A Tale of False Fortunes
Fumiko EnchiA Tale of False Fortunes is a masterful translation of Enchi Fumiko’s (1905–1986) modern classic Namamiko monogatari. Written in 1965, this prize-winning work of historical fiction presents an alternative account of an imperial love affair narrated in the eleventh-century tale of umiko romance A Tale of Flowering Fortunes (Eiga monogatari). Both stories are set in the Heian court of the emperor Ichijò (980–1011) and tell of the ill-fated love between the emperor and his first consort, Teishi, and of the political rivalries that threaten to divide them. While the earlier work can be viewed largely as a panegyric to the all-powerful regent , Enchi’s account emphasizes Teishi’s nobility and devotion to the emperor and celebrates her “moral victory” over the regent, who conspired to divert the emperor’s attentions toward his own daughter, Shòshi.
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