Yukio Mishima · 304 pages
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“What transforms this world is — knowledge. Do you see what I mean? Nothing else can change anything in this world. Knowledge alone is capable of transforming the world, while at the same time leaving it exactly as it is. When you look at the world with knowledge, you realize that things are unchangeable and at the same time are constantly being transformed.”
“The special quality of hell is to see everything clearly down to the last detail.”
“Anything can become excusable when seen from the standpoint of the result”
“Yet how strange a thing is the beauty of music! The brief beauty that the player brings into being transforms a given period of time into pure continuance; it is certain never to be repeated; like the existence of dayflies and other such short-lived creatures, beauty is a perfect abstraction and creation of life itself. Nothing is so similar to life as music.”
“The past does not only draw us back to the past. There are certain memories of the past that have strong steel springs and, when we who live in the present touch them, they are suddenly stretched taut and then they propel us into the future.”
“if the world changed, i could not exist, and if i changed, the world could not exist”
“Other people must be destroyed. In order that I might truly face the sun, the world itself must be destroyed....”
“To see human beings in agony, to see them covered in blood and to hear their death groans, makes people humble. It makes their spirits delicate, bright, peaceful. It's never at such times that we become cruel or bloodthirsty. No, it's on a beautiful spring afternoon like this that people suddenly become cruel. It's at a moment like this, don't you think, while one's vaguely watching the sun as it peeps through the leaves of the trees above a well-mown lawn? Every possible nightmare in the world, every possible nightmare in history, has come into being like this.”
“When people concentrate on the idea of beauty, they are, without realizing it, confronted with the darkest thoughts that exist in this world. That, I suppose, is how human beings are made.”
“For clearly it is impossible to touch eternity with one hand and life with the other.”
“Amid the moon and the stars, amid the clouds of the night, amid the hills which bordered on the sky with their magnificent silhouette of pointed cedars, amid the speckled patches of the moon, amid the temple buildings that emerged sparkling white out of the surrounding darkness - amid all this, I was intoxicated by the pellucid beauty of Uiko's treachery.”
“As usual, it occurred to me that words were the only thing that could possibly save me from this situation. This was a characteristic misunderstanding on my part. When action was needed, I was absorbed in words; for words proceeded with such difficulty from my mouth that I was intent on them and forgot all about action. It seemed to me that actions, which are dazzling, varied things, must always be accompanied by equally dazzling and equally varied words.”
“Let the darkness that is in my heart become equal to the darkness of the night that surrounds those innumerable lights!”
“Thus in a single phrase I can define the great illusion concerning 'love' in this world. It is the effort to join reality with the apparition.”
“Insensitive people are only upset when they actually see the blood, but actually by the time that the blood has been shed the tragedy has already completed.”
“To put it in a rather vulgar way, I had been dreaming about love in the firm belief that I could not be loved, but at the final stage I had substituted desire for love and felt a sort of relief. But in the end I had understood that desire itself demanded for its fulfillment that I should forget about the conditions of my existence, and that I should abandon what for me constituted the only barrier to love, namely the belief that I could not be loved. I had always thought of desire as being something clearer than it really is, and I had not realized that it required people to see themselves in a slightly dreamlike, unreal way.”
“It seemed that hell could appear day or night, at any time, at any place, simply in response to one's thoughts or wishes. It seemed that we could summon it at our pleasure and that instantly it would appear.”
“It was certainly not consolation that Kashiwagi sought in beauty. .. What he loved was that for a short while after his breath had brought beauty into existence in the air, his own clubfeet and gloomy thinking remained there, more clearly and more vividly than before. The uselessness of beauty, the fact that beauty which had passed through his body left no mark there whatsoever, that it changed absolutely nothing- it was this that Kashiwagi loved.”
“I was born with gloomy nature. I do not think I have ever known what it is to be cheerful and at ease.”
“In Kyoto I never experienced an air raid, but once when I was sent to the main factory in Osaka with some orders for spare parts for aircraft, there happened to be an attack and I saw one of the factory workers being carried out on a stretcher with his intestines exposed.
What is so ghastly about exposed intestines? Why, when we see the insides of a human being do we have to cover our eyes in terror? Why are people so shocked by the sight of blood pouring out? Why are a man's intestines ugly? Is it not exactly the same in quality as the beauty of youthful, glossy skin? What sort of face would Tsurukawa make if I were to say that it was from him I had learned this manner of speaking - a manner of thinking that transformed my own ugliness into nothingness? Why does there seem to be something inhuman about regarding human beings like roses and refusing to make any distinction between the inside of their bodies and the outside? If only human beings could reverse their spirits and their bodies, could gracefully turn them inside out like rose petals and expose them to the spring breeze and the sun . . .”
“But there is no such thing as individual knowledge, a particular knowledge belonging to one special person or group. Knowledge is the sea of humanity, the field of humanity, the general condition of human existence.”
“Only knowledge can turn life's unbearableness into a weapon.”
“So far as feelings were concerned, there was no discrepancy between the very finest feeling in this world and the very worst; that their effect was the same; that no visible difference existed between murderous intent and feelings of deep compassion.”
“Ала за мен Златният храм не беше просто абстрактно понятие. Планините го скриваха от погледа ми, но при желание винаги можех да отида и да го видя. В този смисъл красотата бе все пак нещо, което можех да пипна в ръка, да видя с очите си. Знаех и вярвах, че храмът е неизменен и вечен независимо от всевъзможните промени на този свят.
Понякога си представях, че е изящна миниатюра, която мога да взема в ръка; друг път той ставаше огромен и чудовищен и върхът му се губеше в небесата. Бях твърде млад, за да си давам ясна сметка, че красотата не може да е нито малка, нито голяма, а винаги умерена. Лете, видех ли влажно от утринната роса цвете, излъчващо сякаш бледо сияние, веднага си казвах, че е прекрасно като Златния храм. А когато над отсрещните хълмове се събираха черни, раздирани от светкавици буреносни облаци, опасани със златен кант, мрачното им великолепие също ме навеждаше на мисълта за него. Стигна се дотам, че и при вида на нечие красиво лице в душата си прошепвах: „Очарователно като Златния храм.”
“[...] Lo cual no excluía que el Pabellón de Oro no tardase, tal vez, a verse reducido a cenizas por las bombas incendiarias.
Tal y como iban las cosas, EL PABELLÓN DE ORO MUY PRONTO NO SERÍA MÁS QUE UN MONTÓN DE CENIZAS: ESTO ERA SEGURO.
A partir del momento en que esta idea se instaló en mí, todo lo que había de trágico en la belleza del templo se acrecentó todavía más.”
“Nu-i greu de imaginat că un tânăr ca mine ajunge să îmbrățișeze două năzuințe complet opuse. La istorie îmi plăcea prezentarea despoților. Mă închipuiam un tiran bâlbâit, dar taciturn; slujitorii urmăreau cu sufletul la gură orice expresie de pe chipul meu, tremurând zi și noapte ca varga. Cred că nu-i nevoie să-mi mai justific cruzimea în cuvinte alese. Tăcerea poate fi și ea grăitoare. Mă amuza gândul că m-aș putea răzbuna pedepsindu-mi profesorii și colegii care m-au chinuit zi de zi. Pe de altă parte, mă închipuiam mare artist, înzestrat cu cea mai limpede dintre viziuni - un adevărat suveran al lumii interioare. Aspectul meu exterior lăsa de dorit, dar interiorul devenea mai bogat decât al oricui.”
“Giữa những vì sao, giữa những áng mây êm, giữa những núi đồi viền lấy bầu trời với nhiều hình bóng tráng lệ của các chòm cây tùng bách nhọt hoắt, giữa những đốm trăng lọt qua lá cành, giữa những tòa kiến trúc sừng sững long lanh trắng toát - giữa tất cả những cái đó, vẻ đẹp tươi sáng trong sự phản trắc do Uiko làm tôi say mê.”
“Sự phản trắc của nàng cũng giống như sự phản trắc của các vì sao và những chòm tùng bách nhọn hoắt.”
“Единствено съзнанието може да преобрази този свят. Само то и нищо друго. Да го преобрази, без да го променя, схващаш ли? Ако погледнеш на света през очите на съзнанието, ще разбереш, че той е неизменим и в същото време постоянно се преобразява. Ще попиташ каква ни е ползата от това? Човек, драги, е въоръжен със съзнание, тъкмо за да направи живота поносим. Животните нямат нужда от такова оръжие, на тях не им трябва съзнание. Но хората наистина се нуждаят от нещо и с помощта на съзнанието са в състояние да превърнат самата непоносимост на живота в оръжие, макар от това тя изобщо да не намалява.”
“Самотата ми набъбваше като угоявана свиня.”
“We do not always get what we want. Sometimes life presents us with surprises.”
“The kid, whose existence became a hallucination at seven, and a catastrophe at fourteen, and a disaster after that, whose vocation is to be neither a waitress nor a hooker nor a farmer nor a janitor, but forever the stepdaughter to a lascivious stepfather and the undefended offspring of a self-obsessed mother, the kid, who mistrusts everyone, sees the con in everyone and yet is protected against nothing, whose capacity to hold on unintimidated is enormous, and yet whose purchase on life is minute, misfortune's favorite embattled child, the kid to whom everything loathsome that can happen has happened and whose luck shows no sign of changing and yet who excites and arouses him like nobody since Steena, not the most but morally speaking the least repellant person he knows, the one to whom he feels drawn because of having been aimed for so long in the opposite direction, because of all he has missed by going in the opposite direction, and because the underlying feeling of rightness that controlled him formerly is exactly what is propelling him now, the unlikely intimate with whom he shares no less a spiritual than a physical union, who is anything but a plaything, upon whom he flings his body twice a week in order to sustain his animal nature, who is more to him like a comrade in arms than anyone else on earth.”
“What did you expect? That he'd send you flowers and write you bad poetry? That dead Nemean prowler is pretty much as close to a stuffed animal as you're ever going to get from a Spartan like Logan Quinn.”
“I’ve never trusted a man who put cream or sugar in his coffee. Just like I never really trusted a man who put Coca-Cola in his bourbon.”
“Though being freed from sin, most remain slaves, blinded and gagged by their own deception.”
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