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Worlding Sei Shōagon: The “Pillow Book” in Translation by Valerie Henitiuk (review)

Worlding Sei Shōagon: The “Pillow Book” in Translation by Valerie Henitiuk (review) online book reviews Worlding Sei Shnagon: The "Pillow Book" in Translation. By Valerie Henitiuk. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2012. ix + 312 pp. $24.95. Clearly inspired by David Damrosch's work on world literature, this book's genesis lies in a graduate seminar ("Process and Product in Literary Translation") conducted by the author in 2008 and 2009 at the University of East Anglia. In this collaborative volume, Henitiuk excavates the culture of modern literary translation by unearthing, charting, and cataloging virtually every known translation, into a European language, of the opening passage of Sei Shnagon's Pillow Book. Composed around 1000 by a lady-in-waiting at the imperial court, the work holds an unassailable position in the Japanese literary canon; and its opening lines are often cited as capturing much of the aesthetic force of Heian-era (790s­1180s) literary practice: "In spring it is the dawn . . ." (as translated by Ivan Morris, 147). Henitiuk's volume consists of three parts: a slender introduction, the full array of translations, and a robust set of appendices. The introduction begins with a brief overview of the life of Sei Shnagon and the particular literary culture in which she composed, as well as a useful http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Studies Penn State University Press

Worlding Sei Shōagon: The “Pillow Book” in Translation by Valerie Henitiuk (review)

Comparative Literature Studies , Volume 51 (1)

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Penn State University Press
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Copyright © The Pennsylvania State University.
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1528-4212
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Abstract

online book reviews Worlding Sei Shnagon: The "Pillow Book" in Translation. By Valerie Henitiuk. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2012. ix + 312 pp. $24.95. Clearly inspired by David Damrosch's work on world literature, this book's genesis lies in a graduate seminar ("Process and Product in Literary Translation") conducted by the author in 2008 and 2009 at the University of East Anglia. In this collaborative volume, Henitiuk excavates the culture of modern literary translation by unearthing, charting, and cataloging virtually every known translation, into a European language, of the opening passage of Sei Shnagon's Pillow Book. Composed around 1000 by a lady-in-waiting at the imperial court, the work holds an unassailable position in the Japanese literary canon; and its opening lines are often cited as capturing much of the aesthetic force of Heian-era (790s­1180s) literary practice: "In spring it is the dawn . . ." (as translated by Ivan Morris, 147). Henitiuk's volume consists of three parts: a slender introduction, the full array of translations, and a robust set of appendices. The introduction begins with a brief overview of the life of Sei Shnagon and the particular literary culture in which she composed, as well as a useful

Journal

Comparative Literature StudiesPenn State University Press

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