read: 4 February 2002
This is more of a novella than a novel and really more of a short story than a novella. The story of an officer and his wife who commit suicide together as a result of a political disgrace really gains context through the author’s later high-profile suicide using a similar method. That aside the writing in this book rings with clarity and passion which can be a bitoff-putting considering the story which ends with the meticulously detailed death of both characters. It has been accused of having “major preoccupation with sado-masochistic death ‘beautified’ by an esthetic of blood and sexuality” and this is probably true. Mishima was an exceptionally gifted writer and the kinship he felt with this subject matter gives the story a frank honesty that is glorious.
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