3 Japanese Novels: Kinkakuji (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion), by Yukio Mishima

The strangest, but also the best of the three Japanese novels deals with the true story of a stuttering, ugly young Buddhist monk whose wretched self-hate culminates in his setting fire to the Temple in the title.
The book is hard to understand, but creates a strange mix between beauty and cruelty. The monk, obsessed with his ugliness, projects his personality onto everything around him, including the Temple, which becomes something of a wrathful demon in his life, standing there so passively and refusing to be disturbed by the ages.
Definitely a book I'd recommend, but not an easy read.

Posted by cronopio at 01:02 PM, December 20, 2003