Mishima's Odd Anthropology/Masculinity

from Guns and Steel
Yukio Mishima

This antinomy rested on the assumption that I myself from the outset was devoid of flesh, of reality, of action. It was true, indeed, that the flesh came late to me at the beginning, but I was waiting for it with words. I suspect that because of the earlier tendency I spoke of, I did not perceive it, then, as "my body." If I had done so, my words would have lost their purity. I should have been violated by reality, and reality would have become inescapable.

Interestingly enough, my stubborn refusal to perceive the body was itself due to a beautiful misconception in my idea of what the body was. I did not know that a man's body never shows itself as "existence." But as I saw things, it ought to have made itself apparent, clearly and unequivocally, as existence. It naturally followed that when it did show itself unmistakably as a terrifying paradox of existence that rejected existence--I was as panic-stricken as though I had come across some monster, and loathed it accordingly. It never occurred to me that other men--all men without exception--were the same.

I can't even imagine what this means.  It certainly would terrify me if I held these thoughts in my head. But was is existence that denies existence?  Or "a man's body never shows itself as 'existence.'"  This is one fierce bad existentialism and weird anthropology/reality.

And then a conclusion that begs the question as to what is being concluded:

It is perhaps only natural that this type of panic and fear, though so obviously the product of a misconception, should postulate another more desirable physical existence, another more desirable reality. Never dreaming that the body existing in a form that rejected existence was universal in the male, I set about constructing my ideal hypothetical physical existence by investing it with all the opposite characteristics. And since my own, abnormal bodily existence was doubtless a product of the intellectual corrosion of words, the ideal body--the ideal existence--must, I told myself, be absolutely free from any interference by words. Its characteristics could be summed up as taciturnity and beauty of form.

What a way to arrive at one's aesthetics.


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