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Person, Honorifics And Tense In The Tale Of Genji

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Chapter Summary

This chapter illustrates the Genji text how classical Japanese personal references, honorifics and temporal suffixes, mark narratorial standpoints. It discusses, as an initial attempt, how a similar effect can be achieved in English translation which does not have honorifics and whose temporal and personal reference systems are different. The chapter constitutes the latter half of the author's complete narrative study of the Genji text. It focuses the cases in which classical Japanese personal references, honorifics and temporal suffixes function as identifying mediators between the narrator and the characters, the occasions on which they distinguish them, and the effects that they produce in each case. Tyler's version distinguishes the narrator's and Kashiwagi's voices clearer than Seidensticker's. The chapter shows how the narrator of Genji drastically and swiftly shifts the narrative perspective and voice from the narrator to the character or from one character to another.

Keywords: English translation; Genji text; Japanese personal references; Kashiwagi



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