Quote of the Week: Yukio Mishima, “Runaway Horses”

Yukio Mishima

Yukio Mishima (b. 1925 d. 1970)

How oddly situated a man is apt to find himself at age thirty-eight! His youth belongs to the distant past. Yet the period of memory beginning with the end of youth and extending to the present has left him not a single vivid impression. And therefore he persists in feeling that nothing more than a fragile barrier separates him from his youth. He is forever hearing with the utmost clarity the sounds of his neighboring domain, but there is no way to penetrate the barrier […] His dreams of looking down in spirit upon his own coffin of plain wood while the pre-dawn blackness gave way to deep blue at the windows was fulfilled with unforeseen swiftness in less than a year and a half […] These dreams, left like a handful of gold dust in a winnowing pan, were charged with wonder […] What had actually occurred was in the process of merging with what could have occurred. As reality rapidly gave way to dreams, the past seems very much like the future.

▪ Yukio Mishima, Runaway Horses (Vintage, 1990; originally Shinchosha 1970) extract from pages 6 and 7.

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