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Forbidden Colors Paperback – February 22, 1999
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From Library Journal
Published in the United States during the 1960s but written years earlier, this Mishima trio, while vastly different in plot, all sport the common theme of idealism destroyed by reality. Nearly three decades after his death, Mishima continues to be a compelling novelist. (LJ 1/15/63, LJ 3/15/68, LJ 9/1/69)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Japanese
Top customer reviews
On to the book: This is a translation from the original Japanese. I live in Japan and speak some Japanese and can only imagine the level of expertise required by the translator in order to pull this off. For that, I say "Bravo!"
The problem is not with the language, which is sometimes brilliant. The problem is with the actual story and characters. Yukio Mishima was a deeply, deeply conflicted, closeted, troubled, and brilliant homosexual. He was not allowed to be who he really needed to be, and his entire view of self and how he fit into society was formed by those restrictions.
This story is obviously a thinly veiled view of himself. His hatred of himself and of women and his absolute total disconnect from anything having to do with a sense of love for himself or others, dictates his every thought. It's really hard to to read about such a troubled, sad person with such an incredibly warped sense of himself and others.
He is fixated on a beautiful young man, but in such a sick obsessive way as to make one want to close the book. I have not yet been able to finish it, and I've felt sick to my stomach. What this story has done, though, is to really shine a light on the sad, closeted, hell-filled lives of some men who struggled with their homosexuality in an era where it was essentially impossible to accept such feelings in oneself.
If you do further research on Mishima, you will begin to understand what a truly tortured soul he was.
This book opens a window to that deeply sad, sick world. I really wanted to grab him out of it and get him into psychotherapy as soon as possible and into a loving relationship. The protagonist (and I imagine Mishima) may never have known true love in any sense, from family, friend or lover. This book makes that clear.
From the descriptions of his other novels it seemed like he wrote one story over and over with minor variations. His
confusion about his sexuality and the fanaticism of his politics makes Yukio - in my opinion - a very dull boy.
Besides this controversial message--which is still caustic and meaningful, particularly as the EU, AU, and Israel try to proxy-invade Japan anew with randy young Africans--Mishima explores Japan's homosexual subculture, and the nature of homosexuality itself, in amazingly profound ways, including its links to capitalism, exploitation of the self, and exploitation of the other. Clear, rational, and abundantly necessary, this book is a treasure of its century.
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