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Publisher's Summary

In this fascinating document, one of Japan's best known - and controversial - writers created what might be termed a new literary form. It is new because it combines elements of many existing types of writing, yet in the end, fits into none of them.

At one level, it may be listened to as an account of how a puny, bookish boy discovered the importance of his own physical being; the "sun and steel" of the title are themselves symbols respectively of the cult of the open air and the weights used in bodybuilding. At another level, it is a discussion by a major novelist of the relation between action and art and his own highly polished art, in particular. More personally, it is an account of one individual's search for identity and self-integration. Or again, the work could be seen as a demonstration of how an intensely individual preoccupation can be developed into a profound philosophy of life.

All these elements are woven together by Mishima's complex yet polished and supple style. The confession and the self-analysis, the philosophy and the poetry combine in the end to create something that is in itself perfect and self-sufficient. It is a piece of literature that is as carefully fashioned as Mishima's novels, and at the same time provides an indispensable key to the understanding of them as art.

The road Mishima took to salvation is a highly personal one. Yet here, ultimately, one detects the unmistakable tones of a self transcending the particular and attaining to a poetic vision of the universal. The book is therefore a moving document, and is highly significant as a pointer to the future development of one of the most interesting novelists of modern times.

©1970 (P)2021

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  • Ivan Rueda
  • 17-04-21


Matthew Taylor absolutely butchered this. The entire book sounds like he was speaking into a bucket. Extremely hard to listen to and to focus on. I had to lay on the bed and do absolutely nothing and I still could not focus to what he was saying. This book is so boring I wanted to return it but then that would mean others would not know what were getting into when they used their credit on this book. STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS AUDIBLE BOOK. I went so far as to order a print to order this book from Barnes and Nobles for 40 dollars to get a better experience of this book.

The story is so forgettable because of Matthew Taylor I have no recollection of what the book is about I just know the idea of it because of book reviews on YouTube.