Read The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon: The Diary of a Courtesan in Tenth Century Japan by Sei Shōnagon Free Online
Book Title: The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon: The Diary of a Courtesan in Tenth Century Japan|
The author of the book: Sei Shōnagon
Edition: Tuttle Publishing
Date of issue: March 10th 2011
ISBN 13: 9784805311080
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 31.78 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.1
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Japan in the 10th century stood physically and culturally isolated from the rest of the world. Inside this bubble, a subtle and beautiful world was in operation, and its inhabitants were tied to the moment, having no interest in the future and disdain for the past.
The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon was a product of a tenth-century courtier's experiences in the palace of Empress Teishi. A common custom of the time period, courtiers used to keep notes or a diary in a wooden pillow with a drawer. This "pillow book" reflects the confident aesthetic judgments of Shonagon and her ability to create prose that crossed into the realm of the poetic. The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon is one of the earliest examples of diary literature whose passages chronicle the events of the court calendar, the ceremonies and celebrations specific to Teishi's court, and the vignettes that provide brilliantly drawn glimpses into the manners and foibles of the aristocracy.
A contemporary of Murasaki Shikibu, the author of The Tale of Genji, this small diary brings an added dimension to Murasaki's timeless and seminal work.
Arthur Waley's elegant translation of The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon captures the beauty of its prose and the vitality of Shonagon's narrative voice, as well as her quirky personality traits. In a place and time where poetry was as important as knowledge and beauty was highly revered, Sei Shonagon's private writings give the reader a charming and intimate glimpse into a time of isolated innocence and pale beauty.
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Read information about the author清少納言 in Japanese
Sei Shonagon (c. 966 -1017) was a Japanese author and a court lady who served the Empress Teishi (Sadako) around the year 1000 during the middle Heian period. She is best known as the author of "The Pillow Book" (枕草子 makura no sōshi).