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A Tale of False Fortunes Paperback – 30 Jun 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press (30 Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824821874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824821876
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,242,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A fine, short piece... 11 Aug 2000
By Jadepearl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not as bold and daring as _Masks_ or the _Waiting Years_ it still shows Enchi's sure command of displaying the tensions between women and her scholar's knowledge of Japanese literature.
It is the simple tale of an Empress, Teishi, beautiful and serene, being displaced in the political machinations of Court. It is a simple story with complex characters surrounding this almost too perfect figure caught in the tides of politics. There is no great tension except in the personal thoughts of the characters because the doom is already known.
This book is geared more for the reader who is very aware of Japanese literature -- it's conventions, symbology and style. If you are a student of the literature than this novel has a greater resononance. Due to the fact that Enchi has done the modern thing of blurring the lines of truth and fantasy while remianing true to the voice of ancient literature, such as the _The Tale of Genji_.
Enchi in this piece has decided to give voice and greater depth to the Empress Teishi and show the power politics in Fujiwara Japan. She does this by intermixing "commentary" and translated text. It is a masterly feat in the Japanese to combine modern Japanese with the courtly language of 11th century Japan and show a deep knowledge of the Chinese and Japanese literature of that time.
Enchi provides more rounded male characters in this novel than in _Masks_ though they still do not come out very well. The best that can be said is that the men who love Teishi are ineffectual while the regent, her political enemy, are spiderlike in their machinations.
Overall, a fine work but for a better introduction to Enchi her novels _Masks_ and _The Waiting Years_ are better at exploring explicitly the heart of women in their desires and profound hates.
For the literature scholar it is a fine example of writing that is breaking convention and yet trying to remain within its rarified framework by playing between the lines of truth, fantasy and the observor/observed.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 16 July 2014
By israel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you really like Gengi Monogatari, Sei Shonagon or Hentai Era, you really must read Fumiko Enki.
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