Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Companion to Literature

The language of the Genji Monogatari is allusive, indirect and discrete.

Or so they say.

Leading translator of Japanese literature dies in Tokyo
International Herald Tribune

TOKYO: Edward Seidensticker, a leading scholar and translator of Japanese literature including the epic Tale of Genji, has died in Tokyo. He was 86.

Seidensticker passed away on Sunday of complications from a head injury suffered earlier this year, according to an associate who asked not to be named, saying he did not wish to see his name in the media.
and in conclusion:

Seidensticker was not married and had no children, according to the associate. A small gathering in his honor was to be held in Tokyo later this week.

Requiescat in Pace.

* * *
Low City, High City and Tokyo Rising are essential guides to the lost worlds of Edo and pre-war Tokyo.

Having read both the Waley and the Seidensticker translations of the Genji a long, long time ago, I cannot tell you which I liked better.

I suppose I also read Seidensticker's translations of The Makioka Sisters, Woman in the Dunes, Kokoro, The Sound of the Mountain, House of the Sleeping Beauties and The Master of Go.

Again, all a long, long time ago.

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