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Pierre  Loti  (a  nom  de  plume)  was  for  many  years  an  officer  in  the  French  Navy, 
giving  him  the  opportunity  to  sample  and  analyze  different  national  and  cultural 
milieux,  in  which  he  deeply  immersed  himself.  The  present  book,  said  to  have 
formed  the  basis  for  the  famous  "Madame  Butterfly"  story,  is  presented  as  an 
autobiographical  account  of  his  marriage  to  a young  Japanese  woman  while  his 
ship  was  stationed  in  Nagasaki.  His  style  is  surprisingly  modern  for  the  period, 
perhaps  anticipating  Camus.  His  descriptions  of  summer  in  Nagasaki  have  a 
detail  which  is  at  the  same  time  personal  and  detached,  while  his  observations 
of  the  people  are  less  than  sympathetic.  A sense  of  ennui  and  lack  of 
conventional  morality  pervades. 


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Cover  designed  by  Availle.This  design  is  in  the  public  domain.