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About the book
  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407053677
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

The Decay Of The Angel




The fourth and final book in Mishima's landmark tetralogy, The Sea of Fertility

As the dramatic climax of The Sea of Fertility, The Decay of the Angel brings together the dominant themes of the three previous novels: the meaning and decay of Japan's courtly tradition and samurai ideal; the essence and value of Buddhist philosophy and aesthetics; and, underlying all, Mishima's apocalyptic vision of the modern era, which saw the dissolution of the moral and cultural forces that throughout the ages nourished a people and a world.The time is the late 1960s. Honda, now an aged and wealthy man, discovers and adopts a sixteen-year-old orphan, Toru, as his heir, identifying him with the tragic protagonists of the three previous novels, each of whom died at the age of twenty. Honda raises and educates the boy, yet watches him, waiting.

  • Pub date: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407053677
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

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 The Decay Of The Angel

“A major literary creation”

New York Times

“This tetralogy is considered one of Yukio Mishima's greatest works. It could also be considered a catalogue of Mishima's obsessions with death, sexuality and the samurai ethic. Spanning much of the 20th century, the tetralogy begins in 1912 when Shigekuni Honda is a young man and ends in the 1960s with Honda old and unable to distinguish reality from illusion. En route, the books chronicle the changes in Japan that meant the devaluation of the samurai tradition and the waning of the aristocracy”

Washington Post

“One of the great writers of the twentieth century”

Los Angeles Times

“Japan's foremost man of letters”

Spectator

“Mishima's novels exude a monstrous and compulsive weirdness, and seem to take place in a kind of purgatory for the depraved”

Angela Carter


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