Translated Excerpt from Chapter 17 of The Music

However, these reflections were based on the assumption that Reiko’s letter was telling the truth: if it was just an invention, things changed dramatically. How many times before had the young woman tormented me with her lies! In any case, not being able to verify what she—and she alone—could have experienced in a room at the Kofu hospital, far from Tokyo, I had no other way to progress than to admit for the moment that she spoke the truth. Or rather: true or false Reiko had taken the trouble to write to me to announce that she had “finally heard the music,” and this fact, this psychic reality, remained indisputable.


It was a physiognomy of celestial purity that resembled that of St. Therese, her hair crowned with light, her eyes half closed, her head thrown back, her lips half open, her wings quivering… Everywhere on her features floated an indefinable expression, between pleasure and pain, and her hands clasped the frightfully emaciated, yellow and withered fingers of a dying man.

—Yukio Mishima

 

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