Kinkaku-Ji (金閣寺) by Yukio Mishima

"The novel is loosely based on the burning of the Reliquary (or Golden Pavilion) of Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto by a young Buddhist acolyte in 1950. The pavilion, dating from before 1400, was a national monument that had been spared destruction many times throughout history, and the arson shocked Japan. The story is narrated by Mizoguchi, the disturbed acolyte in question, who is afflicted with a stutter, and who recounts his obsession with beauty and the growth of his urge to destroy it."