...as an 18-year-old, [Keene] came across a translation of The Tale of Genji in the Astor Hotel in New York. At the time, Keene was studying French and Greek literature at Columbia University, having won a scholarship to study there at the age of 16. He bought [The Tale of Genji] because, at 59 cents, the epic story, written 1,100 years ago, contained more words per dollar than any book in the store.
Oh, those days -- those wonderful and magical olden days.
Why U.S. Academic Donald Keene Became a Japanese Citizen
BTW, look up "romanticize" in the dictionary and you'll see a picture of me -- in sepia tones, of course.