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February 01, 2008

Reviewed: January Books

Wild Geese by Ogai Mori
Wild Geese is considered a classic in Japanese literature. I started reading Japanese fiction (modern) when we lived in Ukraine and happened upon several books. Since finding books in English was a boon, I read a lot when we were there that I may never have picked off of a library shelf in the U.S. I discovered I really enjoy Japanese lit. 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. 8/10

(Thanks for the encouragement to post, Kristen and MbG Reading Circle!)


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Yes, Japanese literature (as opposed to lots of Japanese pop art) is pretty definitely not "cheery" stuff. You've probably read more than I have, by now, but my probing of Mishima and a couple others warned me to be ready for that.

To be frank, Japanese literature with HOPE in it is fundamentally dishonest. Hope comes from elsewhere--and I don't mean the States, but that "true West" Tolkien's heroes hint at.


Posted by: pgepps at February 3, 2008 01:22 AM

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