St. Sebastian Eroticism
Mishima's adolescent hero has a very special sexual fantasy after he recognized the high sexual appeal of depictions of St. Sebastian: an Icon Renaissance transformation of a death / murder - via being "penetrated" by arrows - into homoeroticism. His fantasy is represented on the above cover of Mishima's novel. For an excellent reporting (in French) on the transformation of Saint Sebatian's murder into homoerotic art by Italian Renaissance artists see Ressouni-Demigneux, Karim (1996). "LA CHAIR ET LA FLECHE: Le regard homosexuel sur saint Sébastien tel qu'il etait representé en Italie autour de 1500."
A Canadian male I know reported that a scene - similar to the one depicted above - was present in the movie the Sandpebbles (1966), with Steve McQueen. Viewing this scene had resulted in sexual stimulation. These experiences inform us about our sexualities and we do not "choose" what will result in sexual stimulation.
The relationship of murder and homoeroticism
is noted by John R, Keene (1999) in Covergence of Hatreds, Blackstipe Magazine:
http://www.blackstripe.com/news/jkeene/louima.html N/A http://web.archive.org/web/20020917001736/http://www.blackstripe.com/news/jkeene/louima.html. "Racial and sexual-orientation-focused hatred are often not linked conceptually or theoretically, except by a few writers, such as the German Klaus Theleweit, for example, and Americans such as Urvashi Vaid. (The story of lynching in the U.S. has a strong homoerotic subtext.) But it is not just on the theoretical level that this gap is occurring; practically it is a problem as well."
Arrows of desire: How did St Sebastian become an enduring, homo-erotic icon?
Saint Sebastian: The Homoerotic Patron of Gay Men.
GLBTQ - Subjects of the Visual Arts: St. Sebastian.
Loosavor: St. Sebastian.
Self Portrait as Saint Sebastian - John Douglas.
A Study in the Suicide of Selfhood: The Death of Saint Narcissus.
Saint Sebastian (Includes influence on Mishima): PDF Download, 1 meg. A small sample of images depicting St. Sebastian's martyrdom. For an exhaustive collection, visit: The Iconography of Saint Sebastian.
Artist-lovers Leo Chiachio and Daniel Giannone: Saint Sebastian, Yukio Mishima - what other gay characters influence your work?
Mishima: Film examines an affair with death.
Mishima Yukio’s ‘Sex which is not One’.
Queering Mishima's Suicide as a Crisis of Language.
Interview with Takahashi Mutsuo: Some information about Yukio Mishima.
Penisism and the Eternal Hole: (Homo)Eroticism and Existential Exploration in the Early Poetry of Takahashi Mutsuo. One significant development in this second wave of ‘literature of the flesh’ is an increased eagerness to deal with male-male eroticism. Two key figures helping to develop a homoerotic ‘literature of the flesh,’ namely Inagaki Taruho (1900-1977) and Mishima Yukio (1925-1970), were already relatively well established in the literary world...
Six FAQ's about The Day On Which A Man Dies: How is it that the text is dedicated to Yukio Mishima? Mishima, the Japanese homoerotic post WWII novelist, was a personal friend of Williams. The two met casually on the street in Manhattan in 1957, then formally at the offices of New Directions two days later. Williams visited Japan as Mishima's guest in 1959, then again in 1969. Mishima committed hara-kiri in 1970 at the age of 45.
Visual Poets: Yukio Mishima & Jean Genet.
Goh Mishima: A burgeoning subculture emerged after World War II alongside the gay underground. The Yakuza -- the so-called "Japanese Mafia",with taciturn manliness, cropped haircuts, and elaborate body tattoos -- exerted a fascination for the artist that became a signature attribute of his later artwork. His friendship with Yukio Mishima was, not surprisingly, forged at a gymnasium. Both shared an interest in bodybuilding, karate, fencing, and other sports, as well as an admiration of the male body and the attributes of masculinity. At Yukio Mishima's encouragement, the artist began to express his homoerotic desires in his artwork, and he began to draw the male nude in earnest, including the realistic depiction of genitals, which was illegal...
Hearn, Jeff and Burr, Vivien (2008) Introducing the erotics of wounding: sex violence and the body. In: Sex, violence and the body: the erotics of wounding. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK, pp. 1-14. PDF Download.