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Book Title: The Wild Geese|
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Reader ratings: 3.2
The author of the book: Ōgai Mori
Edition: Tuttle Publishing
Date of issue: July 10th 2009
ISBN 13: 9784805308844
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 473 KB
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This modern classic, written in 1913, was the source for the highly acclaimed film, The Mistress
In The Wild Geese, prominent Japanese novelist Ogai Mori offers a poignant story of unfulfilled love, set against the background of the dizzying social change accompanying the fall of the Meiji regime. The young heroine, Otama, is forced by poverty to become a moneylender's mistress. She is surrounded by skillfully-drawn characters—her weak-willed father, her virile and calculating lover (and his suspicious wife), and the handsome student who is both the object of her desire and the symbol of her rescue—as well as a colorful procession of Meiji era figures—geisha, students, entertainers, unscrupulous matchmakers, shopkeepers, and greedy landladies.
Like those around her, and like the wild geese of the titles, Otama yearns for the freedom of flight. Her dawning consciousness of her predicament brings the novel to a touching climax.
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Read information about the authorMori Ōgai, pseudonym of Mori Rintarō (born February 17, 1862, Tsuwano, Japan—died July 9, 1922, Tokyo), one of the creators of modern Japanese literature.
The son of a physician of the aristocratic warrior (samurai) class, Mori Ōgai studied medicine, at first in Tokyo and from 1884 to 1888 in Germany. In 1890 he published the story “Maihime” (“The Dancing Girl”), an account closely based on his own experience of an unhappy attachment between a German girl and a Japanese student in Berlin. It represented a marked departure from the impersonal fiction of preceding generations and initiated a vogue for autobiographical revelations among Japanese writers. Ōgai’s most popular novel, Gan (1911–13; part translation: The Wild Goose), is the story of the undeclared love of a moneylender’s mistress for a medical student who passes by her house each day. Ōgai also translated Hans Christian Andersen’s autobiographical novel Improvisatoren.
In 1912 Ōgai was profoundly moved by the suicide of General Nogi Maresuke, following the death of the emperor Meiji, and he turned to historical fiction depicting the samurai code. The heroes of several works are warriors who, like General Nogi, commit suicide in order to follow their masters to the grave. Despite his early confessional writings, Ōgai came to share with his samurai heroes a reluctance to dwell on emotions. His detachment made his later works seem cold, but their strength and integrity were strikingly close to the samurai ideals he so admired.
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