“Inevitably, an uneasy balance is established between our interest in the man and our interest in his books. Gone are the days when we could enjoy Hamlet and not interest ourselves in Shakespeare: vulgar curiosity about biographical anecdotes is a characteristic of our time, increased tenfold by the methods of a press and media addressed to a public more and more incapable of reading.” – Marguerite Yourcenar
I quite liked this book. It’s not a very detailed biography of Mishima’s life but it does go into a lot of detail about Mishima’s literary works and his influences.
Also interesting was Mishima’s vision of Japan. He was definitely extremely patriotic; someone who planned his ritual suicide for 6 years was obviously extreme! I don’t know enough about Japanese history to determine whether the following quote by Mishima is true or not: “Money and materialism reign; modern Japan is ugly. Japan is a victim of the green snake. We shall not escape that curse.”
I feel I would have gotten more out of the book if I’d had more Mishima under my belt; however, I’ve only read two so I was a bit lost at times.I also think the book could have used some pictures too. I did enjoy Yourcenar’s writing style and her musings into the writing of biographies.