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Confessions of a Mask (1948)

by Yukio Mishima

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,083375,795 (3.8)74
One of the classics of modern Japanese fiction.

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» See also 74 mentions

English (31)  Italian (3)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Very interesting perspective of a misunderstood effeminate boy growing up in WWII Japan ( )
  Goatskin | Jul 26, 2021 |
I've had this book on my TBR for about a year but after reading The Temple of the Golden Pavilion I had my doubts as to whether or not I would like it. I found that book to be slow and plodding and the writing never grabbed me at any point. At the start of the year I decided that I would tackle some of the books that I have been putting off so this seemed to be a good place to start. The subject matter is probably more suited to me than The Golden Pavilion.

The story follows Kochan through his adolescent years while he is coming to terms with that fact that he is gay. In the younger years of the story he just sees this as getting on with his male friends better than the females he knows. As this progresses he realises that he doesn't have the same interest in girls as his friends and this inevitably leads of quite a lot of soul searching. As a survival mechanism he develops a kind of mask to show the rest of the world that he is 'normal'. This even goes so far as to develop a relationship with the sister of one of his friends. He starts to feel that he could love this girls and is hopeful for the relationship until they kiss.

The writing is similar to The Golden Pavilion but this time I felt far more involved and interested in the book. Mishima portrays the pain and mental anguish really well and I found myself reading the book in big chunks. I did need quiet to read it though as there is a lot involved on each page. ( )
  Brian. | Jul 24, 2021 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this masterpiece. ( )
  meddz | Jun 11, 2021 |
Pirandello sosteneva giustamente che nel.mondo è assai facile incontrare più maschere che persone. Facile indossare una maschera. Lusinghiera la sua capacità di irretire la nostra coscienza proponendo falsi orizzonti e spingendoci a indossarla sino al punto da dimenticare realmente chi eravamo o potevamo essere. La maschera ci consuma, fa imputridire il nostro volto e più passa il tempo più ci diventa necessaria, più è difficile liberarsene. Eppure, per quanto doloroso, gettarla diviene un sacrosanto.sovere non tanto verso il mondo, quanto verso noi stessi. Solo così potremo conoscere nuovamente il nostro nome. ( )
  Carlomascellani73 | Oct 30, 2020 |
"When a boy of fourteen or fifteen discovers that he is more given to introspection and consciousness of self than other boys his age, he easily falls into the error of believing it is because he is more mature than they." ( )
1 vote jimctierney | Jul 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
"In 'Confessions of a Mask' a literary artist of delicate sensibility and startling candor, has chosen to write for the few rather than the many."
added by GYKM | editNew York Times, Ben Ray Redman (Sep 14, 1958)

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mishima, Yukioprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ford, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hilzheimer, HelmutÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weatherby, MeredithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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...Beauty is a terrible and awful thing! It is terrible because it never has and never can be fathomed, for God sets us nothing but riddles. Within beauty both shores meet and all contradictions exist side by side. I'm not a cultivated man, brother, but I've thought a lot about this. Truly there are mysteries without end! Too many riddles weigh man down on earth. We guess them as we can, and come out of the water dry. Beauty! I cannot bear the thought that a man of noble heart and lofty mind sets out with the ideal of the Madonna and ends with the ideal of Sodom. What's still more awful is that the man with the ideal of Sodom in his soul does not renounce the ideal of the Madonna, and in the bottom of his heart he may still be on fire, sincerely on fire, with longing for the beautiful ideal, just as in the days of his youthful innocence. Yes, man's heart is wide, too wide indeed. I'd have it narrower. The devil only knows what to make of it! but what the intellect regards as shameful often appears splendidly beautiful to the heart. Is there beauty in Sodom? Believe me, most men find their beauty in Sodom. Did you know this secret? The dreadful thing is that beauty is not only terrifying but also mysterious. God and the Devil are fighting there, and their battlefield is the heart of man. But a man's heart wants to speak only of its own ache. Listen, now I'll tell you what it says....
First words
For many years I claimed I could remember things seen at the time of my own birth.
My hands, completely unconsciously, began a motion they had never been taught.
From that time on I was in love with Omi.
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One of the classics of modern Japanese fiction.

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Book description
Yukio Mishima's second published novel, the shocking and provocative [Confessions of a Mask], launched him to literary stardom at the age of 24.
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