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Confessions of a Mask Paperback – January 17, 1958
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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““We read the bloody details with wonder…such is the power of his writing.”” (Gore Vidal - The New York Review of Books)
““Confessions of a Mask follows in the spirit of Oscar Wilde’s dictum that ‘man is least himself when he talks in his own person. ‘Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.’” ” (Wired)
From the Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
Without giving away too much, the main forces that propel the protagonist in this semi-autobiographical work, are a secret lust for masculine beauty and an attempt at heterosexual "normalcy" attempted mainly through a painfully flawed try at loving a sister of his friend. Other reviewers have commented that the second half of the story flags a bit, but for me, the frustration and concealed emotion that is tangible in the conversations between the protagonist and Sonoko is both convincing and intriguing.
However, I would agree that the first half of the book is probably more interesting. Mishima's work is less about homosexuality (with the emphasis on sex) and more about an almost reverent approach toward masculine virtue and beauty. These ideas and the struggle within the protagonist start to flag as the war draws to an end and he becomes involved with Sonoko.
I have yet to read many of Mishima's works, but the two main things that appeal to me are his staunch commitment to an ideal or perfection of some sort, and also the amazing penmanship that his stories exhibit. As with most Japanese literature, this sort of subtle detail is lost in translation, so I encourage all who have the ability and time to read the originals!Read more ›
But then, during young manhood, Mishima tries to become "normal" and fall in love with a girl. Though he likes her very much, he isn't attracted to her physically. The story of this doomed relationship takes up the second half of the book. Being more or less devoid of incident, and (obviously) lacking in erotic passion, it's much less interesting than the foregoing chapters.
Confessions of a Mask ends disappointingly but the earlier section of the book gives a candid, moving, and memorable account of a child's confused and troubled emerging sexuality.
As a gay man, I have given this book to several of my straight friends to help them understand the complex feelings gays, especially those coming out, have about their identity and place in society.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Confessions of a Mask
This was a difficult novel to read. First, the author belonged to a very conservative political group and after writing a... Read more
An interesting period piece dealing with the "coming out" of a young Japanese boy/man.....in the period leading up to WWII. I found his rather violent fantasies unsettling.... Read morePublished 24 months ago by elston
Though Mr. Mishima deals with the nascent awakening of his sexual "difference" briefly in this work, it is more, ultimately, to this reader at least - a peering into the... Read morePublished on May 15, 2014 by Aeolus
Amazing book by an incredible, hugely influential writer. All of his work is great, but this is one of my favorites.Published on December 10, 2013 by Adam Dodd