Model this (a continuing series)

From a profile of Donald Keene:

“He [Mishima] died, as you know, at the age of 45, leaving at least 45 stacked volumes of novels, plays, criticism, poetry.” Mishima slit his belly after leading a failed, and farcical, coup to restore the emperor’s power but Keene thinks he committed suicide because he was passed over for the Nobel Prize. During the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Mishima had written Keene a letter with the line, “I envy the athletes who know if they are first, second or third.” Keene says: “That was all he said but I knew exactly what he meant.” The irony was that Kawabata, who did win the Nobel Prize, also committed suicide because of the pressure of living up to his new reputation.

Comments

Studying Japanese literature is not a public good?

Nor is writing it a private good.

Suicide: the Japanese answer to everything.

When this journalist is 89 and watery eyed I hope for his sake he isn't so famous or so unable to let go as to let an FT journalist interview him over dinner with cloaked daggers.

If the uninteresting story of the effects of the Nobel Prize is true then I can only think these two were authors with shallow identity. It ain't worth dying for. If there's a problem with the new Murakami novel it is the Nobel shadow being cast. It is too polished. Murakami is not suited to the role.

Kawabata wrote the House of Sleeping beauties. Just made into a movie . Also the basic of Mis Putas tristes by Garcia Marquez. "The sad and the beautiful" is a extremely good work.
Murakami deserves it too.

I find it ironic that the Japanese embrace an 89-year old immigrant becoming a citizen "in their hour of need" when so much of their "hour of need" is due to a failure to accept young immigrants and their aging population.

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