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Mishima: A Biography Hardcover – 30 Jan 1975
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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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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Prior to buying this book I had been given one of Mishima's works as a gift. From there, I learned of his bizzare death and that intrigued me to find out more about him and the life he led.
I have read a lot of biographies in the past but this was my first on an author. In hindsight, I guess it is very obvious that the book would mainly be focused on his writings, but I found it quite difficult to appreciate for that reason given that I was only familiar with one of Mishima's books at that point in time.
The detail about his childhood and his ultimate decline was interesting, but I found large chunks of the book fairly dull or inaccessible owing to my lack of knowledge on his various writings.
I would only recommend to those already familiar with Mishima and have a good understanding of Japanese culture.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I have had grave misgivings about Mishima's extreme right wing views - but much is forgiven as he was a brilliant and confronting author. Perhaps it was as well that it all ended before getting altogether too ugly. Keep this biography to hand as a reference point for when you next delve into his work.
theres a greater focus on mishima's youth than scott-stokes, but the most questionable issue is the inconsistency between the two books' presentation of mishima's suicide. scott-stokes gives the gritty of it, and the mistakes, while nathan gives an idealised, historicised version. like i said, nathan's is the better written biography (he translated the sailor who fell from grace with the sea, then broke with mishima when he changed camps to translate future nobel laureate kenzaburo oe's a personal matter, instead of silk and insight), but even after reading both bios, well, someone still needs to learn japanese and write a new one, along with translating kyoko's house. it was also a pretty fast read. it was good enough, held my attention.