Biographies John Nathan Mishima: A Biography

ISBN 13: 9780316598460

Mishima: A Biography

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9780316598460: Mishima: A Biography

At forty-five, Yukio Mishima was the outstanding Japanese writer of his generation, celebrated both at home and abroad for The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea. In 1970 he startled the world by stepping out onto a balcony in Tokyo before an assembly of troops and plunging a sword into his abdomen; a disciple then beheaded him, completing the ritual of hara-kiri. John Nathan's riveting biography traces the life of this tortured, nearly superhuman personality. Mishima survived a grotesque childhood, and subsequently his sadomasochistic impulses became manifest—as did an increasing obsession with death as the supreme beauty. Nathan, who knew Mishima professionally and personally, interviewed family, colleagues, and friends to unmask the various—often seemingly contradictory—personae of the genius who felt called by "a glittering destiny no ordinary man would be permitted."

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About the Author:

John Nathan, the Takashima Professor of Japanese Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has translated the novels of both Yukio Mishima and the Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oë. He recently published Sony, a portrait of the giant Japanese corporation.

Review:

"Compelling reading...a study of the whole man, in all his volcanic complexity." -- Christian Science Monitor

"The most intimate and brilliant portrait of a Japanese ever achieved by a westerner." -- Philadelphia Bulletin

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