Yukio Mishima once named Georges Bataille as the European thinker for whom he felt the most affinity. I take this attribution as an occasion for recasting Mishima's life and work beyond the dominant interpretative framework bi-focused on the individual-psychical and national-political regimes of meaning, toward a universal problematic appealing to philosophical-psychoanalytical insights into the being of the subject. Picking up on the common association of sadomasochism" with Mishima's and Bataille's erotic textuality, this article pursues the ways in which "perverse" indulgence harbors a powerful metaphysical drive, plumbing the possibilities of fleshly relationality to what lies beyond the body. Finally, it is the notion and actuality of death vis-à-vis the ethical vision of community that marks the two writers as mutually distinct and once again brings them together. I discuss the most momentous of Mishima's texts—憂国 (Patriotism)—as the site where Mishima's affinity with Bataille comes to the fore, illuminated by a dramatic vision of the two—one and the O/other—as the minimal constituent of the phantasmatic subject, and perhaps the only plausible form of community that can traverse the abyss of the origin.


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pp. 431-467
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