As the first translation to do justice to the complexity of the Sarashina Diary, Arntzen and Ito's work offers a fresh perspective on premodern Japanese diary literature as well as an accessible yet scholarly window into Heian culture, the life of one woman, and the transformation of a life into literature. -- Christina Laffin, University of British Columbia, author of Rewriting Medieval Japanese Women: Politics, Personality, and Literary Production in the Life of Nun Abutsu This sparkling new version of the Sarashina Diary opens out an eleventh-century classic for twenty-first-century readers. Sonja Arntzen and Ito Moriyuki situate the diary culturally and historically, and their translation conveys both the vivid realism of Takasue no Musume's prose and the haunting melancholy of her poems. As the author herself says of Mount Fuji, this unique work 'looks like nothing else in the world.' -- David Damrosch, Harvard University Arntzen and Ito accept the theory, generally disregarded by twentieth-century scholarship, that the author of the Sarashina Diary was also the author of several court romances (monogatari), two of which are extant. Yet her diary makes no mention of these works, showing that the careful reader must pay as much attention to what Takasue no Musume does not say as to what she does. This translation presents a Sarashina unlike that of any previous English translation and is supported by an extensive introduction that thoroughly contextualizes the author and her work. -- Joshua Mostow, University of British Columbia A well-conceived edition of a poignant text that remains of both literary and historical appeal, with very good presentation of useful supporting material to go with the solid translation. Complete Review We can be grateful for this new translation... through long, thoughtful immersion, the translators have brought to life a world otherwise unavailable to the modern, non-specialist reader. Times Literary Supplement At last Sonja Artnzen, one of our most conscientious translators, has given us a new and weighty version of this beautiful and useful short classic... the lover of Heian letters - or of Japanese history, of women's writing from any place or time, of dreams - will find this book exciting. H-Asia With its extensive and insightful analysis, this excellent translation supplants the 1971 translation by Ivan Morris. CHOICERezension:
As the first translation to do justice to the complexity of the Sarashina nikki, Arntzen's work offers a fresh perspective into premodern Japanese diary literature as well as an accessible yet scholarly window into Heian culture, the life of one woman, and the transformation of a life into literature. -- Christina Laffin, University of British Columbia, author of Rewriting Medieval Japanese Women This book is without a doubt a significant contribution to the field. The 100-page introduction provides the current Japanese scholarly understanding of the text, as well as the most thorough analysis of this canonical text in English - or, I imagine, in any language other than Japanese. -- Joshua Mostow, University of British Columbia
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