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Author Topic: Yukio Mishima 三島 由紀夫 (1925 - 1970)  (Read 25278 times)
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rocksoff
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« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2019, 01:30:02 PM »

Looks like there's another new Mishima translation out.
https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/306/306763/life-for-sale/9780241333143.html

"When Hanio Yamada realises the future holds little of worth to him, he puts his life for sale in a Tokyo newspaper, thus unleashing a series of unimaginable exploits. A world of murderous mobsters, hidden cameras, a vampire woman, poisoned carrots, code-breaking, a hopeless junkie heiress and makeshift explosives reveals itself to the unwitting hero. Is there nothing he can do to stop it? Resolving to follow the orders of his would-be purchasers, he comes to understand what life is worth, and whether we can indeed name our price."
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frustrated dissector
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« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2019, 05:40:33 PM »

I have to say that The Frolic of Beasts' translation was not very good.  I have read pretty much every word of Mishima's that has been published in English; the economy of his written words is unsurpassed.  The Frolic of Beasts is burdened by things like similes where metaphors would be more effective, unnecessary prepositional phrases and drawn out descriptions disrupting the flow.  I think it's readable despite the translation, not because of it.  The characters are well developed, the plot is taut and has subtle twists in it, building menace. And - spoiler alert - it has a believable and unhappy ending, the latter being a feature of most Mishima novels and the former punctuating almost all his work.

The best place to start with Mishima is The Temple of the Golden Pavilion and Forbidden Colors. If you don't like those two, you likely won't like the rest of his fiction.  When you are ready, dive into The Sea of Fertility tetrology, which I have read twice.  It is an epic and tragic tale of a man's life, spanning 60 years.  As a side note, he mailed the manuscript to the fourth and final book, The Decay of the Angel the morning November 25, 1970.  He committed seppuku later that day, when his absolutely hopeless and therefore symbolic attempt to foment a coup d'état failed.

Contrary to what some others have posted, Mishima did not subscribe to Buddhism; it was all around him, a major force that shaped the face of traditional Japan.  He could not write about life in Japan, and especially the inner terrain of his characters' psyches, without confronting Buddhism.  If you read The Sea of Fertility as an endorsement of Buddhism, you missed one of its major points.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 04:23:41 AM by frustrated dissector » Logged
totalblack
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« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2019, 06:41:25 PM »

I have to say that The Frolic of Beasts' translation was not very good.  I have read pretty much every word of Mishima's that has been published in English; the economy of his written words is unsurpassed.  The Frolic of Beasts is burdened by things like similes where metaphors would be more effective, unnecessary prepositional phrases and drawn out descriptions disrupting the flow.  I think it's readable despite the translation, not because of it.  The characters are well developed, the plot is taut and has subtle twists in it, building menace. And - spoiler alert - it has a believable and unhappy ending, the latter being a feature of most Mishima novels and the former punctuating almost all his work.

Just finished this and I agree it was the most underwhelming read of any of his work that I've experienced so far.
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RMBLRX
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« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2019, 07:50:37 AM »

So, I'm new here, but the very presence of this thread is what enticed me to sign up and start digging into this forum.  In short:  I believe it's Mishima's influence which veered my own sensibilities in music-making toward industrial which, in turn, is what clued me into power electronics.  I certainly had some early exposure which prepped me for such a turn, but it was Mishima's militant and visceral breed of nihilism which honed my appreciation.

As a teenager, almost purely by chance (apart from my adolescent obsession with Japanese culture) I rented A Life in Four Chapters and was completely blown away.  I had already developed a strong appreciation for, I guess, transgressively-themed cinema like A Clockwork Orange, Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, and Fight Club by that time and was also reading work like The Rebel by Alert Camus and getting into Nietzsche (as one does), so I was well-primed for the experience.  It wasn't long after that that I happened upon an old paperback of Sun and Steel at a used bookstore I frequented, and while I simply read and re-read that for a long while, I eventually picked up Patriotism, Runaway Horses, The Way of the Samurai, The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea, and Decay of the Angel (I believe in that order, as well as more recently listening to an audio version of The Golden Pavilion, though I still have yet to actually read it).

Still, I think it was Sun and Steel, specifically, which tipped me over the edge and drove much of the tone I set out to explore in music-making (bringing to bear, also, a lifelong preoccupation with the martial spirit for which Mishima lent no small amount of recontextualization), reigning in and vulcanizing the weird psychedelic leanings which so thoroughly saturated my earliest musical endeavors.  I still haven't fully unpacked Mishima's influence over my work and tastes, but that borne of his work and legacy (largely in tandem with Nietzsche's, I would say) is at least manifest in my very flesh and bones and has occupied so much of my time and mind that I can't help but attribute to such influence the bulk of my endeavors.
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Balor/SS1535
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« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2022, 06:16:04 PM »

Did anyone else purchase the Death of a Man photo book that was recently published?  It contains several photo shoots (the "Death of a Man" series, Shield Society anniversary parade, and a samurai seppuku scene).  It's interesting and sort of uncanny to see these staged death photos, given that they were taken during the last year of his life.

I think, however, that the book does not include the entire "Death of a Man" photoshoot?  From what I remember, the famous St. Sebastian picture was part of the series, but it is not included.  I have also read about another photo that staged him as being run over by a construction vehicle, which is also not present.  Supposedly the series has never been published before, so perhaps this book only contains those photos from it that have never been released at any point.
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