Subject Matter

I am Eikoh Hosoe, a photographer from Tokyo. It is a great honor for me to speak on this special occasion about my collection of photographs of Ba-ra-kei, or… More

Lost in Translation

The world is invited, commanded, to brood. Place his suicide in a Western context, or in the Japanese one, or in both, where I think it most significantly belongs.… More

Through Western Eyes

Mishima was a very strange Japanese. His ritual suicide, his final call to cast off Western influences and return to traditional Japanese values, including veneration of the emperor, has… 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

Something Radical

In the 1970s I traveled to Cuba for an international writers’ conference. After I had read a paper to an appreciative audience, some of the organizers asked me if… More

Laying It Down

This Langston riff is for that cardigan-sweater-wearin’ blues poet Raymond R. Patterson, Professor Emeritus, CCNY, author of 26 Ways of Looking at a Black Man and Elemental Blues.I found Langston behind his… More

A Place in the Procession

Long long ago I dreamed this: an old soul, mud-colored, thin, ropy-haired, hunkers at a campfire. A line of naked youth has formed on the lip of a cliff.… More

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