The Tale of Genji has always been a work in progress for me and Genji has always fascinated me. For him, love takes various forms -- sometimes it's pity, but oftentimes it's combined with lust that he usually acts upon. Genji falls in love with his stepmother, and unable to 'possess' her, he finds himself seeking comfort in the arms of other women. At this point Genji is unhappy with his wife, Aoi. Sometime later he kidnaps a ten-year-old girl (Murasaki), raises her to be his ideal woman and marries her when Aoi dies in childbirth (because Genji's violently jealous mistress Lady Rokujo possessed Aoi that led to her death).
(I seemed to have progressed quite far, no?)
I think only the noblewomen were named in the book, never mind the names of the commoners Genji engaged with. It's fascinating, you know. It isn't the Romeo and Juliet kind of undying loyalty, and in modern standards, Genji would be faced with several charges of adultery and polygamy. And yet I love him (and his often melancholic poems that speak of distances and inevitable partings -- aka, goodbyes after one night stand) A word of caution though: don't buy the abridged version if it doesn't contain the poems. The poetry in this humongous work of art is what makes the prose and the shuffling of pronouns and titles bearable. #japaneseliterature #book #bookstagram #源氏物語 #本 #Philippines #love #penguinclassics