DAZAI - NO LONGER HUMAN PDF

Everything passes. And the title was intriguing as well — No Longer Human, what does that mean, I wondered. Now, after finally reading this brilliant book, I can say without exaggeration that I consider it one of my favourite books ever!!! The book begins with an unnamed narrator finding three photos and three notebooks written by Oba Yozo, which follow his decline from a student, to an morphine addict. It tells the story of his moral, physical and emotional degradation, and downfall into the shady life of crime, suicides, prostitutes, alcohol and morphine.

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The author Osamu Dazai committed suicide — several times. The first was on a cold December night in , just before his school exams.

But the overdose of sleeping pills he took was not enough; he survived, and graduated. The second was in October, , on the barren sands of a beach in Kamakura — this time a double suicide with a young woman he barely knew. Tragically, she drowned, while Dazai was rescued by a passing fishing boat.

He went on to marry and began a career as a writer. The third attempt was in the spring of He tried hanging himself from a beam in the mesmerizing stillness of his Tokyo apartment. Once again Dazai survived, though he was hospitalized and developed a morphine addiction. And the fourth was in the fall of , when Dazai and his wife — with their marriage disintegrating — attempted a double suicide, but to their horror, they lived. Throughout his life, Dazai struggled with his writing, his personal relationships and with the shifting norms of postwar Japanese society.

He grappled with alcoholism, drug addiction and mental illness. Beneath all this, however, lay a deeper struggle. In his relentless self-examination — often to the point of self-abnegation — he finds the estrangement of the individual from society. Estrangement is a strange sort of thing. It seems to hover somewhere between affectlessness and vibrancy, an emptying of the self coupled with a world that seems humming with impersonal affects. There are no grand epiphanies, no heroic struggles, no sufferings stoically endured, no wrongs righted or lovers reunited.

In them, we witness the strange, pervasive sense of estrangement Yozo feels at home, at school, at work, among friends and lovers and strangers — even in his moments of solitude. In language that is sparse and evocative, Yozo recounts his attempts to adapt, cope and fit in with what everyone else seems to take for granted.

Yozo tries wearing masks, playing the class clown, the angst-ridden artist, the upstart careerist. He tries art, politics, religion. He is by turns a sensualist, an ascetic, a loafer. Theirs is an estrangement that happens spontaneously — while walking, while waiting, in the middle of a conversation. What if being human at any cost — even at the cost of the planet on which we live — has actually resulted in the impossibility of being human?

Dazai leaves it to the reader to decide whether this is a curse or a blessing — or neither. This is the second article in a series on pessimism in Japanese literature. Click to enlarge. Sorry, but your browser needs Javascript to use this site.

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No Longer Human

The author Osamu Dazai committed suicide — several times. The first was on a cold December night in , just before his school exams. But the overdose of sleeping pills he took was not enough; he survived, and graduated. The second was in October, , on the barren sands of a beach in Kamakura — this time a double suicide with a young woman he barely knew. Tragically, she drowned, while Dazai was rescued by a passing fishing boat. He went on to marry and began a career as a writer. The third attempt was in the spring of He tried hanging himself from a beam in the mesmerizing stillness of his Tokyo apartment.

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Black Illumination: the disqualified life of Osamu Dazai

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