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The Narration Of Tales, The Narration Of Paintings

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the narrative 'method' of the Tale of Genji as it is presented in the narrative scroll paintings owned by the Tokugawa and Goto Museums. It attempts to develop the argument that it is necessary to identify the basic features of these written narratives (the imaging of time and the reimaging of time), that is the structural elements that support the narrative. Painting, in its tangible form, pre-exists as a frame which establishes the visual domain through its materials (canvas and paints) and by the scale and shape of its surface. The Tale of Genji Scrolls is the oldest extant painted version of The Tale of Genji. The painting of the second scene of The Oak Tree provides a perfect illustration of narrative symbolism. In reading the Genji Scrolls, that which is external to the consulted plot is not necessarily limited to that written in the original text.

Keywords: Genji Scrolls; Goto museums; narrative scroll paintings; Tokugawa museums



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