Tuesday, December 7, 2010

NO LONGER HUMAN (Osamu Dazai).

Have you ever noticed how many reviews of books,
especially novels, include little of the
actual writing from the book, or none at all?
Give me some writing from the writer and
toss the rattletrap opinions out the window.

Osamu Dazai was a postwar Japanese writer.
No Longer Human was published in 1958.
A literal translation of the Japanese title
of the book is "disqualified from being human."

I would bet a million dollars that after
reading the following sentences from NO LONGER HUMAN,
the reader will either be repulsed by it, or
want to immediately have it in hand & begin reading:

"Mine has been a life of much shame. I can't
even guess myself what it must be to live
the life of a human being."

"My apprehension on discovering that my concept
of happiness seemed to be completely at variance
with that of everyone else was so great as to make
me toss sleeplessly and groan night after night in
my bed. It drove me indeed to the brink of lunacy."

"I have always shook with fright before human beings.
Unable as I was to feel the least particle of
confidence in my ability to speak and act like
a human being, I kept my solitary agonies locked
in my breast."

"I feigned an innocent optimism; I gradually
perfected myself in the role of the farcical

"I thought, 'As long as I can make them laugh,
it doesn't matter how, I'll be all right. If I
succeed in that, the human being probably won't
mind it too much if I remain outside their lives.
The one thing I must avoid is becoming offensive
in their eyes: I shall be nothing, the wind, the

"My activities as jester, a role born of desperation,
were extended even to the servants, whom I feared
even more than my family, because I found them

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