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Star Kindle Edition
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)
Winner of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature
All eyes are on Rikio. And he likes it, mostly. His fans cheer, 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?
This 1961 novel is finally getting the translation it has so long deserved. The psychologically complex story of Rikio Mizuno, young star of a series of gangster films, is based in part on Mishima’s own experiences as an actor. This is a landmark novel of 20th century Japan, and you no longer have to learn Japanese to read it.
Mishima nicely captures the alter-world of stardom—a sharp little novella.
This little novella gives a bang-filled rush, reflecting on the empty deceit of fame and the psychology of celebrity. Once you're on top of the world, can you ever escape it?
An exquisite contemplation of existence and death, and Mishima’s prose is extremely powerful and the translation finely executed.
A startlingly modern, hypervisual jewel.
Mishima's glitzy melange of playboy paranoia and heartthrob ennui cracks the proverbial 15 minutes wide open, spilling all the juicy details regarding fawning sycophants, monotonous re-shoots, and the anesthetizing effect of prolonged exposure to the limelight. Death-haunted and contemptuous, Star is a sneering "up yours" to celebrity and fanaticism depicted in panoramic decadence — though, notably, nowhere is its critique more biting than when gazing at its own fractured reflection. A rain-slick melodrama dripping with bored excess, this is a pocket guide for the sexy and disaffected.
Mishima’s ethereal 1961 novel, published for the first time in English, showcases the strains of fame on a young movie star. Mishima is a master of the psychological: this nimble novella about the costs and delusions of constant public attention will resonate with readers.
Written shortly after Mishima himself starred in the yakuza-centered Afraid to Die, his slim novella—smoothly translated into English for the first time by prize-winning Sam Bett—is a raw, scathing examination of fame.
Mishima is like Stendhal in his precise psychological analyses, like Dostoevsky in his explorations of darkly destructive personalities.
A short but intense psychological ride. Sam Bett has given the book a colloquial translation that powerfully evokes a mood of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
StarÂ isn’t merely a treat for completists, but a happy reunion with a genius.
Mishima was one of literature’s great romantics.
Star, the novella Mishima published in 1960, is now open to rediscovery thanks to an adroit, colloquial translation into American English by Sam Bett. It offers us a snapshot of a twenty-three-year-old, up-and-coming movie star, Rikio Mizuno. In Star, the world of film is, it seems, all artifice, both on and off screen, a world where everyone dons masks as a service to public tastes and desires while peering into mirrors of narcissistic self-regard. Literary genius
Star, translated from Japanese by Sam Bett, is a strange, avant-gardeÂ novella following a young actor whoÂ [receives]Â the kind of attention that could drive any person slowly insane.
This pitch-perfect novella from Yukio Mishima tells the story of a young film star disenchanted with the trappings of fame. Drawing on his own experiences as an actor, Mishima’s Star is a stunning addition to the oeuvre of one of postwar Japan’s greatest storytellers.
There may be no writer more autobiographical than Yukio Mishima. He resembles CeÂ´line and Genet, writers who were not political writers but who were working out the crisis of being alive, the crisis of experience itself. That’s precisely the way it is transcendent—it goes beyond the visible world into a world in which being alive makes sense. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B07GHC8QFW
- Publisher : New Directions (April 30 2019)
- Language : English
- File size : 1028 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 98 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #590,991 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #957 in Classic American Literature
- #2,450 in Urban Life Fiction
- #4,945 in Psychological Fiction (Kindle Store)
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About the authors
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The story does strike me as very 'modern' in comparison with much of Mishima's other work - in fact, aspects of it are decidedly postmodern, verging on the Ballardian in places, with its cynical dissection of the movie-making process and how movies artificially manipulate time, and Mishima's psychopathology of his characters is as sharp as ever.... However I can't deny I felt mildy underwhelmed by the story's conclusion - later Mishima had me expecting some shatteringly mordant twist on the last page, but instead we actually get something quite sweet.
So, while I'm delighted to read this new Mishima story, I suspect it would work better in its orginal context of a short story collection. Maybe next year!
Talks of the futility of showbusiness and the attitude of those within it, the mechanical nature of filmmaking in contrast to the heavily emotive output, the idea of dying young ... So many ideas covered so succinctly!
Rating 3.5 rounded up