Sent to you by moya via Google Reader:
I'm reading up on the Memoirs of a Geisha controversy, since I'd neither seen the movie nor read the book, and the more I read about it, the more pissed off I get. Basically it went down like this:
Japanese woman tells white American man about her past life as a geisha. White American man then writes a novel that sells itself as an accurate memoir of Japanese woman's life, but instead falsifies a number of her life events, misrepresents her trade, and exoticises her culture. He also names her as a source even though she specifically asked him to keep her anonymous. Japanese woman gets death threats. White American man becomes bestselling author.
Then Japanese woman gets fed up and writes her own memoir to set the record straight. Meanwhile, white American man's book gets adapted into a film that grosses $162 million and wins three Oscars.
UGH YES. I will never ever ever stop recommending Iwasaki's autobiography, honestly. It is a much better read than Golden's Orientalist fappings.
It is so, so creepy to read said Orientalist fappings afterwards. You can quite clearly see where Golden siphoned off Iwasaki's life experiences in order to gratify his idea of the "Western" audience - horribly, it rather worked as it did not challenge notions of Oriental decadence but fed into them.
oh I like pear's commentary better than mine. here you go.