Confessions of a Mask

( 6 )

Overview

One of the classics of modern Japanese fiction.Confessions of a Mask is the story of an adolescent who must learn to live with the painful fact that he is unlike other young men. Mishima's protagonist discovers that he is becoming a homosexual in polite, post-war Japan. To survive, he must live behind a mask of propriety.
Christopher Isherwood comments—"One might say, 'Here is a Japanese Gide,'....But no, Mishima is himself—a very Japanese Mishima; lucid in the midst of ...

See more details below
Paperback
$11.33
BN.com price
(Save 24%)$14.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (45) from $1.99   
  • New (15) from $8.60   
  • Used (30) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

One of the classics of modern Japanese fiction.Confessions of a Mask is the story of an adolescent who must learn to live with the painful fact that he is unlike other young men. Mishima's protagonist discovers that he is becoming a homosexual in polite, post-war Japan. To survive, he must live behind a mask of propriety.
Christopher Isherwood comments—"One might say, 'Here is a Japanese Gide,'....But no, Mishima is himself—a very Japanese Mishima; lucid in the midst of emotional confusion, funny in the midst of despair, quite without pomposity, sentimentality or self-pity. His book, like no other, has made me understand a little of how it feels to be Japanese. I think it is greatly superior, as art and as a human document to his deservedly praised novel, The Sound of Waves."

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Out Magazine
“Mishima's Mask continues to speak to the terrors that come when sexualities are pressed underground.”— Emily Drabinski
Emily Drabinski - Out Magazine
“Mishima's Mask continues to speak to the terrors that come when sexualities are pressed underground.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811201186
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/28/1958
  • Pages: 1
  • Sales rank: 180,397
  • Lexile: 1130L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) was many people. The best known in Japan of the writers to emerge there after World War II, he was by far the most published abroad. Mishima completed his first novel the year he entered the University of Tokyo. More followed (some twenty-three, the last completed the day of his death in November, 1970), along with more than forty play, over ninety short stories, several poetry and travel volumes and hundreds of essays. Influenced by European literature, in which he was exceptionally well read, he was an interpreter to his own people of Japan's ancient virtues, to which he urged a return. He had sung on the stage, starred in and directed movies and was a noted practitioner of Japan's traditional martial arts. He seemed at the height of his career and vitality at the age of forty-five, when after a demonstration in the public interest he committed suicide by ceremonial seppuku.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    An Unpolished Mirror of Altruism and Perfection

    With a directness of words that seems simultaneously pure and elegant, Mishima here writes an (allegedly) autobiographical novel of the most scandalous and enviably talented sort. In it he traces the development of the narrator (the book is told in first-person, following the Japanese style of Shishosetsu or "I-novel" form) from early youth to late teens, chronicling his development as a homosexual in post-war Japanese society.

    On the platform of subject matter, this novel may still raise a few eyebrows and turn stomachs. There are some graphic depictions of death and, at one point, a dream of cannibalism accompanied by obvious fetishisms that might disuade the more squeamish of readers. However, the value of the book should not be taken as merely an accomplishment of "shock-writing", that is to say acting as if one is Chuck Palahniuk and merely trying to sell books by adding more and more shocking things to the plot, but rather as a masterpiece of narrative fiction.

    Though perhaps more a testament to the skill of the translator than the original author, Mishima's style in this novel comes across and clear and simple (as in the case of a Japanese Hemingway) while still giving the narrator an air of sophistication that the reader comes to expect from someone of his upbringing. Much of the text spends time describing personal thoughts (think Notes from the Underground by F. Dos.) and the physical traits of the other boys, relying less on dailog and more on description to further along the plot elements. This is done flawlessly and transports the reader into a realm where he/she feels they are no longer reading the sequences of an event but rather witnessing them in motion.

    Overall a masterpiece of a novel, a piercing, if not chilling, work of introspective fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2008

    Gay feelings repressed by cultural forces

    Different cultures deal with homosexuality in different ways. Mishima's sadomasochistic homosexuality asserted itself early. While still a tiny child, he responded instantly to certain kinds of masculine beauty and found a mysterious fascination in images and narratives of heroic men being tortured and, ideally, killed. The supreme example was a picture of the martyred St. Sebastian, bound and riddled with arrows, which the child Mishima experienced as the world's heaviest turn-on. Naive as he was, the young author still knew somehow that his interests were unusual and disgraceful, so he kept them secret--thus he created the metaphorical 'mask' to hide his true feelings. The story of his early inner life, with its crushes and fantasies, takes up the first half or so of the book and is fascinating. 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 tedious and difficult to read. 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 it deals with the cultural norms of a repressive country. If you are interested in Japanese culture and homosexuality I would strongly recommend Covering by Kemji Yoshimo. |

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2004

    One of the Great Works of Japanese Fiction

    In reading this book, one understands why Mishima was propelled into the spotlight of the modern Japanese literary community following its publishing. The bond Mishima forms with the reader is so strong that it cannot be broken by the darkest and most disturbing of the main character's fantasies. Mishima has bravely written a profoundly human account of what it is to be a soul tormented by society's ideals and restrictions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)