Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning translator SAM BETT for a discussion of his experience translating YUKIO MISHIMA’s novel Star for an English-reading audience. He will be joined in conversation by musician and translator DANIEL JOSEPH.
All eyes are on Rikio. And he likes it, mostly. His fans cheer, screaming and yelling to attract his attention―they would kill for a moment alone with him. Finally the director sets up the shot, the camera begins to roll, someone yells “action”; Rikio, for a moment, transforms into another being, a hardened young yakuza, but as soon as the shot is finished, he slumps back into his own anxieties and obsessions.
Being a star, constantly performing, being watched and scrutinized as if under a microscope, is often a drag. But so is life. Written shortly after Yukio Mishima himself had acted in the film Afraid to Die, this novella is a rich and unflinching psychological portrait of a celebrity coming apart at the seams. With exquisite, vivid prose, Star begs the question: is there any escape from how we are seen by others?
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.