Peony Garden and Portrait of An Old Geisha

Peony Garden and Portrait of An Old Geisha - "The Peony...

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“The Peony Garden” (1909) by Nagai Kafū 1) Today’s common characters: Geisha – they are not prostitutes but women whose profession is to entertain guests at a teahouse, which exclusively admits limited number of people who are members there. Geishas sell their musical talents or dances, and in order to establish themselves, normally they need to be financially supported by their own patrons. Their social status is similar to that of concubines but some geishas end up with marring their patrons, too. 2) The opening remarks of “the impulse of the moment” govern the entire story; Koren and the man even stayed the evening before out of whim since they just run into each other at a play (45); the changing view of the river bank from the boat metaphorically suggests each moment of life quickly flees from our perception (47-) Character: Koren the geisha, she was living together with the man, but became tired of acting like a housewife and agreed to live separately again (48), yet now wanting to the man’s wife (49) The man: he is seemingly wealthy but lacking seriousness in life, his profession is not clearly stated; he feels somewhat disconnected from this world in association with this geisha woman; seemingly longing for an out-of-this- worldly experience (46); somewhat desiring to retire from this world: “I had exhausted the man-made pleasures that a city has only for hose born in it, and now, in the wake of the cream, it was as thought I were looking back over the whole long series of dreams” (46); while Koren wants to marry him, he is evasive about it and remains in the state of moratorium and indecision (49) 2) The ambience permeating within the story can be characterized quintessentially
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2008 for the course MODL 398 taught by Professor Amano during the Spring '08 term at UNL.

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Peony Garden and Portrait of An Old Geisha - "The Peony...

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