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Written in 1951 and translated into English in 1968, the title of “Forbidden Colours” represents taboo desires and beliefs, most notably homosexuality and misogyny. Shunsuke is an aging writer whose vile views on women are given the opportunity for physical manifestation in Yuichi, a gorgeous young gay man who is engaged to Yasuko. Shunsuke immediately sees that this will be a marriage of convenience and financial security for Yuichi, who casually admits to a total disinterest in his fiancee as a person or sexual being. Shunsuke takes up Yuichi the way a puppet-master takes up a marionette and uses him to torment Yasuko and, symbolically, all women. Over time he creates a monster that he can no longer control.

Forbidden Colours, by Yukio Mishima, Translated by Alfred H. Marks.
432 pages
Penguin, Fiction.

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