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El marino que perdio la gracia del mar / The…

El marino que perdio la gracia del mar / The Sailor Who Fell from Grace… (original 1963; edition 2012)

by Yukio Mishima (Author), Jesus Zulaika Goikoetxea (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,227394,814 (3.81)2 / 126
THE SAILOR WHO FELL FROM GRACE WITH THE SEA tells of a band of savage thirteen-year-old boys who reject the adult world as illusory, hypocritical, and sentimental, and train themselves in a brutal callousness they call 'ojectivity'. When the mother of one of them begins an affair with a ship's officer, he and his friends idealise the man at first; but it is not long before they conclude that he is in fact soft and romantic. They regard their disappointment in him as an act of betrayal on his part and react violently.… (more)
Title:El marino que perdio la gracia del mar / The Sailor Who Fell from Grace With the Sea (Spanish Edition)
Authors:Yukio Mishima (Author)
Other authors:Jesus Zulaika Goikoetxea (Translator)
Info:Alianza Editorial Sa (2012), Edition: Translation, 196 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:japan, romance

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The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima (1963)


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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Mishima's prose is absolutely stunning - I was in awe the entire time while I was reading this short novel. As a reader I almost felt privileged to have access to his elegant sentences. I don't feel this way often about an author's writing, but Mishima's writing was captivating to me. The narrative switches between the three main characters - Noburu, Ryuji and Fusako - seamlessly and provided depth for each character.

As for the story, it's dark. I applaud Mishima for not shying away from disturbing scenes. Noburu and his friends are complex yet simple characters, and these controversial scenes play a big rol in illustrating their (misguided) ideas of the world. Noburu's opinion of Ryuji and how it developed from admiration to disappointment was particularly well done.

My only complaint would be that Fusako wasn't as complex as Ryuji and Noburu - apart from being a successful, beautiful mother and business-owner there really wasn't much to her personality. Though given Mishima's despise of everything Western, and Fusako portraying the influence of the West, perhaps that was done on purpose.

Despite the dark elements, or maybe because of it, I loved this psychological, enchanting novel. I highly recommend The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea to anyone who wants to read more diverse classics and doesn't mind taboos such as death and murder openly being explored. ( )
  frtyfour | Jun 16, 2020 |

( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
A very dark tale, but one which soon has the reader utterly hooked. Noburu is the 13 year old son of a successful - widowed- businesswoman. Highly intelligent, a member of a gang of similarly minded boys, and something of a trial to his mother. When she locks him in his room, he comes across a hole in the wall, a means to spy on her secretly...
When she begins an affair with a sailor on shore-leave, the reader immediately sees a huge similarity between the two males. Both have vague ideas of their own future glory, superiority to the rest of the world. The sailor: "If there were times when he felt he was worthless, there were others when something like the magnificence of the sunset over Manila Bay sent its radiant fire through him and he knew that he had been chosen to tower above other men".
(spoiler alert) But the initial aura with which the child imbues the man - first and foremost an adventurer, ready to leave his woman and head back out to sea when his leave concludes - soon evaporates as he moves into the role of husband, father and landlubber. And the sailor, too, seems to be starting to feel emasculated by his choices: "it was time to realize that no specially tailored glory was waiting for him."
Encouraged by his cronies in the gang- alternately mocking and accusatory: "Fathers are the flies of this world...there's nothing they won't do to contaminate our freedom and our ability", and by the chief's observation that "Acts of juveniles less than fourteen years of age are not punishable by law...three of us here will be fourteen next month...this is our last chance!" things seem to be moving in a dangerous direction...Could the chief's statement that there "was only one way to make him a hero again" be the way to go?

The author committed ritual suicide a few years after publication of this novel, and it certainly seems the product of a weird mindset, yet one able to communicate - compulsively- with his readers. ( )
  starbox | Feb 16, 2020 |
(Original Review, 1981-04-24)

“They performed in silence. He trembled a little out of vanity, as when he had first scaled the mast. The woman’s lower body, like a hibernating animal half asleep, moved lethargically under the quilts; he sensed the stars of night tilting dangerously at the top of the mast. The stars slanted into the south, swung to the north, wheeled, whirled into the east, and seemed finally to be impaled on the tip of the mast. By the time he realized this was a woman, it was done...”

In “The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea” by Yukio Mishima.

I've read many scary books with frightening stories before and since, but they don't disturbed me the way this book did. The book was disturbing in a completely different way - it felt as if it was talking about me, saying something that's scary yet true about me. I read it when I was just a couple of years older than the boy in the book, and was probably a somewhat disturbed teenager, with disturbing thoughts. It felt like someone was looking into my head and saw what's going on in my mind, and revealing my own private fears and fantasies. What went on with the boy felt like something very real, and I've no doubt that Mishima was also describing something that's deep in his psyche. I have read books by Western writers, but never have I read anything that felt so psychologically true, suggesting perhaps at a deep level, there is something profoundly different between a particular kind of person like me (or Mishima) who is from the East, and someone from the West. This sounds like a contentious statement, but I don't know if others get disturbed by the book the way I was.

Actually disagree that it's only literature where we feel that art is the same as eating vegetables (that it's worthy and healthy but not enjoyable (and yes, I know vegetables can be enjoyable, run with me). There's a similar feeling in film, where if something's enjoyable it's instinctively considered 'lesser' - just see the way genre films, etc., are completely overlooked at the Oscars. Tellingly, unless they're horror... Whereas 'artier' films are given more leeway for being boring or bad if they're somehow worthy. In fact, there's a general Puritanical vibe across society that enjoying yourself is inherently frivolous, and actually can't be deep and meaningful. Having fun, or joy, is looked down on as inferior...whereas surely the best things can be both. Mishima is both highbrow and highly enjoyable. ( )
  antao | Dec 9, 2018 |
3.5 / 5

I liked the ending. What did everyone dislike about it?
hope to write more later... ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
"Both novels have their brilliant moments, and both fall short of sustained brilliance."

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yukio Mishimaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Nathan, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Sleep well, dear."
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"Gogo no Eiko" was written in five-months, was researched in Yokohama, and was, in the words of Mishima's friend and the English version's translator, John Nathan, a "romantic" novel (190). The novel was published in the early-60s; a period of decline for Mishima that began with "Kyoko ni Ie." The novel sold a modest 50,000 copies, which was slightly better than the 40,000 sales "Utsukushii Hoshi" had garnered the previous year, but it was nowhere near the 200,000 copies Mishima was used to in the late-50s. The poor sales of and the indifferent critical reception towards "Gogo no Eiko" so disappointed Mishima that he went to Kodansha and apologized for failing to write a bestseller.
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