Christine De Pisan and Murasaki Shikibu as Medieval Feminists

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Bashpinar H.

KHAZAR JOURNAL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES, vol.18, no.2, pp.23-33, 2015 (ESCI) identifier


This study presents a comparative reading of Christine de Pizan'sThe Book of the City of Ladies and MurasakiShikibu's The Tale of Genji. Having lived and written in the Middle Ages, both Christine de Pizan and MurasakiShikibu share the privilege of being among the first women writers as well as the first feminists. As their life stories picture them as strong, independent women unusual at that time, their works elaborate on the plight of their sex in a patriarchal and oppressive society, and propose ways to transcend these borders. What is striking in such a reading is that it makes the modern reader see that oppression on women has been existent since at least the Medieval Era, and it has been a case throughout the world. Since neither Pizan nor Shikibuknew the culture and works of the other, their attracting attention to the same issues suggests an interesting reading.