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Shonagon is hot

Rivka Galchen: 'The Pillow Book'

2 January 2020
Unbinding ‘The Pillow Book’: The Many Lives of a Japanese Classic 
by Gergana Ivanova.
Columbia, 240 pp., £55, December 2018, 978 0 231 18798 5
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... out of political favour would be allowed to circulate at all. In Unbinding ‘The Pillow Book’, Gergana Ivanova gives an explanation: the celebrated work was considered a way to appease the angry ghosts of Teishi and her family. Cultural power is not only a weapon to be used against the weak, it is also a consolation prize offered by the strong....

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