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I'm trying to expand my reading beyond the European tradition and started with this.


It's short and sweet and covers the period of a character's life (which feels extremely autobiographical) that would generally be described as bildungsroman (early years to adulthood). The main character is a gay man coming to terms with his homosexuality and obsession with death just prior to the war. He's in love with another boy called Omi (though sometimes it's seems more like admiration than attraction) and in his late teens he develops a relationship with a woman called Sonoko which might lead to marriage. Eventually, he calls it off knowing he can never love her and despite her later marrying someone else, the two of them begin to meet again on a regular basis but in a purely platonic way. The book ends with them at a dance where he gazes lovingly at a half naked man knowing that he can never truly be happy. 


This is pretty groundbreaking stuff for 1949. I'm frankly amazed he was willing to publish given that the character in the book is so clearly the author. 


I like the style of writing though it's always hard to judge such things when it's a translation. I was impressed enough to look into reading more of Mishima. 

Edited by hux
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