Not a bad book, but merely overrated. Well, I still say Lolita is still an overrated book. In fact, I am baffled that more Westerners are not familiar with it. Many of the ideas within Modern Japanese literature involve the shift from the old traditions of the East, to the more Westernized cultural influence one finds in Japan today. Tanizaki is one of the most well-known writers addressing this shift from old to new, for in Naomi, we have not only an insular, unhealthy relationship between a young girl and an older man, ala Lolita , but there is also an obsession for the shallow aspects of Western culture that both characters share.
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The nimble feet glide effortlessly to the choreographed beats, smooth flowing movements inviting the grace of the translucent skin embracing the rhythmic spin, the soft camellia lips flutter in coquettish whispers,the extravagance of the feline eyes prosper in the richness of the silk delicately stretched on the supple breasts swaying the vile sensuality on the genteel dance floors of El Dorado.
The music stops. The moist palm slips away from the slender waist. To the One To the shrill of an encore, the music begins again.
My Mary Pickford A splendid name, I thought; written in Roman letters, it could be a Western name. The lost young bird becomes a valued pet to a man who yearns to release his inadequacies and long-harboured dreams of acceptance in social hierarchy, a far cry from the social currency of being a discomfited country bumpkin.
To say that Joji fell in love with Naomi at the very first instance is overturned by the potent magnetism of Joji being besotted by the mere Westernized ring to the name — Naomi and the recurrent comparison to his beloved Mary Pickford. The faint shades of addiction to Naomi, leisurely climb the monochromatic ladder of obsession for Western culture and to rectify personal shortcomings by moulding oneself through the physicality of a new adored maturing body overpowered by behavioural prism.
Fixated on the aura of screen idols like Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickford Irrationality of love coupled with uncouth fascination and social uselessness deepens the sensibilities of love and lust encircling the predicament of chastity. Is he the illustrious Humbert to the seditious Lolita? The imminent answers seem to be modified under the existing challenges of Joji modifying his young love into a woman who sparkles through the lens of modernity.
As a result, they look timorous compared to the Western women. For, the modern beauty an. Intelligent, quick-witted expressions and attitude are more important than lovely features. The bourgeoisie consumerism reflected through the chic standard of living and the indispensable liberation from a traditionalist society. Joji becomes a classic case of men who desire their women to acquire the Western cultural essence prearranging the ways which still dominate the conservative home-grown cultural norms restricting the operational lifestyle to egoistical desires.
The precious, sacred ground of her skin had been imprinted forever with the muddy tracks of two thieves. The stance of promiscuity lurks from the multifarious triad of sexuality, eroticism and romance. Sexual autonomy exercised by Naomi on the realization of her sexual desires embryonic within her feminine voluptuousness is labelled as the vulgar peril of the Western culture. Tanizaki cautiously cultivates the ascending nature of sexuality through vivid subtleties of eroticisms.
The concept of sexual perversion intimately associates with sexual emancipation with vulgarity taking a high stand in the delusion of the Western vices. The ample urge of social and not personal modification in the cultural demeanour and reception signifies the puzzlement of a society and its populace jammed in between the recklessness of half-wit sensitivity to the liberation of a foreign culture and the reluctance to the claustrophobic existence in the home grown conventional dogmas.
The infantilized mode discovered a twisted yet amorous sense of belonging irrespective to conjugal distortion and consensual acquiescence.
Junichiro Tanizaki's 'Naomi' Than Vladimir Nabokov's 'Lolita'
The physical representation of everything Western is embodied in a girl named Naomi. She turns out to be a very willing pupil. He pays for her English-language lessons, and though she has little skill with grammar, she possesses beautiful pronunciation. He funds her Westernized activities, including her love of movies, dancing and magazines. However, his plan to foster Western ideals such as independence in her backfires dramatically as she gets older. He wishes to break from tradition and moves to the city to work as an electrical engineer.