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Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of GenjiPhilosophical Perspectives$
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James McMullen

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190654979

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190654979.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 19 May 2022

Flares in the Garden, Darkness in the Heart

Flares in the Garden, Darkness in the Heart

Exteriority, Interiority, and the Role of Poems in The Tale of Genji

(p.136) Chapter 4 Flares in the Garden, Darkness in the Heart
Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji

Edward Kamens

Oxford University Press

This essay explores various dimensions and manifestations of interiority and exteriority in The Tale of Genji, beginning with analogies to the subject and structure of Japanese screens (byōbu) that depict “scenes inside and outside the capital” and interior and exterior scenes in the Tale itself. It then moves on to suggest that names of characters and of chapters in the Tale also can be seen as aspects of its interiority and exteriority, just as can certain feature of its narrative structure, and then concludes with reflections on how the many poems that are on the surface of the text reveal its deepest interiors while at the same time making the Tale itself a container or “house” for and of them.

Keywords:   monogatari, waka poetry, exteriority, interiority, capitalscapes, byōbu, Jacques Derrida

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