Madame Chrysanthème: Crowned by the French Academy. With a Preface by Albert Sorel ... and Illustrations by Millicent Woodforde ...

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Current literature publishing Company, 1908 - 355 pages
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Page 217 - I know not, but seems to me I have never as clearly seen and comprehended it as to-day. And more even than ever, do I find it little, aged, with wornout blood and worn-out sap ; I feel more fully its antediluvian antiquity, its centuries of mummification, which will soon degenerate into hopeless and grotesque buffoonery, as it comes into contact with Western novelties.
Page 212 - I had given her the evening before. With the competent dexterity of an old money-changer she fingers them, turns them over, throws them on the floor, and armed with a little mallet ad hoc, rings them vigorously against her ear, singing the while I know not what little pensive birdlike song which I daresay she improvises as she goes along. Well after all, it is even more completely Japanese than I could possibly have imagined it — this last scene of my married life ! I feel inclined to laugh.
Page 161 - I really make a sad abuse of the adjective little," I am quite aware of it, but how can I do otherwise? In describing this country, the temptation is too great to use it ten times in every written line. Little, finical, affected — all Japan is contained, both physically and morally, in these three words.
Page 33 - ... The next question is, how to get out of it ? She advances, smiling, with an air of repressed triumph, and behind her looms M. Kangourou, in his suit of gray tweed. Fresh salutes, and behold her on all fours, she too, before my landlady and before my neighbors. Yves, the big Yves, who is not going to be married, stands behind me, with a comical grimace, hardly repressing his laughter, — while to give myself time to collect my ideas, I offer tea in little cups, little spittoons and embers to...
Page 162 - Who can fathom her ideas about the gods, or about death? Does she possess a soul? Does she think she has one? Her religion is an obscure chaos of theogonies as old as the world, treasured up out of respect for ancient customs; and of more recent ideas about the blessed final annihilation, imported from India by saintly Chinese missionaries at the epoch of our Middle Ages.
Page 167 - It may be that many an English reader will not recognize Pierre Loti as a man of action who happens to have a genius for literary expression, the account he himself gives of his exploits not being such as we...
Page 140 - In this situation visitors are received; and the bather, without any hesitation, leaves his tub, holding in his hand his little towel (invariably blue), to offer the caller a seat, and to exchange with him some polite remarks. Nevertheless, neither the mousmes nor the old ladies gain anything by appearing in this primeval costume. A Japanese woman, deprived of her long robe and her huge sash with its pretentious bows, is nothing but a diminutive yellow being, with crooked legs and flat, unshapely...
Page xv - This record is the journal of a summer of my life, in which I have changed nothing, not even the dates, thinking that in our efforts to arrange matters we succeed often only in disarranging them.
Page 14 - ... one dragging the other, under the merciless downpour. Oh, what a curious Japan I saw that day, through the gaping of my oil-cloth coverings ! from under the dripping hood of my little cart ! A sullen, muddy, half-drowned Japan. All these houses, men or beasts, hitherto only known to me by drawings ; all these, that I had beheld painted on blue or pink backgrounds of fans or vases, now appeared to me in their hard reality, under a dark sky, with umbrellas and wooden shoes, with tucked-up skirts...
Page 37 - Jasmin." On hearing this, I am possessed suddenly with extreme vexation that I should have made up my mind so quickly to link myself in ever so fleeting and transient a manner with this little creature, and dwell with her in this isolated house. We come back into the room ; she is the centre of the circle and seated ; and they have placed the aigrette of flowers in her hair. There is actually some expression in her glance, and I am almost persuaded that she — this one — thinks. Yves is astonished...

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