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Spring Snow

Author: Yukio Mishima   Series: The sea of fertility

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The first novel in Mishima's masterful Sea of Fertility tetraology

The closed world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders - rich provincial families, a new and powerful political and social elite. Kiyoaki has been raised among the elegant Ayakura family - members of the waning aristocracy - but he is not one of them.
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Paperback

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Summary

The first novel in Mishima's masterful Sea of Fertility tetraology

The closed world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders - rich provincial families, a new and powerful political and social elite.

Kiyoaki has been raised among the elegant Ayakura family - members of the waning aristocracy - but he is not one of them.

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Description

SPRING SNOW is set in Tokyo on 1912, when the first hermetic world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders - rich provincial families unburdened by tradition, whose money and vitality make them formidable contenders for social and political power. Among this rising new elite are the ambitious Matsugae, whose son has been raised in a family of the waning aristocracy, the elegant attenuated Ayakura. Coming of age, he is caught up in the tensions between old and new - fiercely loving and hating the exquisite, spirited Ayakura Satoko. He suffers in psychic paralysis until the shock of her engagement to a royal prince shows him the magnitude of his passion, and leads to a love affair that is as doomed as it was inevitable.

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Critic Reviews

“[a] beautiful and austere tale... written in lush, languid prose, filled with beautiful sentences and turns of phrase, this is one of the most enjoyable books I have read this year”

This tetralogy is considered one of Yukio Mishima's greatest works. It could also be considered a catalogue of Mishima's obsessions with death, sexuality and the samurai ethic. Spanning much of the 20th century, the tetralogy begins in 1912 when Shigekuni Honda is a young man and ends in the 1960s with Honda old and unable to distinguish reality from illusion. En route, the books chronicle the changes in Japan that meant the devaluation of the samurai tradition and the waning of the aristocracy. Washington Post Mishima is the Japanese Hemingway Life magazine An austere love story, probably my favourite of his novels -- David Mitchell Independent on Sunday Romantic obsession and sexual intrigue meet in the sumptuous historical melodrama Variety [a] beautiful and austere tale... written in lush, languid prose, filled with beautiful sentences and turns of phrase, this is one of the most enjoyable books I have read this year Reading Matters

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About the Author

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 stories and thirty-three plays, in some of which he performed. 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 25 November 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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Back Cover

THE FIRST NOVEL IN THE SEA OF FERTILITY TETRALOGY 'An austere love story, probably my favourite of his novels' David Mitchell, Independent Tokyo, 1912. The closed world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders - rich provincial familes, a new and powerful political and social elite. Kiyoaki has been raised among the elegant Ayakura family - members of the waning aristocracy - but he is not one of them. Coming of age, he is caught up in the tensions between old and new, and his feelings for the exquisite, spirited Sakoto, observed from the sidelines by his devoted friend Honda. When Sakoto is engaged to a royal prince, Kiyoaki realises the magnitude of his passion. See also: Runaway Horses

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Product Details

Publisher
Vintage Publishing | Vintage Classics
Published
11th March 1999
Edition
11000th
Pages
400
ISBN
9780099282990
$23.20
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