The Wild Geese by Ōgai Mori
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
But not all wild geese can fly, and in Ogai’s novel there are several that cannot. (8)
Gradually her thoughts settled. Resignation was the mental attitude she had most experienced. And in this direction her mind adjusted itself like a well-oiled machine. (47)
Whatever pain the decision might cost her, she was determined to keep her sadness to herself. And when she had made this decision, the girl, who had always depended on others, had felt for the first time her own independence. (76)
A woman may have her heart set on a particular article, yet she may not go so far as to think of buying it. Each time she passes it, she may stop and look into the window where the article, say a ring or a watch, is on display. She doesn’t go to that shop deliberately, but whenever she happens to be in the neighborhood on some business or other, she always makes it a point to examine it. Though she recognizes that she will never be able to buy the article, the renunciation and the desire to have it often give rise to a not too keen but rather faint and sweetly sad emotion. And she enjoys feeling it. On the other hand, a particular item she can afford and has determined to buy gives her acute pain. (92-3)
Hopeful images entered her mind. Women pitiably waver in their decisions until they have made up their minds, yet once they have decided on their course of action, they rush forward like horses with blinders, looking neither to the right nor left. (105-6)
Okada and I crossed the end of Hanazono-cho and went toward the stone steps leading to the Toshogu Shrine. For some time we walked in silence.
“Poor bird,” said Okada, as if speaking to himself.
Without any logical connection the woman of Muenzaka came into my mind. (112)
I looked back once more, but the woman was no longer in sight. (118)
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