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Self-Extinction

Russell Davies, 18 June 1981

Short Lives 
by Katinka Matson.
Picador, 366 pp., £2.50, February 1981, 9780330262194
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... or does unparalleled national creativity directly generate a propensity for self-destruction? Katinka Matson’s selection of ‘short lives’ comprehends an array of nationalities wide enough to be almost comforting in these troubled times. The case of Yukio Mishima in particular will remind Americans that the rites of self-extinction practised ...

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