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‘Kiritsubo’: Genji, Spacing And Naming

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Chapter Summary

For Bakhtin, the 'novel' form, always given a subsidiary place in relation to poetry and drama, because always seen as potentially subversive and parodic, is marked by heterogeneity. The homogeneity, however, is not all in the text's poetic, literary language. 'Kiritsubo' is translated by Seidensticker as 'The Paulownia Court', 'a name taken from a tree planted in the garden of Kiritsubo lady's Rear Palace apartments'. The pathos in Genji, more than nostalgia and courtly sensibility, is awareness of the always-fragmented nature of things. In the Kokiden lady's parallel apartments, music creates a heterogeneity which is seen as 'bad taste', 'unnecessary injury' and part of the lady's 'arrogant and intractable nature'. If Genji is made central, he is marked with desire, and a heteroclite voice has named him as the heterogeneous within Heian society.

Keywords: Heian society; heterogeneity; homogeneity; Kiritsubo; Kokiden lady; Paulownia court



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