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The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature Hardcover – Oct 1 2013


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Review

The Tale of Genji is a brilliantly sustained work of literary criticism, quite the most engrossing book in the field of Japanese literature I have read in years. It is a rare book, one that is sure to have a profound and lasting impact.

(Gaye Rowley, Waseda University)

A stunning tour de force, The Tale of Genji reveals the manner in which the work was 'replaced' by various texts and how it was made, from the late nineteenth century, into a world classic both in and outside Japan. Throughout, Michael Emmerich engages with translation studies, reception theory, and current notions of world literature, writing in a transnational, translingual context. This book makes us profoundly aware of the transformation of the material Tale of Genji and reading practices in Japan from the late early modern through the postwar period, thus bridging the gap between early modern and modern literary studies as well as that between Japanese literary studies and contemporary translation studies.

(Haruo Shirane, Columbia University, author of Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons)

Michael Emmerich's astute analyses and imaginative interpretations are likely to radically change our view of Japanese literature and the role translation has played in its constitution, and they expand even the notion of translation itself. This discerning study gives a refreshing look at how an Edo-period illustrated book was put together and how it functioned. Anyone interested in the visual culture of Japan should read this book.

(Yoshiaki Shimizu, Princeton University)

This work's profundity, clarity, intriguing revelations, and accessibility recommend it to a wide readership... Essential.

(Choice)

About the Author

Michael Emmerich is associate professor of Japanese literature and cultural studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the editor of Read Real Japanese Fiction and New Penguin Parallel Text: Short Stories in Japanese, and the translator of more than a dozen books.


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