Posts Tagged ‘spring snow

31
Jan
10

War of Emotion

“But now that old wars are finished, a new kind of war has just begun; this is the era for the war of emotion. The kind of war no one can see, only feel—a war, therefore, that the dull and insensitive won’t even notice. But it’s begun in earnest. The young men who have been chosen to wage it have already begun to fight. And you’re one of them—there’s no doubt about that.”

“And just as in the old wars, there will be casualties in the war of emotion, I think. It’s the fate of our age—and you’re one of our representatives. So what about it then? You’re fully resolved to die in this new war—am I right?”

– Yukio Mishima, “Spring Snow” (Chapter 28)

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30
Jan
10

Love, time, and space…

“Even when we’re with someone we love, we’re foolish enough to think of her body and soul as being separate. Although I am apart from her now, I may be in a much better position than I was to appreciate the structure of the single crystal that is Ying Chan. Separation is painful, but so is its opposite. And if being together brings joy, then it is only proper that separation should do the same in its own way.

But what do you think, Matsugae? As for me, I’ve always wanted to know the secret that enables love to evade the bonds of time and space as if by magic. To stand before the person we love is not the same as loving her true self, for we are only apt to regard her physical beauty as the indispensable mode of her existence. When time and space intervene, it is possible be deceived by both, but on the other hand, it is equally possible to draw twice as close to her real self.”

– Yukio Mishima, “Spring Snow” (Chapter 24)

29
Jan
10

In memoriam…

Kiyoaki drew comfort from the peace of mind that comes with loss. In his heart, he always preferred the actuality of loss to the fear of it.

– Yukio Mishima, “Spring Snow” (Chapter 24)

Rest in peace, Brendan.

28
Jan
10

Opposites or Complements?

Then there’s only one way to participate in history, and that’s to have no will at all—to function solely as a shining, beautiful atom, eternal and unchanging. No one should look for any other meaning in human existence.

– Yukio Mishima, “Spring Snow” (Chapter 13)

Oddly enough, living only for one’s emotions, like a flag obedient to the breeze, demands a way of life that makes one balk at the natural course of events, for this implies being altogether subservient to nature. The life of the emotions detests all constraints, whatever their origin, and thus, ironically enough, is apt eventually to fetter its own instinctive sense of freedom.

– Yukio Mishima, “Spring Snow” (Chapter 15)

27
Jan
10

Dreams, memories, and the sacred in “Spring Snow”

This temple is special for me. On the voyage here to Japan, I often dreamed about it. Its golden roofs seemed to float up out of the night sea. The ship kept on moving, and even by the time the entire temple was visible, it was still a long way off from me. Having risen from the waves, it glistened under the stars the way the light of the new moon shines across the surface of the water. Standing on the deck of the ship, I put my hands together and bowed in reverence toward it. As happens in dreams, although it was night and the temple was so far away, I could make out the smallest details of the gold and scarlet decoration.

I told Kri about this dream and said that the temple seemed to be following us to Japan. But he laughed at me and said that what was following me was not the temple but the memory of something else. He made me angry at the time, but now I’m inclined to agree with him. For everything sacred has the substance of dreams and memories, and so we experience the miracle of what is separated from us by time or distance suddenly being made tangible. Dreams, memories, the sacred—they are all alike in that they are beyond our grasp. Once we are even marginally separated from what we can touch, the object is sanctified; it acquires the beauty of the unattainable, the quality of the miraculous. Everything, really has this quality of sacredness, but we can desecrate it at a touch. How strange man is! His touch defiles and yet he contains the source of miracles.

– Yukio Mishima, “Spring Snow”




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