The New York Times reports that the translator Edward G. Seidensticker has died:
Translating The Tale of Genji, as Mr. Seidensticker later described it, was a labor of love that took 10 years. At the time, the most complete English translation available was by Arthur Waley, published in the 1920s and '30s. Though respected, Waley's translation was lushly Victorian, and it fell to Mr. Seidensticker to produce something sparer. Here is Waley's version of the tale's opening line:Sweet? Not really. Clear? Sharp? Yes.
"At the Court of an Emperor (he lived it matters not when) there was among the many gentlewomen of the Wardrobe and Chamber one, who though she was not of very high rank was favored far beyond all the rest."
Here is Mr. Seidensticker's, short and sweet:
"In a certain reign there was a lady not of the first rank whom the emperor loved more than any of the others."
Edward Seidensticker, Translator, Is Dead at 86 (New York Times