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Contemporary women's literature
chapterposted on 2023-05-28, 00:22 authored by Aoyama, T, Barbara HartleyBarbara Hartley
In an essay entitled "On Narcissism" Mishima Yukio outlines his forthright views on the difference between men and women. Mishima, who had a complex and highly insightful view of sex, points to the existence of men and women as a biological given, a natural phenomenon. It is for this reason, he argues, that we use terms such as "the opposite sex". In the essay Mishima explains his position on narcissism and consciousness of self while also theorizing the "natural" difference between men and women. Narcissus, the mythological character who drowned after being captivated by the reflection of his own beauty, was a man. He was not a woman. Noting that the concept of narcissism derives from the fact that Narcissus was a man, Mishima reasons that narcissism cannot therefore exist in a woman. Mishima maintains that while Narcissus was able to view the image of his own face, a woman is incapable of confronting her own natural image.
Publication titleWoman Critiqued
PublisherUniversity of Hawaii Press
Place of publicationHawaii
Rights statementCopyright 2006 The University of Hawaii Press