The Wild Geese

The Wild Geese

The Wild Geese

The Wild Geese

Synopsis

First published in serial form, The Wild Geese is the story of unfulfilled love set against a background of social change. Ogai portrays with compassion and beauty the drama of a girl forced by poverty to become a moneylender's mistress. Around her, in scenes of humor and pathos, move the skillfully drawn characters of her weak-willed father, her lover and his suspicious wife, and a handsome student who is both the object of her desire and the symbol of her rescue.

Excerpt

More than half a century ago the author of The Wild Geese recognized the difficulty of solving one of Japan's major problems, the adoption of Western values and the preservation of her own. He lived at a time when Japan was becoming increasingly aware of external influences; he was to reflect those influences in his career as a major figure in modern Japanese literature.

In 1870, the third year of Emperor Meiji's reign, the precocious Rintaro Mori (1862-1922), who was later to adopt the pen name Ogai Mori, was learning Dutch, a language regarded at that time as indispensable to a knowledge of Western medicine. The tutor was Ogai's father, a physician to a feudal lord. That study of language started Ogai on a lifelong interest in the West. His father took him to Tokyo in 1872 to learn German at a private school, and two years later the boy of twelve, recording his age as fourteen, entered the preparatory course of Tokyo Medical College, soon to become the Medical Faculty of Tokyo University. For a period of time at the end of his college career, Ogai lived in the Kamijo, the boardinghouse frequently mentioned in The Wild Geese.

Graduating at nineteen, Ogai assisted his father for several months in his practice and then decided to become an army surgeon. In 1884 the army sent Ogai to Germany to study military hygiene. During his four-year stay, successively at the Universities of Leipzig, Munich, and Berlin, he wrote and published several theses in German which undoubtedly strengthened his understanding of . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.