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About the book
  • Published: 15 September 2017
  • ISBN: 9780241301197
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $26.00

Confessions Of A Mask




The dawning of a young man's homosexual and sadistic desires.

There is in this world a kind of desire like stinging pain'

A Japanese teenager is overcome with longing for his male classmate. He imagines his body punctured with arrows, like the body of St Sebastian in the painting that obsesses him. Over and over again, each night in his private fantasies, the objects of his lust are tortured, killed and maimed. But, in the rigid world of imperial wartime Japan there is no place for such transgressive desires. He must wear a false mask and hide his true nature, whatever the cost.

  • Pub date: 15 September 2017
  • ISBN: 9780241301197
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $26.00

About the Author

Yukio Mishima

Yukio Mishima was born into a samurai family and imbued with the code of complete control over mind and body, and loyalty to the Emperor – the same code that produced the austerity and self-sacrifice of Zen. He wrote countless short stories and thirty-three plays, in some of which he acted. Several films have been made from his novels, including The Sound of Waves; Enjo, which was based on The Temple of the Golden Pavilion; and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea. Among his other works are the novels Confessions of a Mask and Thirst For Love and the short-story collections Death in Midsummer and Acts of Worship.

The Sea of Fertility tetralogy, however, is his masterpiece. After Mishima conceived the idea of The Sea of Fertility in 1964, he frequently said he would die when it was completed. On November 25th, 1970, the day he completed The Decay of the Angel, the last novel of the cycle, Mishima committed seppuku (ritual suicide) at the age of forty-five.

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Praise for Confessions Of A Mask

“A terrific and astringent work of beauty”

The Times Literary Supplement

“Mishima is lucid in the midst of emotional confusion, funny in the midst of despair”

Christopher Isherwood

“Never has a "confession" been freer from self-pity”

Sunday Times


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