Borin Van Loon: Domestic interior 2
Domestic interior (oil on canvass): private collection

Borin writes: "Novelist Yukio Mishima bound to a light fitting, enacting the torment of Saint Sebastian in a western living-room which has been flooded to waist level, while a toxophilist practises with a bow and target in the rear garden visible through the open window and over a terrace balustrade [see the detail below]. The flying swallows on the wall belonged to my wif'e's grandmother and were painted from life. Similarly the top of the drowned rocking chair - which we still own - and the bookcase were part of my surroundings. Mishima himself got a bit fed up with standing in my lounge waiting for the water to rise to his sacrum and said that the arrows hurt quite a bit, but I think all the hours posing paid off. It's all true apart from the last bit.  Having started this painting in our bedsit in Balham, South London in 1975, then completed it during a period of unemployment in Leiston, Suffolk later that year, it seems to have come into its own after nearly thirty years..."

Detail and book jacket
Borin Van Loon: Domestic interior window 1
   Borin Van Loon: Mishima book jacket

The author, my old friend and editor Richard Appignanesi, wrote a comparative study about Fassbinder, Pasolini and Mishima about ten years ago. Much to his publisher's chagrin, the Mishima part of the book took on a life of its own and became a novel which has finally found a physical form. The cover based on 'Domestic interior' is shown above; details of its publication: 'Yukio Mishma's Message To the Emperor' by Richard Appignanesi. Published 6 June, 2002 by Sinclair-Stevenson, London (ISBN 0954047664). See our Links page for Richard's site where you can buy the hardback at a reduced price. We forbear from commenting on the typograhic design.
The official launch of the novel took place at the London Office of the Government of Quebec in Pall Mall on Wednesday 10 July, 2002, attended by the publisher, John Sinclair-Stevenson, and a plethora of illustrious alumni (that's quite enough of that); the cover artist wore the image proudly on his tee-shirt. Slightly tacky, but there you are. In attendance: Zia Sardar who has worked with Borin Van Loon on several 'Introducing' titles for Icon Books.

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