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Rivalry: A Geisha's Tale (Japanese Studies Series) Hardcover – 9 Oct 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; 1st Edition in this form edition (9 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231141181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231141185
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 2 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,307,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"An awesomely economical and incisive writer, Nagai packs this short novel with incident and astonishingly thorough characterizations." -- "Booklist (starred review)"

"This new translation by Snyder... successfully transforms Nagai's Taisho-era Japanese into flowing modern English." -- "Library Journal"

"Snyder is to be thanked both for translating this half-forgotten novel... and for doing it so compellingly." -- Bradley Winterton, "Taipei Times"

Snyder is to be thanked both for translating this half-forgotten novel... and for doing it so compellingly.--Bradley Winterton"Taipei Times" (01/01/0001)

Now we have a complete translation of "Rivalry", Nagai Kafu's novel about the couplings and calculations in the world of geisha. The inclusion of the sexually explicit scenes left out in the prior translation makes this version funnier and infinitely tougher. Komayo's distress in the final chapters can only be comprehended if we know the full demands she faces as a geisha.--Ken K. Ito, University of Michigan

Nagai Kafu's novel is powerfully observed, exposing the tension between the elegant surface of the geisha districts and the sexual hierarchy that unfolds behind closed doors between the geisha and their patrons. Stephen Snyder's sensitive and smooth translation draws the reader into a sometimes outrageous, sometimes alluring world. An important corrective to the romanticized and exoticizing Hollywood versions of the geisha experience.--Ann Sherif, Oberlin College

Portraits of Japanese geisha most often present these women either as tragic victims of oppressive institutions catering to male sexual desire or as sexually empowered entrepreneurs navigating a harsh reality. In "Rivalry: A Geisha's Tale," Nagai Kafu introduces us to an altogether different geisha. Because Komayo's story is not offered as an allegory for a woman's place in a man's world, she emerges as a vivid, complex character fiercely resistant to narrow-minded moralizing and simplistic glorification. Her tale pulls readers into a far more compelling world--that of messy, inconsistent, and irreconcilable human attitudes toward love, sex, power, and performance.--James Dorsey, Dartmouth College

Now we have a complete translation of "Rivalry," Nagai Kafu's novel about the couplings and calculations in the world of geisha. The inclusion of the sexually explicit scenes left out in the prior translation makes this version funnier and infinitely tougher. Komayo's distress in the final chapters can only be comprehended if we know the full demands she faces as a geisha.--Ken K. Ito, University of Michigan

Portraits of Japanese geisha most often present these women either as tragic victims of oppressive institutions catering to male sexual desire or as sexually empowered entrepreneurs navigating a harsh reality. In Rivalry: A Geisha's Tale, Nagai Kafu introduces us to an altogether different geisha. Because Komayo's story is not offered as an allegory for a woman's place in a man's world, she emerges as a vivid, complex character fiercely resistant to narrow-minded moralizing and simplistic glorification. Her tale pulls readers into a far more compelling world--that of messy, inconsistent, and irreconcilable human attitudes toward love, sex, power, and performance.

--James Dorsey, Dartmouth College

Nagai Kafu's novel is powerfully observed, exposing the tension between the elegant surface of the geisha districts and the sexual hierarchy that unfolds behind closed doors between the geisha and their patrons. Stephen Snyder's sensitive and smooth translation draws the reader into a sometimes outrageous, sometimes alluring world. An important corrective to the romanticized and exoticizing Hollywood versions of the geisha experience.

--Ann Sherif, Oberlin College

Now we have a complete translation of Rivalry, Nagai Kafu's novel about the couplings and calculations in the world of geisha. The inclusion of the sexually explicit scenes left out in the prior translation makes this version funnier and infinitely tougher. Komayo's distress in the final chapters can only be comprehended if we know the full demands she faces as a geisha.

--Ken K. Ito, University of Michigan

Snyder is to be thanked both for translating this half-forgotten novel... and for doing it so compellingly.

--Bradley Winterton"Taipei Times" (01/01/0001)

Portraits of Japanese geisha most often present these women either as tragic victims of oppressive institutions catering to male sexual desire or as sexually empowered entrepreneurs navigating a harsh reality. In Rivalry: A Geisha's Tale, Nagai Kafu introduces us to an altogether different geisha. Because Komayo's story is not offered as an allegory for a woman's place in a man's world, she emerges as a vivid, complex character fiercely resistant to narrow-minded moralizing and simplistic glorification. Her tale pulls readers into a far more compelling world--that of messy, inconsistent, and irreconcilable human attitudes toward love, sex, power, and performance.--James Dorsey, Dartmouth College

Nagai Kafu's novel is powerfully observed, exposing the tension between the elegant surface of the geisha districts and the sexual hierarchy that unfolds behind closed doors between the geisha and their patrons. Stephen Snyder's sensitive and smooth translation draws the reader into a sometimes outrageous, sometimes alluring world. An important corrective to the romanticized and exoticizing Hollywood versions of the geisha experience.--Ann Sherif, Oberlin College

Now we have a complete translation of Rivalry, Nagai Kafu's novel about the couplings and calculations in the world of geisha. The inclusion of the sexually explicit scenes left out in the prior translation makes this version funnier and infinitely tougher. Komayo's distress in the final chapters can only be comprehended if we know the full demands she faces as a geisha.--Ken K. Ito, University of Michigan

Snyder is to be thanked both for translating this half-forgotten novel... and for doing it so compellingly.--Bradley Winterton "Taipei Times "

About the Author

Nagai Kafu (1879-1959) was a Japanese novelist whose translated works include Autumn Wind and Other Stories, American Stories, and During the Rains and Flowers in the Shades: Two Novellas. Stephen Snyder teaches Japanese language and literature at Middlebury College. He is the author of Fictions of Desire: Narrative Form in the Novels of Nagai Kafu and coeditor of Oe and Beyond: Studies in Contemporary Japanese Literature.


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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
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5.0 out of 5 starsA significant, new translation restoring the missing passages from Kafu's commercial edition of 1918
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