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THE TALE OF GENJI (ca. 1021)
by Murasaki Shikibu

The Tale of Genji Introduces a Woman's Point of View

Haruo Shirane :: The romances prior to the Tale of Genji were often from a male point of view — simply the male conqueror and his many conquests — but Murasaki Shikibu takes that same pattern, that same narrative paradigm, and looks at it from a woman's point of view, so that the problems that the woman encounters when becoming involved with a person of much higher status, looking at the lives of these various women, and most of all, looking at the problems of marriage.

I also think that the women had more time to think about these emotional, psychological aspects. After all this is what makes this the world's first novel is this ability to pursue the mind in the most minute ways, and that's why we call it a novel rather than simply a romance.