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!?!