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I really liked this book and mentioned it some time ago. Panorphaeon Send a noteboard - 02/01/2011 11:30:14 PM
Unfortunately I did not attempt a full review, only asked if any others had read much of his work. This remains the only book of his that I have read, but I've been interested in his life for a while and hope to find more.

Mishima does a great job at writing credible characters, with the sort of seeming contradictions and oddities that one might expect in a society like that of Japan in this period, fifty years after the Meiji Restoration and just a few years after Japan showed the West how well it had learned its lessons by trouncing Russia in the Russo-Japanese war. The mix of modern Western ideas and traditional Japanese ones is present just about everywhere in the novel, often with interesting and unexpected results (to me, at least, but then I don't know very much about Japan).

I agree and would have said as much; that the background of the culture makes the book interesting above and beyond its naturally resonant love-theme.

Mishima is also a great stylist, as far as one can judge that in a translation (translation of a translation, actually; apparently my Dutch translation was based on the English translation, rather than on the original). Japanese nature and the passage of the seasons are described beautifully and, as one might suspect from the title, the plot reflects the seasons to some extent, but in a way that feels entirely natural and not forced.

He really did have a nice style, with lovely metaphors and a sweetness or sensitivity which I can identify with in writing. Stylistically it was a great novel, I thought, and quite poetic. Of course that's difficult to judge from translation, but I doubt he would have the reputation he does without some merit in his native language.

One of the few points of criticism I could make - though this could have to do either with the translation, or simply with Japanese culture being different from the Western one - is the way Mishima occasionally inserts short, unsubtle explanations or summaries of his characters' emotions, in sharp contrast with his normal writing.

The book was a bit long, maybe, in the sense that some of the diversions in pure description of emotion became superfluous and even annoying to me at times. And I definitely agree that the petty behavior of the main character was obnoxious, which is unfortunate for how sort of noble he becomes by the end.

Thanks for putting this up.
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Yukio Mishima - Spring Snow - 01/01/2011 09:33:55 PM 7212 Views
Re: Yukio Mishima - Spring Snow - 01/01/2011 10:18:03 PM 1927 Views
Re: Yukio Mishima - Spring Snow - 01/01/2011 10:32:44 PM 1571 Views
Re: Yukio Mishima - Spring Snow - 02/01/2011 11:52:30 PM 1324 Views
That really does sound interesting. *NM* - 02/01/2011 11:54:42 PM 663 Views
As is the case with many writer's and artists. . . - 03/01/2011 12:00:32 AM 1187 Views
Re: That really does sound interesting. - 03/01/2011 05:54:56 PM 1226 Views
Yeah, I didn't care for it much, but is interesting. *NM* - 04/01/2011 05:34:53 AM 604 Views
Re: Yukio Mishima - Spring Snow - 03/01/2011 06:46:59 PM 1345 Views
Nice clarification. - 04/01/2011 05:37:03 AM 1167 Views
I really liked this book and mentioned it some time ago. - 02/01/2011 11:30:14 PM 1409 Views
Re: Yukio Mishima - Spring Snow - 03/01/2011 07:29:06 PM 1337 Views
Interesting. I suppose that makes sense, in a way. - 03/01/2011 07:51:41 PM 1316 Views

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