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The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

            The Tale of Genji is the world's first novel and has remained prevalent in today's society. It was written in Japan by Murasaki Shikibu and has long been recognized as one of the premier literary works of the country and has continued to have an influence on the arts in Japan. The novel is sometimes confusing to American scholars because our concept of a hero differs from Japan's, this is mainly due to the fact that the two cultures are strikingly different. While The Tale of Genji is representative of the Heian era, and Genji is even considered an ideal man by some; the narrative is not apt to the modern times, as his persona opposes the notion of what an ideal contemporary hero is supposed to be. .
             First and foremost, the storyline mainly concentrated on Genji and his amorous lifestyle. He spends much of his time trying to woo women that he finds attractive; most of these women know that nothing beneficial would come of partaking in an affair with Genji, and so they struggle in trying to resist him for as long as possible. Ultimately; despite their effort, the women often begin to share similar feelings towards Genji. This happens multiple times in the novel, thus giving the impression to the readers that Genji is an enigmatic and amiable man. He continuously captures the feelings of women whom he aims to pursue. His copious amount of affairs with various women are often from outside the court, which is injurious to Genji's position in the court. Consequently, Genji intends to keep his affairs in complete concealment, which causes his a considerable amount of trouble. This literary piece does not center on the political field of the Heian era, but rather, the notion of love. Each affair that Genji is involved with is considerably different in character from the others. This makes the story amusing to the readers and somewhat unpredictable. It seems as if Genji has no particular ideal woman in mind.

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