100px|Murasaki shown writing at her desk at Ishiyama-dera inspired by
the Moon, [[ukiyo-e by Suzuki Harunobu, c. 1767]]
Murasaki Shikibu (c. 973 – c. 1014 or 1025) was a Japanese novelist,
poet and lady-in-waiting at the Imperial court during the Heian period.
She is best known as the author of The Tale of Genji, written in
Japanese between about 1000 and 1012. In about 1005, Murasaki was
invited to serve as a lady-in-waiting to Empress Shōshi at the Imperial
court, probably because of her reputation as a writer. She continued to
write during her service, adding scenes from court life to her work.
After five or six years, she left court and retired with Shōshi to the
Lake Biwa region. Murasaki wrote The Diary of Lady Murasaki, a volume
of poetry, and The Tale of Genji. Within a decade of its completion,
Genji was distributed throughout the provinces; within a century it was
recognized as a classic of Japanese literature, and had become a
subject of scholarly criticism. Early in the 20th century her work was
translated; a six-volume English translation was completed in 1933.
Scholars continue to recognize the importance of her work, which
reflects Heian court society at its peak. (more...)
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Ranavalona III , the last sovereign ruler of the Kingdom of Madagascar,
was deposed by a French military force.
Working with polyamides to developing a new viable fiber for the
chemical company DuPont, American chemist Wallace Carothers invented
U.S. President Richard Nixon's visit to the People's Republic of China
concluded with the two countries issuing the Shanghai Communiqué,
pledging to work toward the full normalization of diplomatic relations.
The Troubles: The Provisional Irish Republican Army launched a mortar
attack on a Royal Ulster Constabulary station in Corry Square, Newry,
Northern Ireland, killing nine.
In what has been has viewed as a "postmodern coup", the Turkish
Military leadership issued a memorandum that eventually precipitated
the retirement of Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
kettle of fish (n):
1. An awkward situation; a predicament.
2. A situation which is recognized as different from or as an
alternative to some other situation, and which is not necessarily
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Science cannot be stopped. Man will gather knowledge no matter what the
consequences — and we cannot predict what they will be. Science will go
on — whether we are pessimistic, or are optimistic, as I am. I know
that great, interesting, and valuable discoveries can be made and will
be made… But I know also that still more interesting discoveries will
be made that I have not the imagination to describe — and I am awaiting
them, full of curiosity and enthusiasm.
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