» » Runaway Horses

Download Runaway Horses epub

by Yukio Mishima

Download Runaway Horses epub
ISBN: 0140041672
ISBN13: 978-0140041675
Category: Literature
Author: Yukio Mishima
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (1977)
Pages: 400 pages
ePUB size: 1927 kb
FB2 size: 1220 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 723
Other Formats: doc azw docx txt

In RUNAWAY HORSES, the second volume of Yukio Mishima's "Sea of Fertility" tetralogy, we are presented with a remarkable turn of events. Kiyoaki Matsugae, the tragic protagonist of SPRING SNOW, has been born again. Those who wondered why the first novel in the cycle had those long debates on the transmigration of the soul will be pleased to see the consequences of the Siamese princes' beliefs.

The year is 1932. RUNAWAY HORSES unfolds through the thoughts of Shikeguni Honda, once Kiyoaki's best friend, who is now thirty-eight years-old and a judge in Osaka. Honda encounters a young man, Isao, who is almost as old as Kiyoaki was when he died, and Honda comes to believe that this boy is his old friend come again, whose life contains events that Kiyoaki foretellingly dreamed of and wrote in his journal. While Kiyoaki's fatal flaw was excess love, his reincarnation is an obsessive patriot, who seeks to purge Japan of foreign ideals and the vices of a capitalism which denied the Emperor. RUNAWAY HORSES is, essentially, a novel of political extremism. The Japan of this era seems poised on the verge of either Communist revolution or, what actually came to pass, military dictatorship, and the uncertainty of the times makes for a very engaging setting. Some knowledge of Japan history comes in handy, although the novel can still be read as it is. The form of the work is also rather more varied than in the first volume of the cycle. RUNAWAY HORSES contains a fifty-page long imagined political tract praising the leaders of a 19th-century rebellion, which inspires the protagonist, and a courtroom scene recounted in dialogue form.

I found so much of this novel supremely agreeable. Mishima expertly causes the reader to feel the long years that have passed for Honda, and the shock that comes in being jerked back to the death of Kiyoaki. Some of the people and places linked with Kiyoaki are seen again in this novel, and often the characters have little idea of the connection, but the reader knows the haunting truth. Nonetheless, the novel is not entirely perfect. One common objection may be that Mishima gushes too much over the purity of Isao, for the author's own political ideals where much the same. Still, anyone concerned with issues of globalization and the existential crisis of the West and westernized nations will have some sympathy for Mishima and his protagonist, even though much about them is deplorable. And Isao is certainly more nuanced than the protagonist of Mishima's gory nearly-pornographic novella "Patriotism" of three years before. My own dissatisfaction about the matter comes from Mishima giving his protagonist, toward the end, the opportunity to rather unrealistically give a long speech to an audience that in truth probably wouldn't hear it.

Still, these are relatively minor complaints. I underestimated the beauty of SPRING SNOW the first time I read it, and I'm quite happy that I re-read it and moved onto RUNAWAY HORSES. The "Sea of Fertility" cycle is indeed an impressive work of fiction.
As the title says, my fav! Ending is superb.

The sea of Fertility is nothing short of a masterpiece. Mishima crucified himself in his work (SOF), and then did the same in real life.

If you have not read Spring Snow yet, read that first before reading this book...If you have read Spring Snow, then why in the hell are you reading reviews of this book!? Get it, continue the journey!
The four-part Sea of Fertility is one of the most ambitious literary projects ever undertaken. And it comes off. Runaway Horses is up there with Spring Snow as equal best of the four. It provides tremendous cultural and historical insights as well as wrestling with issues of motivation and purpose in Mishima's crystalline prose. He thought he should have won the Nobel Prize. I do too.
This is a novel with gorgeous, even lyrical passages, yet in my view, considerable technical setbacks.

Why do i like Mishima? Becouse he was trained as a lawyer, and from the many years of discerning the nuances of legal practice, he developed a style of writing, that is structured, concise, and sometimes pompous. Concurrently, there is a dark tendency in his writing to place his characters irrationally attracted to themes relating to death, suicide, romantic tragedy or nihilism. The combination of these seemingly opposite forces, creates a mood of unsettling, and reckless passion.

When i read that Kiyoaki, who in Spring Snow had been endowed with an almost supernatural beauty, returned reincarnated in Isao, who was peerless on his purity of intent, i couldn't put the book down. Mishima created such a beautiful case for the purity of dying in defense of Japan and the emperor, that even me, who is on the opposite side of the political spectrum, was rooting for Isao to go ahead with his mission and inevitable seppuku.

If the book would have finished with the ritualistic suicide, it would have actually been beautiful. I won't recount the details of the plot, but there is an unfortunate twist that completely alters the sentiment of the idealistic and poetic opening pages. The denouement creates an anti-climax that forces the reader to question the validity of the values professed initially by the protagonist, to then again in a haste, switched back the storyline to a romantic conclusion in order to salvage the book. I found this thematic ambivalence, a source of irritation and a technical setback that undermines the quality of the book as a whole. Therefore I gave it four starts.
Mustard Forgotten
Excellent read, should definitely read Spring Snow before hand as you will not know what is going on. Mishima wrote some even better novels tho. First I think Spring Snow is better than this. Also confessions of a mask and forbidden colors are more heart felt. This book is more philosophical and explores the relationships between emotion, rational thought and destiny/ reincarnation. Enjoy.
What a beautifully sculptured work of storytelling! Mishima has a unique way in describing characters and developing their interplay which unfolds throughout the novel. He delivers such insights into the Japanese culture of yore. How times have changed!! There's no wasted words and this reading is bound to hold ones interest. This is a true classic piece of literature. Enjoy......
Was a requested gift. The one who received it enjoyed it very much.
too bad he's dead