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Memoirs of a Geisha 4 April 2006

Posted by Sasha in Books, Quotes, The Brooder, The Rambler.

We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course.

This is why dreams can be such dangerous things; they smolder on like a fire does, and sometimes consume us completely.

Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.

Adversity is like a strong wind. I don’t mean just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be.

memoirsI just finished reading the book, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I’m amazed by what it gave me. Passages from the book just keep jumping out and creating a huge impression on me. These 4 quotes are just a few of what I’ve written down some have an even more personal effect on me, which I feel is much too vulnerable to share. It’s been said that it’s a flirting 101 book, Japanese-style, however, I don’t see it that way. Sure, you can pick up a trick or two but I see the book differently. It’s rich with dreams, passion, patience and love. It’s difficult to admit but it made me tear up bigtime. It was because of what the novel represents and it really touched a raw nerve. I wouldn’t be surprised if I decide to read it again. Hahaha.



1. Amy Socbie - 3 May 2006

omg i loved the book it was really good but now i have to write an essay on it HELP oh dear it doesn’t count for anything but still i don’t know what to write because ther is soo much to say !!!! lol

2. theparody - 3 May 2006

I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes, Amy. Hahaha. I can never give justice to how beautiful the book is with my own words. Heh. Let me know how your essay turns out. 🙂

3. Jessica - 18 May 2006

I relate…so glad it’s not just me! The book was moving beyond words.

4. Jessica - 18 May 2006

Oh yes…I love this one too…”A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.” Just had to add it…:)

5. theparody - 19 May 2006

Good to know, Jessica. 🙂

I’m sure we’re not the only ones. But I’ve never really met anyone who’ve read the book much less leave a comment here unlike you and Amy.

Thanks for sharing your favourite. 🙂

6. V Vitin J - 12 June 2006

do you guys know in what page and what chapter is this quote: “We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course.” on?
please help me find it…=(

7. theparody - 14 June 2006

I’ll try to look it up for you, V.

8. hirschmann - 27 June 2006
9. cherry - 10 July 2006

the book is very engrossing and is very interesting. one can’t stop reading the book unless it’s finish

10. Creg - 18 July 2006

I have to admit. This book was beyond amazing. I got so enthralled in it that I forgot to do the essay assignment for it and now I am looking back, unable to find what I need. Oh, and the quote you’re looking for is somewhere near page 105. At least on this library’s copy.

11. Evelyine - 15 November 2006

I’ve been looking for the page number for that quote all over. Thanks so much for posting it. I have to create a symbolic object to describe the book for my class(along with a short essay) and this quote helps a lot.

12. vee - 28 November 2006

i understand how you feel amy. i have to do the same thing lol and im finding it really hard to find really good quotes. loved the book its just so amazing.

13. Charlotte - 7 December 2006

Anyone know where i can get free chapter summaries for this book? It;s so engrossing and I got carried away reading it, i totally forgot to write chapter notes! Uhoh! They’re due on friday! Can anyone help? 🙂

14. SP - 21 December 2006

Can someone give me the exact quote ( I believe it is on the last page) that is something like ” I sometimes have the briefest flicker of thought that I may find her there in the glass, smirking at me.” Thanks!

15. Alii----ce - 6 February 2007

Yes im wrting an essay on MoaG but ive read it twice and never took notes haaaaaaaaaaah im such an idiot. Cheers much for the quote, v. thought provoking, muchos love and danke shunn for the help alice xxx

16. germaine Stratton - 6 April 2007

I don’t know how to explain it but I felt a wow while reading the book. it is unlike other love stories that I have read, I was so afraid that I might not like the end but, but he wrote it so well and I recommend every women out there to take the time and read this beautiful story. The book does not only tell you about the love story between the chairman and Siyuri, but it also gives you an idea on how things were back then in Japan. My God people take it from me and just sit down and try to read you will not regret it, it is worth it. I have to do an essay on the book, just hope my teacher will like it as much as I loved the book.

17. peanut - 29 May 2007

I read the book and just loved it, Golden is so detailed and artistic in the way he writes it literally paints a vivid picture, and you can see this girls life playing out like a movie. I was very excited when they made the movie. The narration in the movie is excellent and there is a quote that I love, and that I don’t recall from the book, “The heart dies, a slow death, shedding each hope like leaves, until one day there are none. No hopes. Nothing remains. She paints her face to hide her face. Her eyes like deep water. It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for Geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances. She sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows. The rest is secret.” I just had to add to add this in when I stumbled across your site

18. peanut - 29 May 2007

I’m also surprised no one mentions the end of the book “But now I know that our world is no more permanent than a wave rising on the ocean. Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on paper.” A beautiful metaphor to end the beautiful story which of course leaves you in tears!

germaine stratton - 10 September 2009

This is for Peanut, you are not suppose to mention the end because if you do you kinda ruin it for everyone.
Thanks. I do like the quote thought and I thought I read it somewhere in the book maybe I kinda confused it with the movie

19. jacob - 14 July 2007

What are the page numbers for all of those quotes??

20. charity - 28 August 2007

does anyone know the quote when the maid is eating the forbidden fruit and the juice runs down her neck?

21. Glasgow_girOo - 31 October 2007

ive got 2 do an essay for school based on the question ‘How does the writer gain your sympathy for the main character?’ and i dont really know what to write =S dus anyone have any tips? (yn) x helpx

22. peanut - 1 November 2007

You have sympathy for the main character from the beginning of the story when 1st her mother is dying, and second she thinks she is going to live with Mr. Tanaka (sp?) and she is so excited, and then she finds that she is to be a “slave” in a geisha house and her sister will not remain with her. There are things throughout the entire book if you’ve read it. Another example is when she is unable to run away with her sister and then she is told her father has also died. When Hatsumomo gets her in trouble on several occasions. When she can no longer go to geisha school. All these things are building up sympathy towards her character. Even once she becomes a geisha all she wants is to be with the chairman, and she’s forced to turn her attention to Nobu because of Hatsumomo. That should give you a good start on a paper Glasgow!

23. Bee - 5 November 2007

For glasgow.. The entire book is written in first person narrative..that alone makes us sympathise with the character of sayuri. Also, many qutotes include “we” :’ Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however WE may suffer them” This invites us to connect ourselves with the persona and her struggles(these do not need mentioning, there are a tonne in the book! poor girl) The whole novel is, as well, a ‘Bildungsroman’- narrative tracing the development of the main character from childhood to maturity. We follow her journey (o dear, yr 12 coming thru haha) from her intial naivity, through her experiences (seen by her eyes) as she gains a broadened perspective of herself and the world in general. Essentially,WE also are living the story with her, allowing for a greater evocation of sympathy.
mm i love this book! Am also doing an essay on it.. on physical journy. should be good fun 😛 (not) i hope it doesnt ruin it *fingers crossed!*

24. cathleen - 20 January 2009

I would totally have picked the same quotes. HOLY SMOKES you are me

25. summer - 22 April 2009

what an amazing book, unbelievable. Couldn’t put it down from the moment I picked it up!

26. Jermaine Stratton - 8 April 2010

amazing book!!!

27. Filipina - 23 May 2010

Hi ! Im actually an English teacher in a high school. and i would be teaching this this school year, I hope u can tell me some more lines and what chapter. : ) Thanks dear !

28. Lisa Nicole - 11 May 2011

I really need the page number for that adversity quote! If anyone knows please let me know asap, i’m using in my research paper for this book.

29. jermainestrattonesq - 27 December 2011

great book – everyone should read

– Jermaine Stratton

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