jeremy's Reviews > Patriotism

Patriotism by Yukio Mishima
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Dec 26, 09

bookshelves: translation, fiction
Read in December, 2009

how to fairly review a book that one finds well written yet marked by a dubious morality? yukio mishima's patriotism, though seemingly beloved by nearly all others, did not agree with me entirely. other reviews praise this famous tale as the epitome of devotion and romance, though i found it to be rather misogynistic, the very antipathy of love and allegiance (however not lacking in passion). i have never considered misguided adventures into the realms of martyrdom worthy of celebration (especially those that bring with them the innocent), and the main character of this story strikes me as one consumed with pride and self-righteousness. while this is undoubtedly a complex story, dependent upon at least a cursory understanding of japanese culture, it may very well be that i simply misinterpreted mishima's aim. perhaps he really was offering this visceral tale in criticism of fervid, often blind, patriotism. it, however, seemed rather literal to me, especially given the overwhelming critical accolades it has attracted over the years. patriotism is surely an intriguing work, one that leaves the reader thinking about the many consequences our loyalties often engender. i cannot say i disliked this book, it is simply that i was surprised by how little it moved me.
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