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She hates lower-class people, especially if dress badly or wear their hair wrong. If someone had mentioned a Japanese woman’s diary from the year to me, I’d have assumed it was dry and boring.

Yes, she loves fashion and flirting and inane gossip. May 03, sanny rated it it was ok Shelves: It almost inspires me to start my own journal again, after a hiatus of nearly 40 years.

To sleep in a room where some fine incense has been burnt. She likes everything just so. Frail as a string of bubbles is that ice. The one from Tuttle has anachronistic cover art–this book was written around and the cover shows Edo to early Meiji style woman, perhaps from the 19th century–which raises a question how sound the translation might be. Court Ranks, Titles and Bureaucracy Appendix 6: Yet people immediately find fault with him for even so small a lapse. Many call this the earliest “blog” in history, but it’s much more than that.

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. No doubt it is an auspicious thing to do; but unfortunately most people are convinced that a priest is as important as a piece of wood, and they treat him accordingly.

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The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon

I’ve never read a book quite like this one. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

Glossary of General Terms Appendix 5: View all 7 comments. It’s always nice to find a classic that’s entertaining; consider Don Quixote. Definitely affected my enjoyment of reading this, therefore the 2 stars. The West wouldn’t see anything like it until Montaigne and Pepys. In Patagonia Bruce Chatwin.

But then, this book is not about politics. This combines all of those things, and does all of them well.

El libro de la almohada / The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon

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 more gentle and affectionate emotions. Who knew that a thousand plus years ago, sleeves were so important!

In other words, one doesn’t necessarily require a full background knowledge of Japanese culture to be capable ahonagon relating to Sei’s aesthetic predilection, albeit the sub-narratives that weave in and out of The Pillow Book are more esoteric, and mainly entail historical gossip as well as stories dr poetry competitions.

Published December 30th by Columbia University Press first published The Periodic Table Primo Levi. It was amazing how much I found myself relating to Shonagon even though her life was very very different than that of mine, let alone modern day society.

The Pillow Book

Well if anything, change will come. The explanations were helpful, but the inconsistent way in which things were explained some via footnotes, some directly slipped between the paragraphs can be confusing.


The shonagin that she writes this account in her widely-read pillow book and describes it with great mirth suggests that her attitude was common and acceptable among ladies of her rank. Want to Read saving….

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. Sei Shonagon presents an intentionally crafted view of life at the Kyoto court, with emphasis on how “delightful” and charming it almoada was.

Mark Rodney J. Dress was paramount, as was a knowledge of history, literature, religion and legend. Al 25, pearl rated it it was amazing Shelves: There is something so simple, yet so interesting about this book.

El libro de la almohada / The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon : Sei Shonagon :

As Sei Shonagon’s trivial but relatively peaceful era had passed, shonagom will our erratic, exciting? She served as a gentlewoman in the court of Empress Fujiwara Teishi of the famous Fujiwara clan, the dominant clan of the Heian period roughly from to There are plenty of novels out there, plenty of poetry collections, popular philosophy books, essay collections, lots of literary criticism, memoirs and so on.

It’s about the joy of life. Aug 13, Akemi G.