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The Wild Geese (Tuttle Classics)
 
 

The Wild Geese (Tuttle Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Ogai Mori , Sanford Goldstein , Kingo Ochiai
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £14.50
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Product Description

Product Description

In The Wild Geese, prominent Japanese novelist Ogai Mori offers a poignant story of unfulfilled love. The young heroine, Otama, is forced by poverty to become a moneylender's mistress. Her dawning consciousness of her predicament brings the novel to a touching climax.

Synopsis

In "The Wild Geese" the young heroine Otama is surrounded by skilfully-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 colourful procession of Meiji era figures-geisha, students, entertainers, unscrupulous matchmakers, shopkeepers, and greedy landladies. Her dawning consciousness of her predicament brings the novel to a touching climax.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 934 KB
  • Print Length: 164 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 4805308842
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; 2nd edition (11 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005CVV23Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #474,911 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Wild Geese 8 Jan 2012
By DRFP
Format:Paperback
Ogai is often mentioned as one of the pre-eminent Meiji authors alongside Natsume S'seki. If that's truly the case then "The Wild Geese" doesn't do him justice as it's not a patch on Soseki's best.

Perhaps a lot of this is down to the translation, which isn't the best. For instance, at one point we're told that Otama's father felt that losing his daughter to a scary looking policeman was, "like having her carried off by a monster with a long nose and a red face." That's a very awkward sentence and to anyone in the know (admittedly far from everybody) that quote obviously describes a Tengu. Why the translators didn't just use an appropriate word like "demon" instead of giving a literal description of a Tengu, I don't know. It seems awfully clumsy and I can't believe that's how it was written originally in the Japanese. There are other minor issues with the translation - such as the way honorifics are denoted - that grate as well although I realise this is only noticeable to someone more familiar with Japanese culture. Regardless, it would be nice to see a decent translation one day (I know the translation Tuttle use for "Botchan" is another awful disservice).

The story itself is fine but feels rather lightweight. Little takes place in the novel, which is fine, but it all feels so inconsequential in a way that the minor events of, say, Soseki's "Sanshiro" don't. The characters and story take a while to get going and then it ends quite suddenly. The lack of neat resolution may be part of the point but it all feels rather abrupt.

It all left me wondering why Ogai is thought of in such high regard. Given that few of his works are easily available in translation one would expect what is available to be among his best work; either this translation is very poor or that's simply not the case.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An achingly beautiful story 4 Dec 2003
Format:Paperback
This is a tale of complex people who in their interaction find life to be much more complicated than they had expected or feared. Suezo, a moneylender, is tired of life with his nagging, highly imperfect wife, so he decides to take a mistress. Otama, the only child of a widower merchant, wishes that she could provide for her aging father, and when an obviously rich man asks her to be his mistress, a new hope beckons. When Otama learns the truth about Suezo, she feels betrayed, and hopes to find a hero to rescue her. When Otama meets Okada, a medical student, she feels that she might indeed have met her hero.
This is a bittersweet story, a story of hope and unfairness. The wild geese wish only for freedom, but sometimes others use them for purposes they cannot imagine. Published between 1911 and 1913, this book gives an excellent peek into the society of early modern Japan.
This book is an achingly beautiful story, and a fascinating historical document. I highly recommend it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An elegant translation of a poignant story 10 July 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Ogai's terse structure and gentle lyricism skillfully reflect the narrative focus on particularly Japanese dichotomies of controlled communication and emotional freedom, discernible form and unanticipated change. No word of this beautiful translation is unnecessary and retains the subtle tensions of the original - particularly gratifying in a novel which deals with impression and the implied more than with event. This is a beautiful edition of an important work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wild Geese 23 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I needed the book for exam marking purposes. It was excellent
to receive it so promptly - just what was needed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Japanese Lit 1 Feb 2008
By TulipGirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Wild Geese is considered a classic in Japanese literature. I started reading modern Japanese literature when we lived in Ukraine, and English language books were a rare find. Wild Geese is a story of both making opportunities and just-missed opportunities. The story revolves around a student and a concubine and the people in their lives, and is not one to read when you are in a happily-ever-after mood. Then again, Japanese lit rarely is.
5.0 out of 5 stars Achingly beautiful 6 Oct 2013
By Kurt A. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a tale of complex people who in their interaction find life to be much more complicated than they had expected or feared. Suezo, a moneylender, is tired of life with his nagging, highly imperfect wife, so he decides to take a mistress. Otama, the only child of a widower merchant, wishes that she could provide for her aging father, and when an obviously rich man asks her to be his mistress, a new hope beckons. When Otama learns the truth about Suezo, she feels betrayed, and hopes to find a hero to rescue her. When Otama meets Okada, a medical student, she feels that she might indeed have met her hero.

This is a bittersweet story, a story of hope and unfairness. The wild geese wish only for freedom, but sometimes others use them for purposes they cannot imagine. Published between 1911 and 1913, this book gives an excellent peek into the society of early modern Japan.

This book is an achingly beautiful story, and a fascinating historical document. I highly recommend it.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The coflict between love and surperstition!! 3 Oct 2000
By koske kawasaki - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This love story of a girl who became a lover of an old bill collecter and fall in love with a medical student is a sign of japanese mentality in the drastic changing situation between the periode "Edo" and periode "Meiji". As his first novel "Dancer"in wich he told his uncompleated love in Germany(at that time,having a foreign wife was a taboo), Mori tried to show the example of a conflict of natural feeling of love and the traditional superstition.Why the girl could not acheave her love? In Japan they said that a real love is a love forbidden, but it is sure that what Mori wanted to say in this book is not that beauty.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely and Enigmatic 4 Dec 2011
By Sugarbeaches - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In The Wild Geese, a tale set in the thirteenth year of Emperor Meiji's reign, an invisible narrator introduces the reader to the handsome Okada, a handsome medical student. During his regular walks through the city he becomes enchanted by an "oval and somewhat lonely" face that smiles at him each day from a window. That face belongs to Otama, the mistress of Suezo, a vain, parsimonious moneylender. Otama's only friend is her weak father, who depends upon her for support.
One day a snake slithers into Otama's birdcage and snatches one bird fast in its jaws, while the other bird flails to escape. Okada slices the snake apart and saves the remaining bird. Otama herself is the caged bird, Mori implies; the snake not just Suezo, or her ineffectual father, but the patriarchy that traps her. Mori drives the point home when Okada kills a wild goose in a lake. Otama was infatuated by Okada's freedom to do whatever he wished. Otama's wings were crushed before she could use them, while Okada flew away.
Otama formulates a plan to meet Okada, but it backfires, and Okada leaves the country the next day. The narrator called Okada the "hero" of the story, but Okada was a man who felt "a woman should be only a beautiful object, something lovable, a being who keeps her beauty and loveliness no matter what situation she is in." . The two never meet; or, do they? The author suggests there is more to the story, yet refuses to reveal the ending. The Wild Geese is full of allusions and hints, painting a watercolor tale as lovely and enigmatic as Japan herself.
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