Pub Date 30 Apr 2019
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For the first time in English, a glittering novella about stardom from “one of the greatest avant-garde Japanese writers of the twentieth century” (Judith Thurman, The New Yorker).
All eyes are upon Rikio. And he likes it, mostly. His fans cheer from a roped-off section, screaming and yelling to attract his attention—they would kill for a moment alone with him. Finally the director sets up the shot, the camera begins to roll, someone yells “action”; Rikio, for a moment, transforms into another being, a hardened young yakuza, but as soon as the shot is finished, he slumps back into his own anxieties and obsessions.
Being a star, constantly performing, being watched and scrutinized as if under a microscope, is often a drag. But so is life. Written shortly after Yukio Mishima himself had acted in the film “Afraid to Die,” this novella is a rich and unflinching psychological portrait of a celebrity coming apart at the seams. With exquisite, vivid prose, Star begs the question: is there any escape from how we are seen by others?
About the Author:
Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) completed his first novel the year he entered the University of Tokyo and his last novel the day of his death. He is the author of numerous novels, stories, plays, and essays. Gore Vidal once said of him: "I only regret we never met, for friends found him a good companion, a fine drinking partner, and fun to cruise with." Mishima committed suicide by ceremonial seppuku after a failed coup d'e´tat intended to restore pre-WWII power to the emperor of Japan.
SAM BETT won the Grand Prize in the JLPP International Translation Competition. With David Boyd, he is co-translating the novels of Mieko Kawakami.