BF. William Empson: Primary Materials

1. Review of Blue Trousers, by Murasaki Shikibu, translated by Arthur Waley (see D26c). Granta, 11 May 1928, pp. 419-20.


Empson finds the fourth part of Waley’s translation of Genji monogatari ‘the best so far’, in part because ‘the opportunities for . . . references to earlier parts, which form a large part of one’s pleasure, are by now becoming very great’, and in part because this section ‘is more concerned than others with death and old age’, and thereby allows Murasaki Shikibu (Ap), ‘as if in compensation’, to bring forth ‘her subtlest and richest comedy’. Reprinted in The Book of Film & Theatre Reviews of William Empson (Kent: Foundling, 1993).






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