Books: Genji Finished

THE BRIDGE OF DREAMS—Lady Murasaki—Houghton Mifflin ($3.50).

Citizens of the Western world who think of Japanese civilization as dating from Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858) would change their minds after reading Lady Murasaki's The Tale of Genji. Written some time ago (1001-15) by a lady-in-waiting to the Empress Akiko, it has been a widely-known classic in Japan since 1022. When British Scholar Arthur David Waley brought out the first volume of his translation (1925), critics tumbled over themselves to get within wreath-throwing distance. The Tale of Genji was compared to Proust, Jane Austen....

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