The Riverside Counselor’s Stories: Vernacular Fiction of Late Heian Japan

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9780804712606: The Riverside Counselor’s Stories: Vernacular Fiction of Late Heian Japan

Stanford University Press, 1985. Hard cover, 234 pp [Excerpt from jacket flap]. The ten short narratives collected under the title Tsutsumi Chunagon monagatari [The Riverside Counselor's Stories) are the only surviving example of Japanese literary tradition that fiourished in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Nine of the stories date from that period; the tenth is a stylistic imitation of that literature written one or two centuries later. Like the few surviving novels of the period, the stories pursue the vicissitudes of amorous relations between aristocratic men and women. Also, perhaps under the influence of the earlier Tale of Genji, they develop the action in realistic settings and give close attention to the emotional state of participants. The Tsutsumi stories are important in two respects. First, several are enjoyable examples of the art of the short story, an art in which success depends on first clarifying the effect to be achieved and then imposing the discipline of economy and organization necessary to achieve it. Second, the stories have a historical significance in showing us what late Heian vernacular fiction must have been like, suggesting a remarkable variety and liveliness even as that literature was nearing its end. Unlike earlier excessively literal renderings, these translations attempt to convey the literary quality of the stories, and they are accompanied by pertinent introductory and critical comment.

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Text: English, Japanese (translation)

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Backus, Robert L.; Translator
Published by Stanford U, PAltoCA (1985)
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Book Description Stanford U, PAltoCA, 1985. Clothbound Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. NO FINER COPY EXISTS. // NEW BOOK and DJ, both in GIFT-quality MINT condiion, and with new Mylar protection. // Clothbound hardcover, 8vo, 234 pages. Resplendent. Size: Octavo. Bookseller Inventory # 007859

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Published by Stanford University Press (1985)
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