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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 2 months ago

Was the world's first novel written by a woman?

The Tale of Genji by a Japanese woman? It's confirmed by google but I want to double check. This is for my history class btw. 

Update:

Oh my god. There are some people in the comments who are getting triggered over this question. I'm not trying to "flex" that a woman wrote the first novel. I'm simply asking a question for a worksheet. I don't understand how there are so many people who all of a sudden feel inferior whenever anyone mentions an accomplishment of a female. Either answer the question properly or leave and carry on with your life.

Update 2:

Also - my history teacher answered my question and confirmed it so I don't need any help anymore. Thanks for those of you who properly answered my question. 

10 Answers

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is generally reckoned to be the case.

    However; much depends on how you decide what is or is not a novel.

    There is also the possibility that other novels were written earlier, but have been lost. 

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  • 2 months ago

    Did your teacher actually say that 'The Tale of Genji' was the world's first novel?

    If so, I would treat that teacher's words on any subject with great caution. Surely she meant 'the first work generally acknowledged to fit the current definition of 'novel', and whose existence is beyond doubt'.

    It is simply impossible for anyone of any intellect to say without qualification that  'The Tale of Genji' was the world's first novel.

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  • 2 months ago

    At least, it is the oldest novel that exists now.  Of course it depends on the definition of novel, though.  If you don't include written stories like Beowulf in novel, yes, the Tale of Genji is the oldest novel that still exists today. (Beowulf is usually considered as an epic poem.)

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  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    If you were asked to dig up some information on this book for an assignment, then asking Google and asking Books & Authors does not constitute doing any actual research.

    How many novels would you estimate there are in the world at this moment? Depending on which source one is using, the number of novels that have been published will vary... How many novels have been written in total? Now think about all of the novels that we don't know about - how many are sitting in a drawer or a file cabinet somewhere? How many exist only on a disk drive or in a folder on somebody's PC? How many have been lost over the course of centuries? 

    Nobody could possibly claim to know with any degree of certainty that any one novel in particular was the first to be written by a female author. Bit if you were tasked with researching whether or not the claim that this book in particular might have a strong claim to that title, then you ought to expend more effort than simply asking others what thoughts they have on the subject.  

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    This is not double checking. Google didn't tell you anything. That's not a source. You're very ignorant and prejudiced.

    • K.Steinfield2 months agoReport

      You're clearly very uneducated and do not know what the word "ignorant" means. Asking a question about the gender of a novelist is not ignorance. Also, I got an email from my history teacher (who has a master's degree in history) who confirmed that the first novelist was a woman according to record.

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  • Diana
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Wikipedia says that this novel was indeed written by a woman.  Of course, there were many other types ancient books written in the world at earlier times.  The earliest of these were made of clay tablets.  

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    • K.Steinfield2 months agoReport

      @buzzybee Use your brain. I NEVER in my question said that it was "amazing" that a woman wrote a novel. I'm literally asking a question for an assignment, not trying to "flex." Plus I recieved an email from my history teacher (with a master's in history) who confirmed that it was written by a woman.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    There may have been novels previously written, but there aren't records of them so yes it seems like that Shikibu may have been the first novelist. 

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  • 2 months ago

    Um...I'm a retired mailman...do you REALLY need my opinion?

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    We have know way of knowing for sure since not that much early literature survives. The only thing we can safely say is that the first KNOWN one is probably that by Murasaki Shikibu.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Interesting how your history teacher cares about the gender of the person and not actually who was the person. Why do you wanna know if it was a woman?

    • Tina
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      It takes two more keystrokes to type "want to" than to type "wanna" - surely it's worth taking those extra keystrokes to stop yourself looking like an idiot.
      Why are you so anxious that people shouldn't know the first novelist was a woman?

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