Sunday, October 13, 2013

Memoirs Of A Masterpiece

If you have only experienced the movie, let me make it as clear as possible: you have barely scraped the surface. Memoirs of a Geisha is a very rich and rewarding novel that will absorb you into another time, a far away land and a completely alien mentality. Welcome to the Floating World of the Geishas in its twilight.

This is the true story of Mineko Iwasaki (whose personal autobiography is also available under the title Geisha: A Life) presented in the form of a novel by a brilliant Arthur Golden (too bad he did not follow up his success with a second novel).

Japan in the years following WWI was a country in transition. The old ways were on their way out yet they have a way of soothing the soul of any nation, especially one found itself caught in limbo, between progress and tradition. In this transitional world Sayuri is offered the chance to become a Geisha. The unique color of her eyes, her patience and artistic abilities soon propel her to the position of the most famous Geisha of them all. But one should always be wary of what he wishes for.

Fame and success are never a guarantee for personal happiness. Predictably, Sayuri's love story is bittersweet and has many false starts. In fear of spoilers, I shall only say that life is never boring.

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