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The Decay of the Angel (Vintage) 2001

In collaboration with Penguin/Random House we are now proud to be able to offer a selection of some of the titles which have inspired our perfumes.

This is the final novel in the Sea of Fertility Tetralogy which inspired our fragrance The Decay of the Angel. 


"The four novels remain one of the outstanding works of twentieth-century literature and a summary of the author's life and work?."

- Los Angeles Times

"A major literary creation"

- New York Times

 

 

The Decay of the Angel takes place in the late 1960s. Honda, now an aged and wealthy man, discovers and adopts a sixteen-year-old orphan, Toru, as his heir, identifying him with the tragic protagonists of the three previous novels, each of whom died at the age of twenty. Honda raises and educates the boy, yet watches him, waiting.

The dramatic climax of the SEA OF FERTILITY tetralogy brings together the dominant themes of the three previous novels; the decay of Japan's courtly tradition and samurai ideal, and the essence and value of Buddhist philosophy.

Translated from the Japanese by Edward G Seidensticker

 

About the Author

Yukio Mishima was born into a samurai family and imbued with the code of complete control over mind and body, and loyalty to the Emperor - the same code that produced the austerity and self-sacrifice of Zen. He wrote countless stories and thirty-three plays, in some of which he performed. Several films have been made from his novels, including The Sound of Waves, Enjo which was based on The Temple of the Golden Pavilion and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea. Among his other works are the novels Confessions of a Mask and Thirst for Love and the short story collections Death in Midsummer and Acts of Worship. The Sea of Fertility tetralogy, however, is his masterpiece. After Mishima conceived the idea of The Sea of Fertility in 1964, he frequently said he would die when it was completed. On 25 November 1970, the day he completed The Decay of the Angel, the last novel of the cycle, Mishima committed seppuku (ritual suicide) at the age of forty-five.

The Sea of Fertility tetralogy, however, is his masterpiece. After Mishima conceived the idea of The Sea of Fertility in 1964, he frequently said he would die when it was completed. On November 25th, 1970, the day he completed The Decay of the Angel, the last novel of the cycle, Mishima committed seppuku (ritual suicide) at the age of 45.

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