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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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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

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

Edward Kamens

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190654979.003.0005

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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