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Publisher's Summary

In this fascinating document, one of Japan's best known - and controversial - writers created what might be termed a new literary form. It is new because it combines elements of many existing types of writing, yet in the end, fits into none of them.

At one level, it may be listened to as an account of how a puny, bookish boy discovered the importance of his own physical being; the "sun and steel" of the title are themselves symbols respectively of the cult of the open air and the weights used in bodybuilding. At another level, it is a discussion by a major novelist of the relation between action and art and his own highly polished art, in particular. More personally, it is an account of one individual's search for identity and self-integration. Or again, the work could be seen as a demonstration of how an intensely individual preoccupation can be developed into a profound philosophy of life.

All these elements are woven together by Mishima's complex yet polished and supple style. The confession and the self-analysis, the philosophy and the poetry combine in the end to create something that is in itself perfect and self-sufficient. It is a piece of literature that is as carefully fashioned as Mishima's novels, and at the same time provides an indispensable key to the understanding of them as art.

The road Mishima took to salvation is a highly personal one. Yet here, ultimately, one detects the unmistakable tones of a self transcending the particular and attaining to a poetic vision of the universal. The book is therefore a moving document, and is highly significant as a pointer to the future development of one of the most interesting novelists of modern times.

©1970 stanfordpub.com (P)2021 stanfordpub.com

What listeners say about Sun and Steel

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SNOOZEFEST

Matthew Taylor absolutely butchered this. The entire book sounds like he was speaking into a bucket. Extremely hard to listen to and to focus on. I had to lay on the bed and do absolutely nothing and I still could not focus to what he was saying. This book is so boring I wanted to return it but then that would mean others would not know what were getting into when they used their credit on this book. STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS AUDIBLE BOOK. I went so far as to order a print to order this book from Barnes and Nobles for 40 dollars to get a better experience of this book.

The story is so forgettable because of Matthew Taylor I have no recollection of what the book is about I just know the idea of it because of book reviews on YouTube.

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Eh

I'd rather listen to his fictional work. Perhaps a different narrator might have made this more enjoyable. Still worth the listen.

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Excellent material somewhat marred by a stilted delivery

Something which I could only comprehend in snatches and perceive in glimpses. To be returned to and meditated upon again.

Taylor does not seem to effectively transmit the tranquility which I detect in this work. The translation work, while beautiful, falls choppily on the ear through Taylor’s delivery.

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so glad I read this book.

this man lived an amazing life, and he reminds me a lot of things I have been throguht when I was younger, as a very frail, introverted boy. he asked a number of questions I asked myself but as opposed to me, he offered a few explanations to them.

I am glad I wasn't alone in my thinking. I am also very glad , I decide to cultivate my body even thought it is a purely aesthetic activity of the modern world as he said.

excellent book. makes you think a lot, and reconsider things and believes you took for granted.

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Helped me change my mindset on how to see myself.

Hard hitting, eye opening, mindset and grind set builder. Reread to get max understanding

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Mishima fan, but found this uninteresting

Mishima was a brilliant, evocative, eloquent stylist. Love his novels, not so sure about his non-fiction. I found what he was writing about here -- the similarities of mind and body (I think that's what it was, this is hard to follow) -- was less than compelling. I have all his writings published in English and I want to read/listen to them all, so I'm glad I listened to this. Will probably listen to it again to fully get the points he was making. But only because this is short. If it were twice as long, I would most likely pass.

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fantastic book

The book put into words things I have experienced doing martial arts that I could never describe.

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  • JB
  • 11-03-21

Terrific book - a classic. Ruined by the narrator

This is the worst narration of an audiobook I have ever listened to. He places emphasis on the wrong words, mumbles some words, and adds pauses where there should be none. And it sounds like he really does not understand what he's narrating. And the grating british accent is just too much to have to listen to for 2 and half hours - whiny and childish.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alex James
  • 05-26-21

10/10

This book did a great job at connecting physical excellence to artistic beauty and deep thought