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Geisha [Anglais] [Broché]

Liza Dalby

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Liza Dalby, author of The Tale of Murasaki, is the only non-Japanese woman ever to have become a geisha. This is her unique insight into the extraordinary, closed world of the geisha, a world of grace, beauty and tradition that has long fascinated and enthralled the West. Taking us to the heart of a way of life normally hidden from the public gaze, Liza Dalby shows us the detailed reality that lies behind the bestselling Memoirs of a Geisha and opens our eyes to an ancient profession that continues to survive in today's modern Japan.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.4 étoiles sur 5  56 commentaires
81 internautes sur 81 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Scholarship, sensitivity and heart: superbly done 15 septembre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
I read Liza Dalby's book following my reading of Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. I do wish I had read Geisha prior to reading Golden's book as I would have derived a great deal more from Golden's book. Yet, Golden's book was a wonderfully sensitive story! Liza Dalby's effort here is to portray the life a Geisha through the eyes of a cultural anthropologist. She has done this and done it well. There is authentic scholarship here. There is a special sensitivity to the demands, sorrows and joys of geisha life. The breadth of the book is superb. The photo work, the layout, the use of japanese drawings as they relate to geisha life is well done. This is a wonderful book for those truly interested in geisha life. What a marvelous gift and privilege that Liza Dalby had, as an American, to enter the world of the geisha.
I recommend it to all who are truly interested in geisha life, but more than that in the status of women now and throughout history.
75 internautes sur 75 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Behind the Flower and Willow World... 27 janvier 2000
Par T.J. Tallie - Publié sur
I have a penchant for nearly all things relating to Japanese history, especially from 1600-1950, and this book was fascinating.Like many others, I had just finished the exquisite "Memoirs of A Geisha" by Arthur Golden. The cover I bought of the book came with a ringing endorsement by Golden himself, saying how brilliant Liza Crihfield Dalby's work is. He's right.Dalby smoothly weaves amusing anecdotes (a meeting with a tipsy and raunchy customer) with brilliantly simple facts (the nuances in tying kimono) in relating her unique story: she is the only American ever to become a geisha.With her exquisite hair and powdered face, Dalby embarks upon a mission of mystique, prestige, and learning, creating a fascinating and enjoyable read.If you have the opportunity, and time, pick up a copy of Dalby's "Geisha." It's a definitive source on the subject, and shouldn't be missed by any aficionados.
39 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Memoirs of a real geisha 12 juin 2000
Par Robert Beveridge - Publié sur
[Note: At the time I wrote this review, I had not yet read Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. And I think I may be the only person in America who still hasn't.]

Of course, it's now a full week after A&E aired _The Secret Life of Geisha_, a show nominally based on Dalby's 1983 account of her time in Kyoto as the only non-Japanese ever to train and serve as a geisha. But I kept reading anyway. The show's material came, for the most part, from the first four chapters of the book, which cover a good deal of history, and ignored the rest, which is more of a personal accounting of Dalby's time in Kyoto and her research in Tokyo and some of the smaller towns.

Dalby's account is straightforward and precise, though I don't want to give the impression there's nothing here that would give the reader a sense of personal experience; far from it. Dalby, an anthropologist by nature as well as trade, has a knack for being able to translate emotion into recognizable speech and get it all down on paper in an easy-to-understand form.

The end result is compulsively readable, half-journal and half-explication, of the widely misunderstood world of geisha and the cultural context to which it belongs-- as important to an understanding of what geisha are as a study of the women themselves. Dalby adresses the paradox that the women considered the most servile in Japan are also those with the most freedom, and by the time the book is finished it's no longer a paradox, really. Dalby takes the reader through the world of geisha, its history, its context, and most importantly the outside world's misconception of it. All is explained in such a way as to be easily absorbed, Not in the tradition of "classic" anthropological works at all. Which is a good thing.

Absorbing, a quick read, new stuff to be learned, how can you go wrong?
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Couldn't be better 4 octobre 2004
Par Shannon - Publié sur
Written by anthropologist Dalby, who has the distinction of being the only Westerner to become a geisha, this book deftly synthesizes the personal experiences and interactions of the author in this most unusual role and society with the discerning eye of a scholar. Her attention to detail is superb and provides interesting tidbits of cultural trivia for the reader. The stories she tells -- about the backgrounds of her geisha friends, the mothers of the community and other figures in the hanamachi (geisha district) of Pontocho as well as geisha communities of different stripes elsewhere in Japan -- let the reader in on a very personal part of the geisha world that no other author in my opinion has truly touched, or could, really. Dalby was singularly qualified for the role as a geisha, as she could speak Japanese, play the shamisen and had the appropriate connections, and as a geisha herself (versus an interviewer who would always be external in some way), more doors were opened to her, through both internal connections (her relationship with the Pontocho mothers and her onesan) and the trust that these enigmatic women were willing to put in one of their kind.

Dalby's ability to story-tell also lends a quality of magic to the analysis. Even simple stories about floating paper lanterns on the Kamo River or stopping with the three geisha mothers to watch an old-style candymaker draw the reader in with their unselfconscious charm and personal allure. Without this sort of skill, even an intelligent analysis of the subject could be very dull, but her ability to shape the smaller stories within the overall experience make for more intimate and memorable peeks into her life as a geisha, rather than a "just the facts, ma'am" approach.

I have read some reviews juxtaposing this work with other more recent books on the subject of geisha, and one of the complaints other readers seem to have about this book is that it is somewhat out of date. True, it was originally written in the 1970s, after Dalby had completed her time in the geisha world. To me this indicates that this book was one of the first to address this subject in an objective manner and didn't just jump on the "Memoirs of a Geisha" bandwagon. In my opinion it is the definitive book on the subject, and given its unique perspective it is all the more valuable. If a reader read this book and no others on the subject, he or she would still be well informed about the geisha world, as well as entranced by its mystery, made somewhat less elusive by Liza Dalby's sensitive tour of the inner corridors of the hanamachi of Kyoto.
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Read Memoirs of a Geisha & still want more 20 avril 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
What better way to finish Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden than by picking up this book. Unlike Memoirs this is a real story (although Liza Dalby, as an American anthropology student, isn't a 'real' geisha but a curiosity). She tell us in immaculate detail the trials, dilemmas and joys of geisha life. From the intricacies of the kimono to correct manners she straightens out those who believe that a geisha is merely a prostitute. One of the many fascinating elements in this book was her description (from her experience) of what geisha are like in different areas of Japan. The only thing I wanted was more photos. It would have been lovely to see some large colour photos of her time as a geisha.Regardless, by the end you are hoping that this small and beautiful 'water and willow' world never disappears.
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