the death of his father. With an acuteness which few novelists of any age have surpassed, ... more »Lady Murasaki observed the sophisticated but decaying aristocracy surrounding her, and she wrote with the clarity for which Japanese poets are famous, but also with an air of gentle regret for human flaws and weaknesses. A skillful counterpoint runs through this volume, a contrast between the fleetingness of human life and the image of the Sacred Tree itself, the evergreen that is planted beside Shinto shrines and becomes a symbol of lasting love, both human and divine.
The Tale of Genji is a classic which has been compared in scope to Don Quixote and Tom Jones and in theme and the delicacy of its treatment to Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. In Arthur Waley's masterful translation, The Sacred Tree emerges as a readable and subtle book.« less