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Mishima: A Vision of the Void download epub

by Alberto Manguel,Marguerite Yourcenar

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Here, Marguerite Yourcenar, a brilliant reader of Mishima and a scholar with an eye for the cultural roles of fiction .

A Vision of the Void. Translated by Alberto Manguel

A Vision of the Void. Translated by Alberto Manguel. Energy is Eternal Delight WILLIAM BLAKE The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. But if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? MATTHEW 5:13.

My vision of the void: Mishima and a troop of young toughs are relaxing in a bar, arm wrestling and .

I was inspired to read Marguerite Yourcenar's book, Mishima: A Vision Of The Void (1980) because of eminent Japanese critic Donald Richie's praise of it. Make no mistake, Yourcenar has not attempted to write a definitive biography or critical study, however, has drafted a tribute to Japanese author Yukio Mishima as a symbol in life as well as expressed in his writings.

Yourcenar, Marguerite. Translation of: Mishima, ou, La vision du vide. Mishima, Yukio, 1925-1970, Authors, Japanese. New York : Farrar Strauss, and Giroux. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Gutierres on October 18, 2012. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata).

Marguerite Yourcenar (UK: /ˈjʊərsənɑːr, ˈjʊkənɑːr/, US: /ˌjʊərsəˈnɑːr/, French: (listen); 8 June 1903 – 17 December 1987) was a Belgian novelist and essayist born in Brussels, Belgium, who became a US citizen in 1947

Marguerite Yourcenar (UK: /ˈjʊərsənɑːr, ˈjʊkənɑːr/, US: /ˌjʊərsəˈnɑːr/, French: (listen); 8 June 1903 – 17 December 1987) was a Belgian novelist and essayist born in Brussels, Belgium, who became a US citizen in 1947. Winner of the Prix Femina and the Erasmus Prize, she was the first woman elected to the Académie française, in 1980, and the seventeenth person to occupy seat 3.

Mishima: A Vision of the Void.

Marguerite Yourcenar writes of Mishima both through his art and as an object of art. Part biography and part literary criticism, Mishima: A Vision of the Void attempts to create a double helix that pairs Mishima’s ideas and expressions in life with his literary visions. It succeeds at times, sometimes with great insight, but for the most part this book moves slowly through somewhat airy analysis. Where this author shows her power as a writer is in understanding the highlights of Mishima’s life as expressed in his books, plays and essays.

Marguerite Yourcenar's literary biography of Yukio Mishima delves into the enigmatic author as well as the social . Mishima: A Vision of the Void': Remembering a literary giant as he would have wanted.

Marguerite Yourcenar's literary biography of Yukio Mishima delves into the enigmatic author as well as the social conditions that shaped his rise and fall. by Stephen Mansfield.

Yourcenar, Mishima: A Vision of the Void, (Trans. Alberto Manguel with Marguerite Yourcenar)Farrar, Straus, New York, 1980, (1985). The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book XVIII. Le Sé. Jacques Lacan. J. Lacan, Le Sé de Jacques Lacan: Livre XVIII.

MISHIMA A Vision of the Void By Marguerite Yourcenar Translated from the French By Alberto Manguel in. .

MISHIMA A Vision of the Void By Marguerite Yourcenar Translated from the French By Alberto Manguel in Collaboration with the author Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Yourcenar is sensitive to Mishima's fanatical fixation on what he perceived as the emasculation of Japan in recent times, his attempts in his own life to adhere to the heroic virtues of earlier times, and the visionary quality with which these obsessions were expressed in his writing. She is so sensitive, in fact, that she becomes an ideal reader of his novels and plays.

On November 25, 1970, Japan's most renowned postwar novelist, Yukio Mishima, stunned the world by committing ritual suicide. Here, Marguerite Yourcenar, a brilliant reader of Mishima and a scholar with an eye for the cultural roles of fiction, unravels the author's life and politics: his affection for Western culture, his family and his homosexuality, his brilliant writings, and his carefully premeditated death.

Comments: (7)

Thank you for a well-priced book in good condition. Thanks also for the prompt delivery.
Yourcenar's take in Mishima is impressionistically concise and poetic, much like her fiction. And she is quick to dispel a lot of the nonsense around Mishima's political views, which were far more complicated (and also heavily tied up with his personal aestheticization of honor and death) than the caricature of right wing fanaticism he often gets labelled with. The book is most rewarding when she is trying to unravel and understand him than when she tries to dig into specifics and offer explications of his work, which she dispatches with a steely but ultimately only marginally impressive section. And her explication of the sea of Fertility cycle seems a bit muddled (which is fine by me, I haven't read it yet and would rather it not be spoiled). Ultimately, like many people, she is more interested in Mishima himself, as a person, as some self-made aesthetic symbol, as a living gateway into the concept of nothingness, than she is in his actual writing. Which is cool, because Mishima himself actively courted and developed that kind of persona.
Having recently finished Spring Snow, which perked in me a keen interest in learning more about Yukio Mishima, I made the mistake of picking up the first book about the author that I came upon, which happened to be this slender volume. Granted, given the size of the book, I didn't expect it to be the definitive biography of the man. But somehow this book managed to disappoint. It somehow failed to deliver on even my modest expectations.

The first problem is that I don't know exactly what the book is. It begins at the beginning of his life and ends with his death, yet it's not a biography. The author makes some interesting observations and provides some insight to a number of his books, but it's too inconsistently done, with a few sentences used to discuss some books and pages for others, to be considered literary criticism. It's sort of like an essay, ( I noticed after I finished reading it that the dust jacket claims it's an essay) yet it doesn't have a premise, or at least not a firm one, and doesn't end with a conclusion other than Mishima's death. So the result is that I never really felt grounded in this book.

Further, sometimes her writing is annoying, like when she lectures us about fascism in the West, (displaying either a lack of historical education or a skewed interpretation based on political biases) or when she tells us Mishima liked one of her novels.

I won't say I hated it as much as other reviewers, because given the subject, there were points in the book that interested me. But next time when I want to read a biography, I'll go right to the authoritative ones.
Silly Dog
This book is of little value to both Mishima fans and novices. The novices will want biographical information, of which Yourcenar gives precious little - sure, all the really important stuff is there, but it's outlined in a very sketchy, couldn't-be-bothered way - and certainly far less than either John Nathan or Henry Scott-Stokes. The fans will want information that isn't available anywhere else, of which there is none whatsoever in this book. So what does Yourcenar talk about? The literature, primarily. That would be good, if not for one thing - Yourcenar is an author herself, and she seems to be out to prove her own literary worth. Thus, the book is made of torturedly "sophisticated" sentences, bizarre assertions of the nature of "those who love life love death the most" (not an exact quote, but a very accurate paraphrase), and of course, some namedropping. Yourcenar mentions D'Annunzio, Cocteau, Lautreamont, and others, with very little cause. She also knocks down a few straw men here and there (randomly, in one footnote, she spontaneously accuses nameless people of accusing Mishima of being a snob, and proceeds to prove them wrong), and once proudly proclaims that Mishima was a reader of her own literary work. Bully for her, I guess.
The literary analysis really isn't that good, either. Admittedly, a cursory read may have the effect of helping people see why they like or dislike Mishima's writing, even if Yourcenar's own musings on the matter aren't very inspiring, but it really doesn't say anything. Some of the man's works are barely given a mention - the "discussions" of After the Banquet and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea take up about a page, combined. Others are given whole chapters, but even then, there is little serious attempt at character analysis - for instance, Ying Chan, the doomed beauty of The Temple of Dawn, is described as "careless" or "thoughtless" or something to that effect, with no justification for this whatsoever, and no further attempt is made to understand her. The part dealing with The Decay of the Angel is effective, but only because it makes the reader remember that incredible novel - it is Mishima who is responsible for the effectiveness, and not Yourcenar.
So what's Yourcenar's point? Apparently, that Mishima had a special vision of a "Buddhist Void" unique to him that inscrutably exhorted him to commit suicide. That's about it. To this end, she gives probably a lot more attention than is necessary to some of Mishima's lesser, later political works - but almost none, paradoxically, to his essay Sun and Steel. This is why she glosses over biographical details - because in her opinion, they have little to no bearing on Mishima's life. A few anecdotes, such as the "green snake" incident, are related with much self-conscious weightiness, as if they held some kind of magical key to Mishima's work. All of these anecdotes are also related by either Nathan or Scott-Stokes in their respective biographies with much less sophomoric interpretations. Yourcenar continues with a rhapsodic summary of the story "Patriotism," which has no value to any reader who has read the source material, and only ends up conveying the impression that Yourcenar is far more fond of blood and death than Mishima ever was. She ends with a poetization of Mishima's last day, in which she waxes eloquent and ecstatic on the subject of ritual disembowelment and decapitation. This culminates in the last paragraph of the book, a completely unnecessary and grotesque extended metaphor that says nothing and isn't even worth reading.
When the book doesn't make goofy conclusions from its superficial collection of facts, it resorts to just praising Mishima's work. On this there is no argument from me, as I am a big fan of Mishima and agree wholeheartedly with Yourcenar's praise. However, her book contributes nothing new to the exciting field of praise, either. Truth be told, I have a hard time understanding why this book was even written. At 150 pages, it's barely even a book; it fails as a biography and as literary criticism. Even at its best, it just isn't very good; you'd do much, much better with either of the two primary Mishima biographies.
Yukio Mishima is clearly an enigmatic, unique, bizarre, and interesting artist. I read many of his novels years ago but little of his personal history. This brief biography by Marguerite Yourcenor gives the basics of the author's life. Yourcenor's occasional self-referential comments do not really detract from this biography but neither do they add to it. Reading this biography certainly doesn't make me want to run out and buy any of Yourcenor's novels. In any case, the pace of the biography builds up nicely to the finale of Mishima's ritual suicide in an almost comic close to his life. The beauty and symbolism of Mishima's final act are layed bare in visceral physicality by Yourcenor. While the overall writing style of the biographer is tepid, the brief duration and fact filled chronology of this biography make it a fair source for those wanting exposure to the esential biographical facts of Yukio Mishima's life.
Mishima: A Vision of the Void download epub
History & Criticism
Author: Alberto Manguel,Marguerite Yourcenar
ISBN: 0226965325
Category: Literature & Fiction
Subcategory: History & Criticism
Language: English
Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2001)
Pages: 160 pages