The Decay of the Angel
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The Decay of the Angel (The Sea of Fertility #4)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,236 ratings  ·  61 reviews
The dramatic climax of the SEA OF FERTILITY, bringing together the dominant themes of the three previous novels; the decay of Japan's courtly tradition and samurai ideal, and the essence and value of Buddhist philosophy.
Unknown Binding, 236 pages
Published January 1st 1990 by Random House (NY) (first published November 25th 1970)
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Wael Mahmoud
نهاية رائعة للرباعية, تيمة إختلال موازين القوى من تيماتي المفضلة. وتمثل هذه الرواية مع مسرحية الأنسة جوليا لسترندبرج وفيلم الخادم لجوزيف لوزي وسيناريو هارولد بنتر أفضل الأعمال التي قدمت هذه التيمة. الإختلاف بين الرواية من جهة والمسرحية والفيلم من جهة أخرى أن الشخصية التي تفقد مركز القوى في هذه الرواية - هوندا - واعية تماماً لما يحدث بل وتدفع في إتجاهه على عكس جوليا وتوني.

كينوي شخصية جذابة فهي تمثل الإنكار الجسدي والذي ترتب عليه بالضرورة الجنون في حين أن تورو يمثل الإنكار النفسي - أو الروحي - وبس...more
To be as honest as possible, I must run the risk of not making any sense: this is simultaneously my favorite and least favorite book in the series. Parts of it were hugely gorgeous -- the prose was pure and had an almost cleansing aura to it, and I felt alive while reading it. However, I wanted to strangle Mishima for writing some other parts that I felt were not only uncalled for but intentionally annoying to read (I'm looking at you, several descriptions of harbor boats). I know that Seidensti...more
Honda (octogenarian sex offender) now thinks that Kiyoaki (beautiful lover), Isao (beautiful fighter) and Ying Chan (beautiful lesbian) have been distilled into something evil and not particularly beautiful: Toru. It's unclear why, but Toru seeks a gruesome revenge on Honda and whilst his machinations seem successful, he's not very good at disguising them from Honda. Frustrated, he resorts to violence and beats Honda with a poker. Betrayed, destroyed and lonely, Honda makes the journey to Satoko...more
Mar 25, 2012 Kirstie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kirstie by: Rory
This is really more like a 4 1/2 star novel..but of course Goodreads is a bit limiting at times. In any case, I was really intrigued when I found out that Mishima had committed ritual suicide after this one. There is a great deal more of depth and much less innocence than The Sound of Waves (had you not guessed that by the title, though? I mean, really!) There is also a great deal about the sea and waves in this one nonetheless and parallels with humans and angels. There is madness, delusions, y...more
Michael Battaglia
Much like listening to Joy Division's "Closer", there's an inescapable feeling of finality when reading the last novel of the quartet that goes beyond simply it being the last novel. If you're at all interested in Mishima or the quartet, you're probably well aware that as soon as Mishima finished the novel, he went out, attempted to stage a coup that failed miserably and then committed a ritual suicide, all of which made perfect sense to him in his worldview but don't seem entirely like the acts...more
Yukio Mishima's The Decay of the Angel is the last volume of his “Sea of Fertility”. It is also the last book he wrote. On November 25, 1970 he sent the manuscript off to the publisher, then went to incite the soldiers of Japan's military headquarters to a coup d'etat. When he failed, he committed seppuku. As might be expected, The Decay of the Angel contains much that that relates to Mishima's dissatisfaction with life, and the cosmic nihilism that he promised would be the ultimate theme of the...more
Sarah Magdalene
Just finished Decay of Angel. I haven't even met the Angel yet (still waiting for Spring Snow to arrive) and he is already decayed. This final novel of Mishimas is sparse but fascinating. It is easy to imagine him deciding that he had had enough by the end of it. There is so much weariness, so much pain, and so much bitterness too. How well he knew the human condition by this stage. Too well I think. Too much awareness is never an easy burden to bear but without it you can't be a great writer. O...more
The Sea of Fertility by Yukio Mishima

“The most complete vision we have of Japan in the twentieth century.”
-Paul Theroux

On the morning of November 25th 1970, the three-time Nobel nominee and 45 year old Yukio Mishima (the pen name of Hiraoka Kimitake) finished The Decay of the Angel, the final book in his seminal Sea of Fertility tetralogy. It was published into the world much akin to John Kennedy Tool's A Confederacy of Dunces: as renowned for its literary me...more The Sea of Fertility by Yuki...more
Decay of the Angel is the stunning final to the Sea of Fertility series. Honda seeks to save yet another reincarnation from death at 20 years. He hopes to achieve this by turning him into a cynic deprived of beauty, since that's what he figures drove the others to their doom. The boy he adopts is a hyper intelligent, manipulative jerk, who may or may not have been born too early to actually be the reincarnation.

What's great in this series of novels, is that it's not only the story itself that i...more
Patrick McCoy
The final installment of Yukio Mishima’s Sea of Fertility teratology is Decay Of The Angel . There is a curious end to the story that refutes most of what has come before. This novel concerns the adoption of Toru by Honda, who believes Toru is the third incarnation of Kioyaki. There are some curious developments as Toru develops a cruel streak for no apparent reason than the fact he is something of a nihilist. Honda falls into his voyeuristic ways and faces a public scandal that allows Toru to g...more
Cel Red
La traducción es más bien mala. Las descripciones llegan a ser excesivas. El principio es muy lento. Y creo que es un libro denso.

Y me encantó.

Salvando los detalles de esta traducción, porque era mala, los diálogos estaban mal hechos y resultaban confusos, el libro es bastante bueno. Tuve que leer varias partes dos o tres veces, ya fueran descripciones porque era necesario saborear cada detallito de la ola y del mar, o de los discursos y reflexiones, para terminar más o menos de entender qué pas...more
Por cosas que pasan por el camino me ha costado horrores acabarlo.

A falta de una reseña más detallada, es un libro muy recomendable para quienes les guste la literatura que se apoya en el estilo, les gusten las formas culturalmente chocantes de escribir y, dando un voto de confianza a los traductores, crean que se puede apreciar otra cultura en el filtro de la traducción.

Aviso: no puede leerse fuera del contexto de toda la serie. Así que a quien le interese y no sepa nada del Mar de la Fertilid...more
Îngerul decăzut (trad. Andreea Sion) este romanul care încheie tetralogia Marea fertilităţii, de Yukio Mishima, o suită de cărţi infuzate de budism şi shoturi de nihilism, care include, în afară de titlul deja anunţat, Zăpadă de primăvară, Cai în galop şi Templul zorilor. Toate patru au fost publicate la Editura Humanitas Fiction, în colecţia Raftul Denisei.

Yukio Mishima s-a sinucis în chiar ziua în care a pus punct acestui roman, pe 25 noiembrie 1970. E imposibil să omiţi asta, oricum ai alege...more
Yeah. There was a moment during the sort of false denouement of Decay of the Angel where I was sort of unsure how this was all going to come together. But the final 50+ pages of the story did a very beautiful and elegant job of bringing it back around, to great effect.
Todos los cabos son atados.
Lo bueno de la tetralogía es que no necesariamente hay que leerlos del I al IV, para captar su belleza.
Kevin Farran
My favorite work by Mishima. A talent rarely appreciated.
Fiona Robson
“Yukio Mishima’s The Decay of the Angel is the final novel in his masterful tetralogy, The Sea of Fertility. It is the last installment of Shigekuni Honda’s pursuit of the successive reincarnations of his childhood friend Kiyoaki Matsugae.

It is the late 1960s and Honda, now an aged and wealthy man, once more encounters a person he believes to be a reincarnation of his friend, Kiyoaki — this time restored to life as a teenage orphan, Tōru. Adopting the boy as his heir, Honda quickly finds that Tō...more
Yukio Mishima's final work is a blistering condemnation of modern Japanese society, old age, intellectual vanity, and most curiously, of Yukio Mishima himself. It's light on plot, telling a rather simple story rather curtly. Here, the primacy concern is tying up of themes and loose ends.

Here also is the exegesis of suicide that I had been dreading to read. Though, surprisingly, through Keiko's imposition of the act on Tōru (the final reincarnation of Kiyoaki Matsugae, maybe), we see the lionized...more
Perry Whitford
Feb 17, 2013 Perry Whitford rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Misanthropes of all nationalities.
The Decay of the Angel is the last part in a tetralogy of novels collectively known as The Sea of Fertility quartet. It was also Mishima's last novel before he took the extraordinary decision to ritually disembowel himself, samurai style, as a statement of disgust at what he perceived as the decadence of modern Japan. There are five signs of the decay of angels in Buddhist scrip, amongst them a dimming of their light and soiling of their robes, and most interestingly a loss of self awareness; th...more
Its been too long since I started the Tetrology, and reading its conclusion reminds me of how little I've retained from the earlier parts of the sequence apart from the general arcs and rough outlines of characters, so really I need to read the four again, in succession. But still, this is one of the most magnificent pieces of writing I've read, second only to the beginning story, Spring Snow (choosing favorites, after Angel I'd choose Runaway Horses, and finally Temple of Dawn simply because th...more
Dumitru Ionut
the decay of the angel by yukio mishima in romanian please, and other books like walking dead
I'm sad to say that Yukio Mishima's tetralogy "The Sea of Fertility" started out brilliantly but then fizzled in the later books. I can say the fourth and final book "The Decay of the Angel" was at lest better than the dismal third book.

This time Honda has found a 16-year-old boy he believes is his reincarnated friend Kiyo. He adopts him as his heir with disastrous results.

I honestly just didn't really enjoy this story or find it particularly interesting. It picked up steam in the last few dozen...more
Stunning ending to a stunning series. Whenever I try to explain what actually happens in this book, it sounds lame, but after 900 pages or whatever Mishima gets you to let your ironic guard down about Buddhist philosophy/reincarnation/etc. The back cover compares it to Proust, which I'm sure is right, but in a way it's more compelling because the whole tetralogy is tied to a metaphysic according to which the recurrence of memory is something real and something religious instead of just something...more
David Bulgarelli
The only reason I don't give this five stars is because I enjoyed Spring Snow and Runaway Horses more, and I can't help but compare the four books to each other.

A perfect end to the tetralogy, wrapping up all of the themes of the previous novels into a concise, haunting end. At first, the end of the book seemed to be a bit of a cop-out, but the more I thought of it, the more it really fit with Mishima's image of what Japan had transformed into in modern times. Brilliant.

Thanks for the experienc...more
I gave this one four stars instead of three, not because this book was entertaining as a whole--its characters will disturb you--but because of the ending, which puts the entire tetralogy in context. It's also worth reading just for Mishima's ability to paint beautiful landscapes, especially as characters are moving through them or scanning them and tie characters' perceptions of their environments to their states of mind. But don't start with this one. If you have to read one Mishima, start wit...more
This is a haunting, heavy book, the hardest in the series to get through, Mishima proves he's a master of his craft with this one. As per usual, the structure of the world in the narrative comes crashing down in nihilistic glory, but this time it leaves a bitter taste, until the final act, in which the reader may feel betrayed. With more careful consideration one may see that this book not only fits perfectly well into the framework that the first three set up, but that its ending is justified,...more
Le dernier tome de cette saga qui s'achève avec la mort de notre narrateur, Honda. La fin est digne d'un roman à suspens je ne m'y attendais pas !!
Comme pour les précédents tomes l'écriture est magnifique, ciselée, originale et précise.
Je pense être passée a côté du message de l'auteur concernant "le mal" et la morale de l'histoire. Si morale il y a.
En tout cas la galerie des personnages est toujours aussi pittoresque, le récit avance tranquillement sans en avoir l'air.
J'aurais volontiers lu pl...more
البحر الخصب..4.....
That was bleak. Considering that Mishima staged a sort-of military coup the day he finished it, ending, as he'd planned, with his ritualistic suicide, bleak was to be expected. Good, though!

Definitely feels like he sped through writing this one, compared to the first three books in the series. It's more a wrapping up and summing up of the themes than it is a solid story in itself. Which doesn't make much difference. It's still a very compelling read.

All told, this series of books is incredible.
Robin Guest
Pretty flippin' mindblowing. To think he wrote this only a few weeks before the failed "November 25th Incident" and seppuku. I can reach no other conclusion than that he knew he was going to fail, had already failed, yet went ahead anyway. I till can't really get my head round it, and it;s coming back to me that I couldn't the first time either. I just couldn't remember exactly why before.
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Yukio Mishima (三島 由紀夫) is the pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka (平岡 公威) who was a Japanese author, poet and playwright, famous for both his highly notable post-war writings and the circumstances of his ritual suicide by seppuku.

Mishima wrote 40 novels, 18 plays, 20 books of short stories, and at least 20 books of essays, one libretto, as well as one film. A large portion of this oeuvre comprises books...more
More about Yukio Mishima...
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea Spring Snow Confessions of a Mask The Temple of the Golden Pavilion The Sound of Waves

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“كل ما لديه حقاً كان شعوراً جارفاً بالحماقة وبالابتذال, وقد ذاب متحولاً إلى رتابة. كم هي هائلة تجليات العادي والمبتذل! ابتذال التأنق, ابتذال العاج, ابتذال القداسة, ابتذال الجنون, ابتذال ذوي المعرفة الواسعة, ابتذال الأكاديمي المدعي, الابتذال المغناج, ابتذال القطة الفارسية, ابتذال الملوك والشحاذين والمعتوهين والفراشات.” 33 likes
“كان الاضطرار إلى الحياة أكثر سواداً من أشد ضروب السواد افتقاراً للمرح, أن يضطر كل يوم لرؤية رجل يسعى لفهم أعمق شيء بداخله, وينجح في ذلك.” 33 likes
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