Star

Yukio Mishima (Author) Sam Bett (Translator)
Available

Description

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?

Product Details

Price
$11.95
Publisher
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
April 30, 2019
Pages
96
Dimensions
4.4 X 0.4 X 7.0 inches | 0.2 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780811228428
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) completed his first novel the year he entered the University of Tokyo and his last novel the day of his death. He is the author of numerous novels, stories, plays, and essays. Gore Vidal once said of him: "I only regret we never met, for friends found him a good companion, a fine drinking partner, and fun to cruise with." Mishima committed suicide by ceremonial seppuku after a failed coup d'e´tat intended to restore pre-WWII power to the emperor of Japan.
Sam Bett studied Japanese at UMass-Amherst and Kwansei Gakuin University. Awarded Grand Prize in the 2016 JLPP International Translation Competition, he has translated fiction by Yoko Ogawa, Yukio Mishima, and Nisio Isin. He also cohosts Us&Them, a Brooklyn-based reading series showcasing the work of writers who translate. His translation of Yukio Mishima's Star won the 2019 Japan-US Friendship Commission (JUSFC) Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature.

Reviews

Mishima is like Stendhal in his precise psychological analyses, like Dostoevsky in his explorations of darkly destructive personalities.
Mishima was one of literature's great romantics.--Jay McInerney
There may be no writer more autobiographical than Yukio Mishima. He resembles Ce´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.--Philip Glass
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.-- (01/30/2019)
Mishima nicely captures the alter-world of stardom--a sharp little novella.-- (02/17/2019)
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.--Jeff Somers
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.--Thomas Gebremedhin
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?-- (05/29/2019)
An exquisite contemplation of existence and death, and Mishima's prose is extremely powerful and the translation finely executed.-- (06/18/2019)
Enormously relevant-- (06/11/2019)
A startlingly modern, hypervisual jewel.--Patti Smith (09/05/2019)
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.--Kiri Falls
Star isn't merely a treat for completists, but a happy reunion with a genius.-- (04/27/2019)
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-- (07/23/2019)
Star, translated from Japanese by Sam Bett, is a strange, avant-garde novella following a young actor who [receives] the kind of attention that could drive any person slowly insane.-- (06/19/2019)