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I learned a lot about Japanese culture at the time, almost by accident. View all 7 comments. Yet, I felt that what she’s experiencing and her ‘first-world complaints’, so to speak, are bygone rarities that we in this current shambolic era do not have the luxury to express as nonchalantly as she did.

A cold, empty brazier.

The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon

Shonagon had a passion for lists: Sei Shonagon can’t capture Murasaki’s deep sense of the tragic evanescence of life, but the lack only makes her more appealing, in some ways, to a modern reader.

I am pleasantly surprised that I like this book as much as I do, considering that Japan isn’t usual a box that I tick when looking for reading material. From one side of the hall comes the beautiful sound of lute music. She gives her opinions on fashions and what colors look good together. Sei was apparently married, though her husband disappears early in the narrative, and there are several references to amorous encounters that can’t all be based on hearsay!

I read the Penguin Classics edition which includes an informative introduction written by Meredith McKinney and is full of notes throughout. Pale Fire Vladimir Nabokov.

The Pillow Book

dr May 03, sanny rated it it was ok Shelves: It is full of interesting anecdotes and pillow talk thus the shohagonbut in a less poetic style as Genji which for me remains the reference and the milestone. I could quote at great length, but won’t. It’s even nicer when that classic can be read in ten minute increments just before bed, and I recommend that everyone do precisely that with The Pillow Book.


Refresh and try again. The Pillow Book 4. Quotes from The Pillow Book. The Catcher in the Rye J. Shaved ice mixed with liana syrup and put in a new silver bowl. Over a thousand years d the Japanese fascination with beautiful paper products and getting “the correct paper” for a particular use was already in place.

My favorite sections were when Sei discusses the Royal Family, libgo the young Empress, whom Sei waited upon. Contradictions and multiple facets of Sei’s character. Hers might only have been a reflection of idyllic court life, and there might have been real suffering beyond the palace.

Other books in this series. For men and women both, the layered effect of kimono sleeves was important enough to make sure they were carefully arranged and in the right colours. Apr 19, Jennifer rated it liked it. You just feel ‘involved’ in the story. Looking for beautiful books? Less interesting than its closest contemporary, The Tale of Genji, this is another interesting book about the intimate life of the Japanese imperial court during the Heian period as Genji is as well.

He Publicado en http: Yet she lives in these ancient notes as surely as if she had only just taken off her long, multi-layered shonaton robes and slipped into something comfortable. They never got divorced, they just kind of stopped being married when they felt like it. It’s a vivid, if not remarkable look into Heian court life through the eyes of a strong Japanese woman, a true individual of that time. And if favors were granted one hoped that all would be graced by a certain style.

Many call this the earliest “blog” in history, but it’s much more than that. Trivia About The Pillow Book. As the light creeps over the hills, their outlines are dyed liro faint read and wisps of purplish cloud trail over them. Jose Maria Eca De Si. In summer, the nights. To see a gentleman stop his carriage before one’s gate and instruct his attendants to announce his arrival.


I loved this little book a lot more than I expected to. It’s well worth reading slowly, taking your time. See all 4 questions about The Pillow Book….

And she rescues a dog that the emperor a cat person exiled and then ordered beaten. What’s astonishing is when someone produces a word from their private store without pausing to consider its nature.

She spent her days in idleness, writing poetry, making snarky lz about the servants and lower classes, and flirting with the courtiers.

Ichijo loved her dearly, but when Teishi’s father died prematurely due to infectious disease, his younger brother, Fujiwara no Michinaga, rose to power, and Michinaga pushed his daughter, Shoshi, as Ichijo’s additional empress.

To sleep in a room where some fine incense has been burnt. There are so many details that surround the simplest of chores; and the writer shares them all with you. Furthermore, these are the following topics in which you may read as you like. Incredible, witty, beautiful prose. While specific details about Sei Shonagon and her book are difficult to confirm, it is believed she completed the book around Different from the other passages, which vary between bitingly sarcastic portrayals of her peers to descriptions of beautiful landscapes, the entries about the Empress are colored with much almphada gentle and affectionate emotions.

Despite her obvious flaws, Sei appreciates beauty and sympathy okay, apparently only for the upper class and humor. Sei Shonagon was a lady in waiting for lack of a better term to the Empress in Kyoto, over a thousand years ago.

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