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What Does His Greek Mother Mean To Hearn, The Japan Interpreter?

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Chapter Summary

It is true that birth counts for a lot, but upbringing far more. However, in the case of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn, everything good in him came from his Greek mother, Rosa Cassimati. Many of his retold stories written in English such as Kwaidan retranslated into Japanese attract present-day Japanese readers, because Hearn's ghost stories are artistically more perfect than their Japanese originals. One can presume from this that Hearn's Greek mother Rosa, though illiterate or probably so because of the illiterate Youma of his novel, could tell him stories every evening that made him tingle from head to foot with pleasure. In the case of Rosa and Lafcadio, the role model was the Virgin Mary: the tender mother-child relationship represented in a Greek icon. Lafcadio had a sound gyroscope built into himself. That basic trust in life was given early by his Greek mother Rosa.

Keywords: Kwaidan; Patrick Lafcadio Hearn; Rosa Cassimati; Virgin Mary; Youma



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