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am 25. Februar 2006
I enjoyed Memoirs of a Geisha because of the very catchy and likable story it told. As Sayuri grew up and lived in the Geisha house, I felt as if I was following her around and living her life with her. The beginning of the novel made me want to read on because of the sadness it shared. It's a very good novel, touching your heart, and makes you appreciate your family. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes entertainment, and enjoys his or her family. It's a very fast read, and once you get into the story, it's very difficult to put it down. Any readers ages 14 and up could enjoy this because it has a little something for everyone. During the story, you feel as if there is always something to relate to. Thanks----Harriet
I also recommend " The Quest " by Giorgio Kostantinos
0Kommentar| 5 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 28. April 2000
This begins as Charles Dickens would have written it, had he such a vision, continues as a fairy tale, and concludes as a strange and touching story of love spanning decades and ending in happiness and fulfillment. But primarily this is a fairy tale, and like all fairy tales there is beneath the surface an underlying current of the dark nature of humanity that can only be glimpsed through the use of symbolism. Just as the wolf in grandmother's bed represents something more than a wolf, so it is with the men attended by the geisha. And so it is with her as well. She projects the image of fairy tale beauty and an attentive loveliness, but is in fact a woman of business whose attentions are bought and sold, just as with any commodity. It is the illusion and the pretense and the soft, embroidered veil between us and the truth that is paid for.
This is also a beautiful novel, charming and witty with just the barest touch of satire, an original work of a cunning genius, as readable as a best seller, as satisfying as a masterpiece. Although written as realistic fiction and presented as the memoirs of someone who really did exist, the story and especially the action are veiled reality. Notice that Sayuri is fifteen when she first learns of the significance of her virginity. Since her captors would have put a very high price on maintaining that virginity until they could sell it, they would have taken very careful measures to ensure that she could not lose it; consequently, being the clever girl that she was, Sayuri would have understood what that meant. And to suppose that she knew nothing of sexual intercourse until Mameha's story of the lonely eel and the cave... Well, this is part of the contrivance and illusion maintained by geisha and its tradition. But make no mistake, the girls know, but their knowledge must be expressed and understood euphemistically.
There are a number of other "contradictions" in the novel that are of no real import because the world of the geisha is the world of illusion and fairy tale. Although Chiyo never says so directly, she knew quite well what was being done to her sister in the house of ill-repute that she visited in the poor section of Kyoto. There is something wonderful and alluring about this duplicitous view of human sexuality found in all cultures. One of the wonderful things about Golden's novel is how he shows us its expression in the Japanese tradition. When Hatsumomo's vagina is forcibly investigated by Granny and Mother looking for evidence of semen (and Chiyo is about ten years old) she understands what was found because she had seen the man between Hatsumomo's legs in the dim light through the partially opened door. Adults find comfort in the illusion of a sexless childhood, comfort that can only be maintained through the artifice of self-deception. Please note that this is not a criticism of the novel; on the contrary. It is part of Golden's vision to realize that a fairy tale view of Chiyo's sexuality was necessary. Note also the scenes with Mr. Tanaka when she appears as a naked nine-year-old. Read carefully we can see that his sexual desire for her is apparent and is symbolically acted out through the device of her sister with the Sugi boy and Mr. Tanaka's bare touch of her cheek. Incidentally Nitta Sayuri's narrative is coy by design, and it is this structure that allows Golden to so beautifully present this fairy tale world with its illusion of a foreign and bygone reality.
But the fairy tale ends three-quarters of the way through, and then begins a counter point as the war and the hardships are brought home to the Japanese people and to Sayuri personally. Now we have a tale stripped of illusion, devoid of symbolism, replete with the harsh reality of a civilian population with dwindling resources, impending loss, and the sound of bombers overhead...
This is the kind of novel that makes other novelists despair of ever coming close. The exquisite style, the confident scholarship, the ample energy so gracefully expended, the unerring sense of what is appropriate, the generous and apt use of metaphor, the clever plotting, the rich detail, the sure commercial feel: a publisher's dream, an agent's orgasmic rush-and it is only Golden's first novel! I expect a lavish movie production, an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, and perhaps even the first important opera of the twenty-first century to follow.
Or maybe a Disney cartoon in the tradition of Snow White and Cinderella.
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am 6. April 2000
I read this book two years ago and it still remains one of my all time favorites. To be able to be taken to a world that I could never even dream about and make it feel so real is quite a compliment to the author. Having said all that, if you liked the book, you will ABSOLUTELY LOVE the audio. The reading by English actress Bernadette Dunn with all the different subtle accents of all the characters both male and female is nothing short of remarkable. How she is able to bring life to Sayuri and The Chairman while talking about the teahouses in Gion -- believe me I thought I was there instead of driving around in my car. This audio is a definite must for the true Memoirs' lovers.
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am 24. Mai 1999
Like so many long novels (and too many movies and tv shows), "Memoirs" is an outstanding work with a rushed ending, as if the author had had enough and just wanted to end it already. But that aside, the novel is an absorbing, fascinating look into a vanished world.
Who knew that there were actual geisha districts with hundreds of geishas, or that they were often children sold into the life? That, with all its ceremony and beauty, the geishas were often no more than slaves with no control over their own lives? Were they artisans or glamorized, high-priced hookers?
Author Golden really did his research, and the detail is what makes the book so unique. All told, almost perfect!
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am 11. Februar 2006
... eins meiner Lieblingsbücher.
Chiyo wird mit neun Jahren aufgrund der schweren Krankheit ihrer Mutter und der Mittellosigkeit ihres Vaters nach Kyoto gebracht, um dort zu lernen, eine Geisha zu sein, wie eine zu denken und in der harten Konkurrenz unter Geishas zu bestehen. Viel mehr wohl, zu überleben. In Gion (dem Geisha-Distrikt von Kyoto) setzt sie sich gegen weitaus erfahrenere Geishas durch, um eine der populärsten Gesellschafterinnen Japans zu werden.
Arthur Golden mag sich nicht zu 100% an das Original Mineko Iwasaki gehalten haben, trotzdem fasziniert die Geschichte der kleinen Chiyo-san von Anfang an. Lebhafter kann man diese fremde Kultur den westlichen Lesern wohl kaum nahe bringen.
Ein geniales Buch, gefühlvoll und schlüssig geschrieben. Lässt keine Wünsche offen.
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am 19. September 2000
A commentator has said that this is a book that seems to stay open. It's absolutely true! I first had an interest in reading "Memoirs of a Geisha" because I have never read a novel about Japanese culture before, and I wanted to learn more about it from an author who had studied it in-depth. Once I started, I couldn't put the book down until I finished it a few days later. The story of Sayuri's life as a geisha in Japan around the time of WWII is engrossing, fascinating, and at times disturbing.
"Memoirs" chronicles the life of Sayuri (as narrated by her to a fictional biographer), and how she goes from rags to riches, from riches to rags, and back again to riches. The plot is truly a page-turner; Golden also writes in lush detail about every aspect of Japan's geisha culture. However, Sayuri's development throughout her life, while believable, was disheartening. Here was a woman with so much potential--she's beautiful, intelligent, insightful--and she is trained to be manipulative, deceitful, and opportunistic. Not that this is surprising, based on the environments and upbringing she experiences. It could be argued that she made the most out of her circumstances; she took the hand she was dealt and then beat the dealer at his own game. Still, the reviews that compare Golden with authors like Austen and Dickens ring hollow when you examine the progress of a David Copperfield or an Elizabeth Bennett, who rise above their circumstances and whose individual characters are refined and brought to a higher level of integrity and morality--the opposite, in my opinion, of Sayuri's.
As other readers have commented, the ending was a little to "neat" for me. I felt betrayed by the Chairman's reaction to Sayuri's last desparate act; indeed he seemed to condone the notion that the end justifies the means--go for what you want, and break the rules of ethics if necessary. Sayuri's lowest, most contemptible moment with the Minister is rewarded with a happy ending. Now I sound now like I'm not recommending this book--I do, heartily! But be forewarned, the ultimate message of this book is one that is very lonely and spiritually devoid: rely on yourself, because God and man alike will fail you.
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am 27. Mai 2001
Arthur Goldens Roman "Memoirs of a Geisha" (Die Geisha) nimmt den Leser sofort gefangen: Seine ruhige und doch packende Erzählweise führt uns in die Welt der zu Beginn des Romans 9jährigen Sayuri und erzählt uns ihren Weg von dem mutterlosen Mädchen eines armen Fischerdorfs zur angesehendsten Geisha. Ein Weg, der nicht nur ein Viertel Jahrhundert umfaßt, von 1929 bis in die Nachkriegszeit, sondern der uns auch in die von westlichen Lesern oft mißverstande Welt der Geishas einführt. So wird dem Leser manches Mal die Augen geöffnet und er erkennt, welche harte und unbarmherzige Schule die Geishas in ihrer Ausbildung durchlaufen, daß ihr Leben nicht nur von Parties, Teezeremonien und Tänzen erfüllt ist, sondern auch von Ausbeutung und Entbehrungen.
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am 17. April 1998
I am sadly reminded of Princess Diana and of every woman as I am drawn into a world completely foreign to Western culture - this books fascinates with its strange detail, yet reverberates with essential and universal truth. Bravo, Arthur Golden!
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am 21. August 1999
This book deserves all of the wonderful reaction it has received. An enlightening yet engrossing look into the world of geisha and the Japanese culture. As a student of Oriental philosophy, I believe this book is written in language as simple as haiku and as image laden. The unique metaphors and the desciptions of the physical aspects of deep emotions were particularly poignant. As a lover of classical literature it is rare that I am so moved by anything written today. I believe this book is an instant classic ( and I do not say this lightly). As a woman however, I am dubious of its author's gender. Other reviewers have hinted at this, may I just come out and say that I don't believe this was written solely by a male. Perhaps the women Mr. Golden thanks had more than a little hand in this book? Otherwise, in my opinion Mr. Golden has achieved what all male writers before him have found impossible and that is to write a woman who is completely convincing to women. I can't wait for his next book.
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am 19. September 2006
Als ich Memoirs of a Geisha kaufte, hatte ich eigentlich nur nach einem Buch zum Zeitvertreib gesucht. Aber dieses Buch entführt in eine faszinierende, fremde, herrliche Welt, nimmt den Leser mit auf eine Reise in den fernen Osten und ist voller so vieler kleiner Wunder und atemberaubender Bilder, dass man sich sogleich darin verliert. Memoirs of a Geisha ist sicherlich mehr als nur ein Zeitvertreib. Ein herrlich erfrischendes Buch, lebendig und warmherzig, voller kleiner Lebensweisheiten. Ich habe es verschlungen.
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