By Yukio Mishima
One of Yukio Mishima's most notorious novels. In some ways Mishima's eccentric life and bizarre end overshadow his work. While a strict adherence to the concept of the "Death of the Author" would militate against any biographical interpretation of Sailor, it's hard not see some of Mishima's fictional themes played out in his life.
The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea is about a single mother in love with a sailor and her adolescent son, Noboru, who is obsessed with his image of the sailor as a model of masculinity. When the sailor can’t live up to that loony ideal, Noboru undertakes to destroy his idol.
It's not just a tale of right-wing hysteria wrapped up in homoeroticism, though those are all plenty good fun. Rather I find that a mediation on the interplay of idealism, desire, and the image of one's ideals is not out of place in the 21st century.