The New Boy (from Landnahme)

It was the middle of September—the new school year had just begun—when Miss Nitzschke brought a new boy to our third-period class. Miss Nitzschke was our class advisor; she… More

Beauty’s Kamikaze

Just before noon, he stepped out on the balcony and delivered a short speech, appealing to the soldiers to join him and his men in death as true men… More

The Weight of Words

Talking about Mishima the writer is difficult without invoking Mishima the individual and Mishima the suicide. A lot of what’s been said tonight—by me principally—is extratextual. The question is:… More

Narrative Transmutations

Ralph Manheim, the great translator from the German, compared the translator to an actor who speaks as the author would if the author spoke English. A sophisticated and provocative… More

Diverse Realities

Hearing this story, I thought to myself: This is straight out of Gabriel García Márquez. It was an epiphany for me. I suddenly saw García Márquez’s fiction on a… More

Socialist Realism

I’ll begin by quoting the first paragraph of my review of One Hundred Years of Solitude when the book was first published in the United States thirty-two years ago.… More

The Eternal Present

Many months later, besieged by thoughts of an all-too-foreseeable future as an engineer, which I did not want, I went out one winter for a walk in the snow.… More

Restless Incarnation

Like most novelists, Mishima writes principally about himself. In each volume of his Sea of Fertility tetralogy, which shines ever more obviously as one of the great works of… More

Old-Fasioned Virtues

It was the spring of 1970. I was twenty-three years old, writing and translating poems, writing essays and reviews, but also dreaming of one day being able to write… More