Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Was Mishima Writing What He Knew?

          I read the Yukio Mishima's biography mid way through the first reading assignment. I became very agitated throughout the rest of the reading after I had learned about Mishima's ceremonial suicide. The book and narrator took on different tones, the blood lust of the protagonist became more realistic, more bothersome than it had been before. I began to wonder if it was truly the narrator's “Inherent deficiency of blood [that] had first implanted in me the impulse to dream of bloodshed” (92) or if Mishima was writing what he knew, his own personal blood lust. Perhaps this is Mishima's attempt at an outlet for his gory desires, “But my heart's leaning toward Death and Night and Blood would not be denied” (21). I admire someone who is willing to die for a cause, I admire their complete faith in their beliefs. However, I also become impatient with these individuals, believing that one can do more for a cause with diligent work over time rather than one passionate outburst in a single instant, denying one's self from future furthering of a personally important cause. This topic has strayed from direct discussion of the book, however I think it is important to understand an author's mindset in order to truly understand the message that is being conveyed through the story.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I miss smoking

I loved the discussion of cigarettes and those who smoke them, on page 242.  “Because there was never enough money and there were never enough fags.  You had to become an expert in bumming, cadging, begging, stealing fags.”  As a previous smoker, I understand the complexities of bumming a cigarette--If you aren’t careful, you can lose friends.  What really struck me though was the intricacy involved in such a minor matter.  The options of who one can be in the simple act of bumming a smoke are numerous, you can have a forgettable face, able to snag a cig. from the same person more than once, or “blow a week’s pocket money on twenty, give them out to all and sundry, and spend the next month reminding those with fags about that time when you gave them a fag” (242).  One can also share the smoke once it’s been filched, which leads to even more choices that have to be made, halves, thirds, saves, and/or butt.  These choices only relate to cigarettes, think of the choices that have to be made every day, with every object, “should I have coffee today?  Decaf or regular? Hazelnut or vanilla? Should I sit at home or take it with me? I just had my teeth whitened, should I have tea instead?  Our lives are filled with choices, and decisions.  As adults we have learned to filter some of the options, for me having coffee in the morning is no longer an choice that has to be made, it is a habit, I don’t care what flavor just give me my damn coffee.  But as a kid they whole world is riding on new decisions.  Through this view of cigarettes it is easy to see why Millat is in a constant state of change, how overwhelming.