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  • Published: 15 September 2017
  • ISBN: 9780241301197
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $19.99

Confessions of a Mask



The dawning of a young man's homosexual and sadistic desires

A Japanese teenager is overcome with longing for his male classmate. Each night he imagines his body punctured with arrows, like the body of St Sebastian in Guido Reni's painting; the objects of our hero's desire are tortured, killed and maimed, over and over again each night in his private fantasies. He must hide his lust from a homophobic and stiflingly conventional Japan. Self-loathing and desperate, he begins acting out a love affair with the sister of a school friend, while grappling with his hidden desires under the shadow of a Japan under threat from World War Two.

  • Published: 15 September 2017
  • ISBN: 9780241301197
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Yukio Mishima

Yukio Mishima was born into a samurai family and imbued with the code of complete control over mind and body, and loyalty to the Emperor – the same code that produced the austerity and self-sacrifice of Zen. He wrote countless short stories and thirty-three plays, in some of which he acted. Several films have been made from his novels, including The Sound of Waves; Enjo, which was based on The Temple of the Golden Pavilion; and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea. Among his other works are the novels Confessions of a Mask and Thirst For Love and the short-story collections Death in Midsummer and Acts of Worship.

The Sea of Fertility tetralogy, however, is his masterpiece. After Mishima conceived the idea of The Sea of Fertility in 1964, he frequently said he would die when it was completed. On November 25th, 1970, the day he completed The Decay of the Angel, the last novel of the cycle, Mishima committed seppuku (ritual suicide) at the age of forty-five.

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Praise for Confessions of a Mask

A terrific and astringent work of beauty

The Times Literary Supplement

Mishima is lucid in the midst of emotional confusion, funny in the midst of despair

Christopher Isherwood

Never has a "confession" been freer from self-pity

Sunday Times

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