07
Feb
10

Mishima, the contradiction.

Mishima can dedicate twenty pages to step-by-step depictions of seventy soldiers disemboweling themselves, but he can also do… this.

Somewhere in his heart he had recognized who she was. His dominant wish, however, was to go a little longer without recognizing her. The woman’s face floating in its dark seclusion, no name yet attached to it, had the character of a mysterious, lovely apparition. It was like the scent of the fragrant olive which, as one walks along a path at night, tells of the blossoms before one sees them. Isao wanted to keep things just as they were, if only for an instant more. At this moment a woman was a woman, not someone with a name attached to her.

And that was not all. Because of her hidden name, because of the agreement not to speak that name, she was transmuted into a marvelous essence, like a moonflower, its supporting vine invisible, floating high up in the darkness. This essence which preceded existence, this phantasm which preceded reality, this portent which preceded the event conveyed with unmistakable force the presence of a substance yet more powerful. This presence which showed itself as gliding through air—this was woman.

Isao had yet to embrace a woman. Still, never so strongly at this moment, when he keenly sensed this “womanliness that preceded woman,” had he felt that he too knew what ecstasy meant. For this was a presence that he could even now embrace. In time, that is, it had drawn near with an exquisite subtlety, and in space it was only a little distant. The affectionate emotion that filled his breast was like a vapor that could envelop her. And yet once she was gone, Isao, like a child, could forget her entirely.

Yukio Mishima, “Runaway Horses” (Chapter 18)

Christ… How does it manage to hold up in translation!?!


0 Responses to “Mishima, the contradiction.”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


February 2010
M T W T F S S
« Jan   Mar »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1 other follower


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: