The Tale Of Genji (1008 and the abridged edition by Edward Seidensticker in 1990) by Shikibu Murasaki is known as one of the first novels and a great literary masterpiece. I thought I should give it a try and read this in concert with Sedisnicker's memoir on the process, and realize now that he was referring to the unabridged edition that he was translating rather than this abridged one. However, I can't say I feel cheated, there is much to be admired in the novel: the look at the lives of the Heian upper classes, and specifically the exploits of a rake who has license to enjoy himself as much as possible until he is exiled for his behavior. But there is much that is tedious as well: descriptions of clothing, art, flowery and inscrutable poems exchanged by characters. But I don't really feel the need to read Seidensticker's unabridged edition nor read Arthur Waley's authoritative text either to compare and contrast-that is for those specialist whoa re entrenched in uncovering life in the Heian era-a taste is enough for me.