Know The Technological Shift Behind the World’s First Novel “Tale of Genji”

Everyone knows that great books have their own mark. A line of poetry or prose can re-illuminate something in a person’s brain the way they think or feel. But a new book by Harvard professor Martin Puchner entitled The “Written World” argues that the impact of literature is more than personal experience – its collective import may be greater than readers realize.

Martin Puchner

Do you know the first novel in the world, that name is “Tale of Genji”. It is the world’s first full-length novel, written in the early eleventh century by a nobleman named Murasaki Shikibu. But very few people will be aware of the technological changes behind this novel. Her epic became a founding text that influenced Japanese aesthetics in the coming centuries.

Know The Technological Shift Behind the World's First Novel Tale of Genji

Using the example of Murasaki, Martin Puchner, a professor of drama, English and comparative literature at Harvard University, discusses the changes in the contemporary era and the techno-literary changes that create concern, that an inclusive, developing world literature – not a static, “canon” – it will be important key to solving global problems in the future.

Martin Puchner is a literary critic and philosopher. Simultaneously Martin Puchner is the editor of The Norton Anthology of World Literature. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. According to Martin Puchner, Murasaki’s diary felt like a turning point in the history of literature – the diary seemed recognizable, intimate and modern to him.

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