The Tale of Genji, often described as the world's first novel, was written over a thousand years ago by the court lady Murasaki Shikibu. Set amid the intrigues and rivalries of the elegant Heian court, this masterpiece centers on the life and loves of "the shining Genji," an emperor's son whose outward perfection and worldly success conceals dark secrets. This course combines close reading and discussion of the tale with a consideration of its original historical context and its "afterlives" from medieval times to the present day, including its place in the Japanese poetic tradition and in the visual arts, and its appropriation in later literature from Noh plays to film and comic books. Prior exposure Japanese literature or history is useful but not required. Texts will be read in English translation. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor.
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; AS LCD