Read No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai Donald Keene Online

no-longer-human

Osamu Dazai's No Longer Human, this leading postwar Japanese writer's second novel, tells the poignant and fascinating story of a young man who is caught between the breakup of the traditions of a northern Japanese aristocratic family and the impact of Western ideas. In consequence, he feels himself "disqualified from being human" (a literal translation of the Japanese titOsamu Dazai's No Longer Human, this leading postwar Japanese writer's second novel, tells the poignant and fascinating story of a young man who is caught between the breakup of the traditions of a northern Japanese aristocratic family and the impact of Western ideas. In consequence, he feels himself "disqualified from being human" (a literal translation of the Japanese title).Donald Keene, who translated this and Dazai's first novel, The Setting Sun, has said of the author's work: "His world … suggests Chekhov or possibly postwar France, … but there is a Japanese sensibility in the choice and presentation of the material. A Dazai novel is at once immediately intelligible in Western terms and quite unlike any Western book." His writing is in some ways reminiscent of Rimbaud, while he himself has often been called a forerunner of Yukio Mishima.Cover painting by Noe Nojechowiz, from the collection of John and Barbara Duncan; design by Gertrude Huston...

Title : No Longer Human
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780811204811
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 176 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

No Longer Human Reviews

  • Florencia
    2018-12-02 14:40

    LXXXVThey say that “time assuages”,—Time never did assuage;An actual suffering strengthens,As sinews do, with age.Time is a test of trouble,But not a remedy.If such it prove, it prove tooThere was no malady.Emily Dickinson, Part Four: Time and Eternity, The Complete Poems*Everything passes. (169)A gentle breeze brushes the branches of luxuriant trees brimming with cherry blossoms which surround the quaint park bench I chose as my reading spot. A diaphanous cloud softly attached to the sun creates the sensation of being part of a watercolor painting bound to become the antithesis of an actual winter day. Away from the bustle of an anonymous city, from the thoughts that keep accumulating after roaming awkwardly around the mind, trying to repress relentless pangs of sadness. The only sound I would like to hear is the one pages make as they silently turn in order to unfold this heartrending story; one page after the other, reverberating through the Gardens, ensuring the quietude which, by virtue of a book's mere presence, clears my mind completely. If only for a few hours. Or for the briefest minute unable to last sixty wretched seconds.I wonder if I have actually been happy. No Longer Human, published in 1948, is a timeless piece of writing that portrays the sense of isolation of Oba Yozo, a confused child who became a troubled man; roughly, a deceitful person unable to show his true nature to most people, a man disqualified as a human being.The book is mostly composed of three memoranda; the last one is divided into two parts. Dazai interwove significant personal experiences into his writing; it was somewhat striking to identify those autobiographical aspects as I read our tormented protagonist's story.The first memorandum is about Yozo's childhood. From an early age, he felt overwhelmed by a profound sense of alienation, which was increased by the presence of his overbearing father. In the end, incapable of understanding human beings, confused by their selfishness and artificial personalities, he steps into the world and becomes another unauthentic person, begetting the perception of having a jocose and amusing manner in the eyes of people around him. In his mind, such farce was the only way he could find to face the creatures he feared the most: humans. As these attempts take place, he ends up harboring a feeling many of us are familiar with but, in another display of egotism triggered by human condition, perhaps the limitations of our surroundings, we tend to think we are the only ones feeling that way.All I feel are the assaults of apprehension and terror at the thought that I am the only who is entirely unlike the rest. It is almost impossible for me to converse with other people. What should I talk about, how should I say it? – I don't know.I could connect with some of Yozo's reflections, naturally. I am not someone who immediately trusts in people, especially after many close encounters with disappointment. In that sense, I understood completely the character's reasons for keeping his agonies locked in his chest, imbued with a persistent sense of mistrust. Nevertheless, I could never endorse his absolute insincerity towards everybody. It is impossible not to take this book to everyday life; how distressing it must be to interact with someone so irrationally fearful and indecisive, unwilling to respond when another person tries to reach out, incapable of seeing his ability to actually love. Yozo's feigned emotions, which culminated with the perfect role of the farcical eccentric, somehow shielded the people who cared about him from his recurrent fears, though the element he chose to protect himself (and them, who knows) was deception. The second memorandum is mostly about the continuation of Yozo's self-destructive behavior, which by then included excessive drinking, smoking and many encounters with prostitutes (to whom he dedicates some degrading observations). Until he finds a woman who makes him feel, for the first time, as if he had freed himself from fear and uneasiness. He didn't feel the need to hide his gloomy disposition. Unfortunately, things rapidly started to go awry.The weak fear happiness itself.Even though he had many love affairs, one thing did not change: he was equally cruel to all women who cared about him (view spoiler)[(to the point of witnessing the rape of his own wife and not thinking for a second about helping her; yup, a good fella – great movie, by the way). You may blame it on his father, on his “friends” who took advantage of him, on another sad anecdote from his childhood; you name it (hide spoiler)]. The seemingly cogent arguments and plausible excuses to justify his actions are infinite. In any case, the results were indelible wounds and irreparable consequences. “You look like someone who's had an unhappy childhood. You're so sensitive–more's the pity for you.”That same memorandum also reflects the conflicts that are present in human relationships in the context of an adverse socio-economic status. At one point, the humiliation of not being able to provide for a woman was insufferable; the last straw that culminated in another mistake.The third memorandum chronicles the protagonist's late twenties.Several ambivalent feelings arise from reading about a character such as Yozo. I was able to comprehend some of his fears and his genuine sense of alienation, though other times I saw him as an inconsiderate man who epitomized cruelty and selfishness.After a life of lying to himself and to others, Yozo chooses to write about his miseries and atrocious acts without a shred of falseness. Without resorting to any sentimentality – in contrast to his entire existence, his notebooks do not try to please anyone – he tells his story without engaging in unavailing circumlocution, elegantly gliding to the brink of brutal honesty as he circumvents every rule of an ostensibly civilized world. Despite the stark writing style which predominated in the novel, Dazai endowed it with not only plentiful profound meditations which may resonate with many readers around the globe, but with an exquisite language reminiscent of wistful fragments of poetry written in some bleak hotel room. There is no rhapsody of praise to nature, no writer simply extolling the virtues of silence. This novel is a one-way ticket to a person's psyche. Indubitably, a memorable journey since Dazai's words might linger in the vicinity of one's mind for far too long.Unhappiness. There are all kinds of unhappy people in this world. I suppose it would be no exaggeration to say that the world is composed entirely of unhappy people. But those people can fight their unhappiness with society fairly and squarely, and society for its part easily understands and sympathizes with such struggles. My unhappiness stemmed entirely from my own vices, and I had no way of fighting anybody... Am I what they call and egoist? Or am I the opposite, a man of excessively weak spirit? I really don't know myself, but since I seem in either case to be a mass of vices, I drop steadily, inevitably, into unhappiness, and I have no specific plan to stave off my descent.Selfishness or a weak spirit. I am not in the position to ascertain to which of those personalities Yozo belongs. Recently, I stumbled upon a quote by Jane Austen (which can be found in her novel Mansfield Park) that makes me ponder his situation, since it states the following: “Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure.” In that context, Austen only refers to selfishness; she is not as bold as one M. de Norpois (I just met him so I still don't know what to think of him) who declared once that for every sin there is forgiveness. We all carry within us some degree of egoism – in fact, it can be seen as another defense mechanism regarding the protection of one's heart; I should know. But of course, some humans are replete with it. So much so that sometimes they might seem incapable of feeling pain, as they might do everything in their power to avoid it, regardless of the pain they are inflicting on others. To me, Yozo's case is somewhat paradigmatic; he relied on his antics to deceive people – and thereby being able to deal with them – instead of turning to superficially veracious words he never meant to say or a perpetual pusillanimous silence. Either way, Yozo suffers; he is not a pretender who thinks that being unable to fit into society is something that makes him special. It makes him truly unhappy. However, fighting for our existence is certainly not impossible; as a matter of fact, it is a more reasonable plan than sitting comfortably, feeling miserable and just waiting for the world's gaping maw to tear us apart.I thought, “As long as I can make them laugh, it doesn’t matter how, I’ll be alright. If I succeed in that, the human beings 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 sky.”Unlike Austen, I can't say for sure that there is no hope of a cure. The idealistic within me, breathing optimism and naivety daily, will claim that there is. The cynical within me, a little bruised due to some unpleasant experiences in life, will guarantee that, in reality, there is no remedy for such unfortunate malady. Despite this state of uncertainty, I agree with the first part of Austen's statement; we should forgive. As Dickinson's poem continues to echo in my head, the thought that time alone doesn't heal all wounds resounds just as much; indeed, it is what we do with that time that may alleviate certain symptoms. Forgiveness is an active way to deal with anything that once caused a small cut or unfathomable pain. It is not only part of a process which is essential to avoid hardening one's heart, it is also a humane way to treat others, even those whose actions leave a bittersweet aftertaste. Even if I am not forgiven. Not that the world needs my foolish perspectives in the form of endless paragraphs of little merit, of course, but I for one choose to forgive, and that decision is made taking into consideration, among other things, the possibility that such cure, in fact, does not exist. I wouldn't want to magnify the weight of the cross that some people have to carry around, for the absence of said remedy might be already too harsh a punishment. I turn the last page and the previous luminous scenery metamorphoses into a typical winter day. Storm clouds are already appearing above the horizon; they will soon cover these empty cherry trees, and me. I walk back home, trying not to think about the intense sky's azure, the park bench, the limpid lake I never mentioned, the cherry blossoms, the tragedy of being no longer human. Trying not to think.Indomitable thoughts.Aug 28, 16* Also on my blog.

  • Praj
    2018-11-22 18:24

    Behind ballads of an orphaned heart,Lay poetic trance of a love’s facade.Dreads the ghostly art within hazy shades,Human shame in comic masquerades.Inebriated words coughing in notebooksEmpty sake bottles in curls of smoke,Vice or virtue, the gullible spirit bragsDiabolical tales of a death mask.“Everything passes”, cried the blue cradleSlept, the wings of a fallen angel.A solitary word blissfully prances from the anxious mind, fears the disintegration of its syllables; the distorted enunciation of its vowels, as it cautiously reaches at the tip of the tongue. The blooming word panicked by the stuttering mouth, bit by bit retreats in to the gloomy interiors of the mind where it will forever be sheltered, far from being judged by bullies and societal predators. A soft smile then becomes the sole redeemer of communication; a polite garb of inner festering trepidation. Alienation juxtaposes human “normalcy” and societal chaos in a silent sanctuary of individuality. Confrontations between personal wraith and societal norms arise, begging to fit in the human world. Human beings are a daunting race walking on a tight rope of the “survival of fittest” cryptogram amalgamating the belligerence of existence in the ugliness of societal wasteland where basic human depravity tumbles in the depths of existential despair.“My life has been a life of much shame. I can’t even guess myself what it must be to live a life of a human being...”To live a life of a human being; what is it may I ask? The vision to live through one’s eyes or the obligation to exist through borrowed dreams? Is it to ideally march along with hypocrisy, duplicity, deception and the staunch societal dogma veiled behind a multifaceted mask conceding to the guidelines of human race. ? Does life become a shameless ruffian when one questions the truth behind the worldly sentiments? The clueless boy in the pictures failed to grasp the intricacies of human life. Horror and alienation that ran from through his childhood into the complexities of adulthood peeked through his clowning masquerades. A smile he thought would wipe all his trepidation and give him a homely asylum in a world that was bizarre and hellish. The “ghost pictures” screamed through the tinted strokes, rebelled the obligatory academia of a civil servant; a premonition of its owner’s potential caricature. The prostitutes that serenaded him at night were a respite from the vulgarity of love. “To fall” or “to be fallen”, were farcical words in the sense of morality and loyalty for love and yet complacent as an appendage of detached relationships. The suicidal waves of the soundless ocean were a home away from home. “Love flies out the window when poverty comes in the door”, he would proudly say as he sketched cartoons on a sheets of paper , unearthing moments of human warmth from alienation and despair ; the three lonely copper coins stiffening in his palm trying to apprehend the impoverished surroundings spiralling into tragic dissolution. “The dream of going on bicycles to see a waterfall framed in summer leaves” floated in the alcoholic fortification and in the defiled remains of Yoshiko’s trustfulness. Yozo was searching for the beauty that had somehow nastily escaped from the compassion of human connection. The veracity of the ‘ghostly’ art that had once saved his adolescence, the flamboyant imagination of the very art had crippled his adulthood“People talk of “social outcasts.” The words apparently denote the miserable losers of the world, the vicious ones, but I feel as though I have been a “social outcast” from the moment I was born......”“Social outcasts” is a preposterous terminology. Who decides its legitimacy? Who rewrites and deciphers the codes of classification? The word “outcast” is highly subjective in its entirety. If you ask ‘irrationality’ it would pinpoint ‘rationality’ as an outcast. To an illegitimate child, the legitimate one is a pariah; to insanity it is the realms of sanity; to the traces of dishonesty it is the advent of honesty; to trustfulness, betrayal is a sin; to imperfection it is perfection that is a recluse and to the morphine filled syringe, the glistening wine bottles are a social outcast. It is a game of endless antonyms. If one views the bigger picture, the world is full of social pariahs. In a superficial world crammed with recreational performers donning masks of assorted sizes and colours; Yozo’s acceptance of himself belonging to the socially recluse class struck a chord in my heart. I could finally comprehend the friendliness displayed by Yozo to the comparably designated populace. Each and every person that touched the core of Yozo’s life was a social pariah in their own struggling ways. Every one of them, be it Takeichi ,Horiki, Yoshiko, Tsuneko, the lady at the bar, the prostitutes or the peculiar Flatfish, all were battling various oddities and societal consciousness to be qualified as a noteworthy human being. After all, we all are outsiders to a few others in some or the other way. Even God is a social pariah to an atheist, isn't it?“The incomprehensibility of society is the incomprehensibility of the individual. The ocean is not society; it is the individual.”In this melancholic metaphorical quest of ‘what it takes to be termed as disqualified human’; the elegant Shishōsetsu literary piece is a semi-biographical sketch painting the undertones of existentialism in a portrait of alienation and societal crippling in the pursuit to achieve the solidarity of human subsistence. The greyish brush stokes of Yozo’s “ghost pictures” highlights Dazai’s life predicament with the incomprehensibility of the Japanese society and his personal familial position. Japan at large, along with his populace was standing on the brink of old and new cultural transformations. The state of affairs was stuck in between two diverse worlds where the country’s populace was adjusting in the cultural and personage pandemonium of adhering to the societal standards, yet finding ways to defy an unsympathetic societal doctrine. The individual becomes a society where in order to survive; one must adhere to the means of trickery and amateur dramatics shuffling between the societal chaos and normalization of basic humanity. It is known that sometimes lunacy is the only path to redeeming honesty, but with lunacy came the crime of rejection and abnormality. The weak are dispersed through suicidal suffrage in an impenetrable societal wilderness where child-like simplicity becomes a vice and livelihood becomes a sin punishable by the boisterousness of survival. The numerous societal boffins may critique the confounded life of Yozo comparing the inadequacies to the disposal tendencies of lethargy of an addict immersed in drug laced alcoholic trenches dangling on suicidal optimism as the ultimate salvage. Nevertheless, Yozo to me was a lost angel who could not find a path to walk along with the superficiality and convoluted nuances of humankind. Through all literary embellishment of euphemistic idioms and the utilitarian rationalities used to conciliate Yozo’s conundrum, Oba Yozo was worthy of love even with all his shortcomings. Reading, Dazai’s sombre yet gratifying prose consumed my sensibilities into scrutinizing Yozo and the world around him. How and when does a human being reach a stage where not only does the essence of his individuality vanishes amongst the darkest terrains of societal dogmas, but is terrified of its very own species? The definitive truth of human race, eventually "everything passes”, and so do the societal ghosts extant in self-punishing madness.

  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    2018-12-09 11:35

    Those days where you wake up with your head in a fog and your body feeling like it's covered in bricks that you have to dig your way out of, and your leg is asleep so you trip getting out of bed, and you're late for work so of course the traffic's bad leading you to road-rage across lanes accelerating then braking back and forth again while muttering to yourself about how stupid everyone is and you're so glad it's Sunday in their fucking world because all the drivers are 90 years old and frail with their noses practically pressed against their front windshields as the zip down the highway at 50 mph in a line across all 3 lanes, and you didn't have time or money to eat so your stomach gnaws at you all day as you try to focus on your work, but you're buried to your neck in it, and you just can't seem to stop making that same stupid mistake over and over again even though you've completely attuned yourself to your workflow on a normal day, and the shift drags on for an eternity and everyone's in a bitchy mood and you finally make it home and drink yourself forgetful, all the while staring at a wall and grinding your teeth before finally making your way to the bathroom to brush your teeth, but instead you fall asleep on the floor with the faucet running and have nightmares about spiders eating your eyelids and spinning your fingers into webs so that you have to use your hands like clubs for the rest of your life, and then you wake up fully clothed including your shoes and you feel really weird about everything that happened.The narrator of this book lives this sort of day every single day, his presumably short lifetime nothing but disappointment and dejection, and he tells us about it exhaustively on every page. He uses a lot more punctuation than I did, but it's every bit as tiresome. Booze, sex, women, breaking up, booze, women, booze, suicide attempts, booze, breaking up, booze, women, breaking up, and everybody sucks but especially me, booze, suicide attempts, breaking up, morphine (Woo hoo! Life rules!), too much morphine, suicide attempts, breaking up, etc. Maybe that's your thing, I don't know. I wasn't in the mood, being that I haven't had a shit enough day to act pathetically and irritatingly cynical in a while, so the whole time I was reading this I just kind of wanted to flick the narrator in the nose for reminding me just how much I can "me me me" suck sometimes. Recommended for sadists, masochists, and whiny little shits. It's pretty good, though. Question: Would you like some cheese with that whine? Additional thought: I just wanted to jump back in here for a little troll patrol: I understand from the blurb that this book is supposed to be about internal struggles of the Japanese concerning the infiltration of Western ideals, cultures clashing, confused identity, you know the drill. I want to assure you that was not lost on me, as it was one of the primary reasons I chose to purchase this book in the first place. I find such transitional periods and the ensuing struggles with definitions of self to be very fascinating. Here comes the "however": However, I really didn't see that here. I think it would be rather ethnocentric to assume that overly-critical self-analysis, apathy, depression, defeat, insanity, and substance abuse are specifically western imports. Did we introduce the Japanese to booze? Not as I understand it. Did we stumble upon a happy-go-lucky paradise of Huxley-an automatons when west met east, only to spoil/enlighten them with our savage knowledge of the depths of human depravity, of the Sisyphean nature of living? Nope. There is simply not enough culture-specific material in this novel for me to even begin to make some argument about cultural hybridity w/r/t this character and his particular struggles. For the most part, this book could have been written in any number of languages without reshaping its skeleton. No, I didn't read it in Japanese, so maybe I'm missing something in the translation, but if that's the case then the translator himself needs to start working on his resume, because he has completely botched this effort. However, I really don't think that's the case.

  • Clark
    2018-11-23 13:31

    I spent like three years just crazy depressed. Grim thoughts all the time, super self destructive, at once alienating and distributing "cries for help" or whatever you wanna call it... sheesh, man. It was so fucked. I'm really glad I got out of that frame of mind and I hope I never go back. No Longer Human was something I read toward the end of that phase. I probably would have been okay anyway, but this shit helped a ton. Dazai totally nails the impossibly bummed out mindset without being corny or melodramatic, and when you're basically just being a little sad black cloud all walking around, you're super cynical and things like this book are almost impossible to find 'cause your first reaction to everything is just to tear it apart and say it sucks... which is hella corny and melodramatic anyway, but if you know what it's like, like, being unbearably, unstoppably sad, and trying to put some sort of normal-ish face on it in your day to day life (between intermittent private and regrettable public freakouts probably), then well, this book pretty much covers all that really, really perfectly.Oh, also I was loaned the book by this really cute girl who prefaced it by saying "This book reminds me of you." and once I read and finished it and had a grip on what the whole thing was actually about, I realized that that was one of the nicest things anyone had ever said to me. Shit man, I kinda well up a little when I think about it. Really.

  • Horace Derwent
    2018-12-01 18:48

    this book, is just another motherfucker for me when i crusade in the holyland on one certain dayi can see why most of the japanese parents don't want their kids to read this bookhere's some parts of my review (i don't know how i cud write this, maybe i was possessed by something at the time):i am sorry for being a humani need booze, i need drugs, i need vaginas, but i can quit them all at any time when i just need deathi don't need love, i don't need pride, i don't need duty, but it seems i am them all, cuz these are simply the evidence of living a lifehowever, what is a man, a humankind? it's merely a combination.as for a single person, and all humanbeings, what are they for?being a human is horrible because of its existencethey toil to make them stomaches filled up, to build subways to get things go quicker, to invent a pillow in order to have a nice sleep...cuz only the usefulness exists!only a goal that creates powers to move forward!only the things which have meanings that those can be understood...as to be consoled, console; to be loved, lovea man like me, who can't figure out the goal of finding the meaning of living or being a human. so am i qualified to live or to be a human?...when i cover my face to hide my wails, in laughs you say that i'm hypocriticalwhen i cough blood for having the consumption, you say that i'm pretentious and asking for itso would you give me a mask to hide myself so that i can be as crude and brutal as you are?or showing me with it to the world in means that i am a human who is just like you?...i'm not sure if you are a human or not and i really dont't give a cuss to thatI AM NO MORE HUMAN

  • Mariel
    2018-11-20 18:38

    No Longer Human... Yozo believes halfheartedly (it doesn't beat strongly enough to be whole) himself to be an outcast. He feels nothing in himself to connect himself to himself, let alone others. I have to say that I didn't feel he was different from other people. All along I was disregarding the not being human parts. It wasn't different to feel behind blank walls, a gravity for numbness and not having to think. I kinda think (aha!) one has to know themselves a bit before they can begin expanding that inner mental world into other worlds (brief as those glimpses are). It was frustrating that Yozo did not try to know anyone else, worse still his talking in circles of what wasn't true. He could have known. It was out there... Because he was terrified? So I throw away the outsideness because it is too inside. I KNOW it isn't true that he's unlike anyone else. What really got me? The painful stuff? The inability to trust. That's where I feel separated and wonder if I've got some inhuman quality in me. I wonder if other people feel this way... If other people go through life doing stuff because what else can you do, not because the really think in their heart of hearts that opening up is going to go anywhere. I cannot believe that there will be anyone there for me (books don't know I'm there). He did have his painters... "There are some people whose dread of human beings is so morbid that they reach a point where they yearn to see with their own eyes monsters of ever more horrible shapes. And the more nervous they are- the quicker to take fright- the more violent they pray that every storm will be... Painters who have had this mentality, after repeated wounds and intimidations at the hands of the apparitions called human beings, have often come to believe in phantasms- they plainly saw monsters in broad daylight, in the midst of nature. And they did not fob people off with clowing; they did their best to depict these monsters just as they had appeared. Takeichi was right: they had dared to paint pictures of devils. These, I thought, would be my friends in the future. I was so excited I could have wept." But where were the monsters? Yozo's monster was himself. He's the person who hates themselves and yet can only spend time with themselves. (Just say narcissist, Mariel!) So the monster wasn't really as it appeared... Just what he's afraid for it to appear as. I do know the pain of not doing the all or nothing. He feels the shame yet cannot just go all the way and be HONEST. He only walks the plank of being caught, turning back just in time. That's kinda hell. I wish all the time that I could either stop being so honest about my embarrassing shit, or just stop feeling feeling bad about it (knowing all too well the pain of coming up against "friends" who despise depression in others). It sucks to live in half. "People talk of social outcasts. The words apparently denote the miserable losers of the world, the vicious ones, but I feel as though I have been a "social outcast" from the moment I was born. If I ever met someone society has designated as an outcast, I invariably feel affection for him, an emotion which carries me away in melting tenderness." Yozo, you'd never recognize them in time. "There is no disputing the accurate, scientific fact that millions of germs are floating, swimming, wriggling everywhere. At the same time, however, if you ignore them completely they lose all possible connection with yourself, and at once become nothing more than vanishing "ghosts of science." This too I came to understand. I had been so terrorized by scientific statistics." I liked Yozo a lot for this (also all of the following lines about those statistics about wasting three rice grains and how everybody's three rice grains build up. How these scientific facts are useless and beat you. I also worry about this shit like Yozo). I found myself wishing that I could talk with Osamu Dazai instead of with his photographs of Yozo the bozo, and all of his other unfinished costumes. Someone who would see a little further behind the walls. To the angels. It is there in No Longer Human. It is kinda hard when you don't trust people either, when you're also afraid of people sometimes. I like to think about other people, try to understand them and how they feel or dream (even if they die in their sleep). But I also feel so depressed sometimes like no one would ever do the same for me. I wish Yozo had tried AT ALL to do something for someone else. I don't even know why I think he should have... Except I guess I would have for him. Dazai did. P.s. There's stuff in translator Donald Keene's forward about the modernization of Japan and influence of American culture. I thought of one thing: suicide. This might be the only Japanese novel I've read with suicide where it was seen as taboo. I don't know if there is even anything to that. It just seemed weird that it was after Kawabata's The Sound of the Mountain with its natural suicides. In my family the suicidal urges became routine or as a lever to pull in others. Nothing natural about it. Death seems like a shadow you couldn't rip out but that? A big ass ugly building erected in front of your bedroom window.

  • Magdalen
    2018-11-22 12:31

    This novel was utterly perfect and so masterfully written. The prose is one of the most charming I've come across and I absolutely loved it. It's one of those books which I wish I had a printed copy so that I could smell and underline mostly everything, write comments next to paragraphs etc. Unfortunately, I cannot and that makes me sad. Hadn't I watched Bungo stray dogs and hadn't I identified as Osamu Dazai and hadn't I loved this character so much I would probably not have read this book soon enough. I actually feel grateful and "safe" that I read it now and not a few months back because I would have been wrecked. I still feel like crying, and my heart still feels heavy, but yeah....If you can relate to Yozo you're going to love it and if you don't you can appreciate the excellent writing or its awesome quotes... It's a brilliant novel, that's worthy of your time.

  • Jeremy
    2018-11-24 12:24

    What is it with young men in so much Japanese literature? Whether it's Murakami, Mishima, Soseki, or Dezai they always come across as either lonely, shut-off or damaged (or some combination of the three). Yozo feels about as radically alienated from the world as any character could be. Even bitchy little Holden Caulfield never carried half as much angst as the main character in No Longer Human seems to have. And the loneliness he feels is all the more painful because of how deeply internalized it is, and how total his inability to communicate with others has become. Glum though it is, this book does do a really good job of showing how vast the chasm can be between what other people think about you, and what you think about yourself.

  • João Carlos
    2018-11-26 13:52

    Osamu Dazai (1909 - 1948)“Não-Humano” é um romance escrito pelo japonês Osamu Dazai (1909 - 1948) publicado originalmente em 1948. O texto da contracapa interior da edição da “Cavalo de Ferro” refere que: “Osamu Dazai é considerado um dos mais importantes escritores japoneses do século XX. De origens aristocráticas, mas de espírito rebelde, dedicou-se à actividade política, ingressando em movimentos de esquerda, sem nunca porém conseguir integrar-se ou partilhar plenamente dos seus ideais. Atingido por uma profunda crise existencial, abandona os estudos, dedicando-se à escrita e caindo numa dependência sempre crescente de álcool e estupefacientes… Após diversas tentativas de suicídio, morre afogando-se no rio Tamagawa.””Não-Humano” é um romance narrado na primeira pessoa por Yozo, que contém vários elementos que indiciam a vertente autobiográfica da narrativa, na forma de Cadernos de Memórias, com um Prólogo e um Epílogo, por um homem perturbado ”A minha vida tem sido vergonhosa. Não consigo sequer imaginar como deve ser viver como um ser humano.” (Pág. 9), um fracassado, incapaz de compreender os seres humanos - ”Sempre tremi com medo dos humanos. Inapto como era em sentir uma ínfima porção de confiança na minha habilidade para falar e actuar como um ser humano, mantive as minhas agonias encerradas no peito. Conservei a minha melancolia e a agitação cuidadosamente escondidas, com medo de que algum traço fosse exposto. Fingia um optimismo inocente; gradualmente, aperfeiçoei-me no papel de cómico excêntrico.” (Pág. 14) – medos e vergonhas que o perseguem na infância e que se vão acentuando com a juventude e a idade adulta. Yozo “assume” a figura de “palhaço” como forma de estabelecer relações pessoais, tentando desesperadamente mascarar a sua alienação, que se vai transmutando na juventude, com as inúmeras parceiras sexuais, com a dependência do álcool e o vício da morfina, sem nunca conseguir estabelecer relacionamentos emocionais consistentes e duradouros. ”Não-Humano” é um livro cruel, sombrio, sem sentimentalismo, repleto de traumas e memórias dolorosas, assombrado pelo desespero e pela paranóia, revelando a fragilidade das relações humanas, as suas inseguranças e fraquezas…

  • Szplug
    2018-11-30 17:40

    At the very beginning of No Longer Human, Dazai lays out his narrator's plight in clear, stark terms:Although I had a mortal dread of human beings I seemed quite unable to renounce their society. I managed to maintain on the surface a smile which never deserted my lips; this was the accommodation I offered to others, a most precarious achievement performed by me only at the cost of excruciating efforts within.The narrator, Yozo, born into a wealthy political family in rural northeastern Japan, has left behind three notebooks - with three photographs to accompany them - as a means of explicating his life of complete and utter failure. The journals trace his alienated, terrified, and miserable meandering through an Imperial Japan that was made schizoid by the rushed and forceful collision between traditional Japanese culture and Western modernization, from his earliest memories as a bewildered, wary child to his final days as a Tokyo exile, a wizened, prematurely gray young man showing the full effect of the bruisings and buffets that an inimical and omnipresent life ceaselessly dealt out. Unable to connect to his family because he can't understand them; friendless because he is incapable of either trusting others or being trusted; scornful of women even as he squeezes every cent out of his broken lovers; irresponsible in every expectation of a regimented society - Yozo's only recourse to allay the anxiety and terror that daily waylay and murder his soul is in rivers of booze, pills, and flight. His agonizing inability to connect with the mysterious entities that have filled the world and constantly press against him forces him to assume the mask of a "clown" - cheap laughs and comical routines are what he believes appeases the hostility and hatred of humans, who otherwise would tire of his eccentricity and eliminate him from their presence.Dazai has written a bleak and beautiful look at the anguish of the loner, the misfit, forever forced to look at himself in the mirror and spot nothing but his defects and disfigurements - yet at the same time, the reader also sees quite clearly that Yozo is narcissistic to the extreme, too lazy and resigned to make the slightest effort to help himself, terribly misogynistic to the parade of women who make sacrifices to save him, only to face the inevitable abandonment - even during a death pledge. Thus, compassion and contempt struggle as the book proceeds, each one alternately coming out on top. This dual-view is an integral part of No Longer Human: while Yozo sees himself as a fraud, a clown-caper performing his way through a midnight world, his few friends and family never abandon him, and several women fall deeply for him - they see him as a bright, cheerful, and funny young man, incredibly handsome and full of bright life. Which view is correct? Self-perception versus the perception of others is always a fascinating enigma, the crux of the grand theatre that comprises human life. Each individual presents a mask to the world - but he cannot control how others see that mask.Donald Keene provides an elegant, succinctly expressive translation. Dazai's brisk, clipped sentences are replete with the wiry tension of his story; and in the midst of a page honed to a keen edge of melancholy, a wry, matter-of-fact humour will slyly insinuate itself into the sadness and lift the reader out of Yozo's despairing depths. Personal truths made universal are the glorious kernel of literature, and Dazai's truths for some, like myself, may cut so close to the bone that it hurts. Yet these truths also heal, and this dichotomy of pain and relief is what makes No Longer Human deeply human in every way.

  • RK-ique
    2018-11-26 14:29

    No Longer Human - a book with which I was not comfortable - a book which constantly frustrated me. Was that why I read it in a day - to be done with it - to be able to put it back on the shelf? But still, four solid stars - recommended to those who suffer - i.e. humansA story of a man with a lifelong depression - a depression which leaves him incapable of maintaining any kind of positive human relationship. I could almost relate to that except that this character, Yozo, never seems to learn hide his feelings. Indeed, he seems to be almost sociopathic. He basically mistrusts others to the point of never being able to empathize with them. In his mind, everyone has an anterior motive for whatever they are saying or doing. His response to women is either to use them, for sex, for money, for whatever he needs, except trust, never trust. But women are constantly attractive to him. They are always ready to take him into their lives, to care for him. He never understands why. What Yozo never never managed to realize is that he is just a nice guy. Of course, for many of us, even that realization is not enough. We still live with that constant anxiety that we are being judged.

  • Khashayar Mohammadi
    2018-11-26 11:35

    I couldn't stop thinking about Yukio Mishima while reading this book. A strange and eerily atmospheric book that sucked me in from the very first chapter. Although the whole dissociation with humans was a bit overtly explicit for my taste, I enjoyed reading it very much.

  • Yann
    2018-11-30 15:31

    Le titre de ce roman de Osamu Dazaï, un auteur japonais de la première moitié du XXème siècle, résume parfaitement son intrigue : celle d’un narrateur qui, quoique issu d’un milieu privilégié, va de Charybde en Scylla, entraîné sur la mauvaise pente par une nature singulièrement pusillanime, résignée, et sous l’empire de stupéfiants de plus en plus violents. Mais il semble que ce roman soit une sorte d’autobiographie, dans la mesure où presque toutes les circonstances relatées dans le roman concordent avec ceux de sa propre vie. Ce roman prend donc à la fois l’aspect d’une confession et d’une introspection, authentique et sincère, qui n’est pas sans rappeler l’œuvre de Dostoïevski. Le narrateur se signale dès l’enfance par la difficulté de communiquer sincèrement avec autrui, par crainte du conflit, et se réfugie derrière le masque d’une gaîté fausse et affectée, pour apaiser les conflits éventuels. Sa sensibilité le poussait à embrasser une carrière artistique, mais sa famille ne l’entend pas ainsi. Devenu étudiant, il quitte l’école pour fréquenter le monde flottant des artistes, et se retrouver peu à peu attiré par les marges de la société, le communisme, le crime, le monde de la nuit. Sans égard pour les devoirs que l’on attendrait de lui, il dilapide sa fortune, tente de se suicider, et ne vivote plus que par la charité de femmes qui le prennent sous son aile cet être à la dérive, comme un bateau ivre, tandis qu’il s’abîme de plus en plus dans les eaux profondes et troubles des paradis artificiels.Ce roman m’a semblé illustrer l’importance de pouvoir affirmer notre vraie nature sur le monde, y imprimer notre volonté, et non pas toujours nous modeler suivant les circonstances, les impératifs, les déterminismes, la tradition, les désirs de notre entourage. C’est une critique de la société traditionnelle, qui certes protège l’individu en l’inscrivant dans un cadre rassurant, mais aussi l’étouffe et l’exclue s’il ne se conforme pas à ce qu’on attend de lui, en lui refusant estime, confiance et reconnaissance. En effet, en mettant la bride à nos passions, en se conformant à une place déterminée, en niant notre nature authentique et véritable, on perd peu à peu le goût de la vie, puis l’estime de soi, puis le souci de son prochain. Une lecture sombre et poignante, mais aussi un vibrant plaidoyer pour l’individualisme, la liberté et la tolérance.

  • Ben Loory
    2018-11-20 19:42

    the opening of this book, which is a description of three photographs taken of a man over the course of his life, is one of the most best and disturbing things i've ever read. just an absolutely thrilling beginning. the rest of the book doesn't quite live up to it, although it often comes close. it feels a lot like The Stranger or Notes from Underground. i only wish it built more instead of kind of petering out.

  • Hadrian
    2018-12-08 16:27

    This is a remarkable book. Loneliness and suicide, but with a new look. Sparse and moving words.

  • Gertrude & Victoria
    2018-12-07 14:24

    I consider this book to be the bible for the disaffected artist. No Longer Human was the final novel written by Dazai Osamu. It is also his magnum opus and a true-to-life representation of the restless and tormented spirit that Dazai was. This work could be taken, at least to a certain extent, as an autobiographical account of the writer himself.Oba the main character recognizes, from early childhood, his place in the world, which is no place, neither here nor there. He feels pangs of alienation from family as well as society in general. He is able to find some solace, at least temporarily, in drink and women. However, he is never able to remain at peace with himself for very long. He exists within a whirl of anxiety and agitation that pushes him over the edge.This is a dark story of one man's life, beleaguered by an eternal emptiness, from which there is no escape - a poignant testament of a troubled soul, who also happened to be, a brilliant writer. I can't recommend this work enough.

  • Alex V.
    2018-12-10 11:37

    No Longer Human is brutal, and about as accurate a portrait of the skewing effects the twin corrupters of narcissism and depression can have on a life. The narrator, based closely on Dazai's own life, is insufferable, not only to those around him but to himself and yet like a corrosive fog, he consumes everyone and everything with whom he comes in contact. Anyone blessed enough to not have depression in them will likely not find much to like in this book, but for the rest of us, Dazai is brave/horrible enough to look straight into the mirror and report what is there. Just as Cormac McCarthy's The Road is relentless in depicting a dead exterior world, Dazai's blunt unfeeling narrator depicts that lifeless interior. Both books are all the more alarming because they eschew hyperbole when traipsing these barren landscapes; the truth is much more sobering than any fiction could be. One of the things I appreciated about No Longer Human is that it bypassed redemption for persistence; the narrator does not give it up a bit, even up to the end. The problems here are not the kind you exactly fix. Frankly, this book isn't a whole lot of fun, but if you want to lift the hood and see the squirming engine of self-loathing in action, if the characters in Bukowski's Tales of Ordinary Madness or David Thewlis' character in Mike Leigh's film Naked unfortunately strike a chord with you, this might just do it for you.I would suggest reading the Wikipedia article on Dazai before venturing into this thing, it will give you an idea with whom and what you are dealing.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osamu_Dazai

  • Moureco
    2018-11-18 18:32

    Muito, muito bom! O interior de um homem morto para a humanidade dos outros, muito consciente da sua própria ausência de humanidade e capacidade de empatizar e ser digno. Dito de outra forma: um homem que apenas 'é', apenas vive, tenta ser o que os outros esperam que seja sempre sem sucesso, nada faz, nada consegue porque para nada tem vontade a não ser aniquilar-se, anulando-se mais e mais até à abjecção completa e à morte.Impressionante! Lê-se com um constante nó no estômago.

  • Belle
    2018-11-24 18:40

    After reading a brief synopsis, I never thought I'd be able to finish this book without weeping at least once. Surprisingly enough, I read through the entire book without shedding a single tear but I ended up feeling extremely depressed from a debilitating ache in my chest. If you are someone who struggles with alienation, depression and habitual dread of human being then this book will impose itself on your mind/existence and offer you an immense sense of comfort and belonging. I read this book with a great empathy knowing that this is a semi-autobiographical novel of Osamu Dazai who later succeeded in committing suicide with his lover in a rain-swollen canal adjacent to his house. Some of his passages are absolute perfection and painstakingly crafted. When I reflected back on my life, it saddened me how much I can actually identify with the protagonist and his agony. Yozo is a depressed, self-destructive pornographic cartoonist who relies heavily on alcohol to numb his emotional pain. The crux of his mental agony can be traced back to his childhood days where he dreaded human beings and his family, thus he often felt isolated and completely excluded from the society. Nevertheless, he is full of the desire to please and one of his many problems stemmed from his own dilemma to refuse people's incessant requests. "My happiness was the happiness of a person who could not say no"(page 166) He buried his melancholy and agitation deep in his chest while constantly tortured himself with self-loathing. Before his life spiraled backward into the cycle of alcoholism and sexual promiscuity, he was someone with so much potential. He had good upbringing, good education, great knowledge and appreciation of Western culture, yet he was anxiety-ridden and devoid of any skill in socializing, thus he's developed a distaste for ownership and he constantly avoids emotional attachment. It's staggering how much self-hatred a human being could bottle up inside himself. The part where he describes his first suicide attempt with his lover was excruciatingly painful to read, especially if you've done some background research on the author. If you're looking for a pleasant reading experience, this is definitely not it. This book is the perfect book for me for innumerable reasons. Dazai wrote about things that I will never be able to accumulate enough courage to even write them down or say them aloud to myself. His writing echoed my thoughts, thus his words will forever engrave into my psyche and I know that I will re-read this book more often than I should, only just to feel less excluded and alienated from the society.

  • Ludmilla
    2018-11-11 11:49

    Dazai hep nokta atışı <3"Yani, anlamıyorum. Çevremdeki insanların sıkıntılarının niteliğini, ölçüsünü, sanki kavrayamıyorum. Pratik sıkıntılar, yalnızca yemek yiyerek atlatılabilen sıkıntılar. Ancak, belki de, esas bunlar en sert ve benim şu on belamı darmadağın edecek kadar dehşetli, sonsuz bir cehennem de olabilir. Bunu bilemiyorum. Yine de, intihar etmeden, çıldırmadan, siyaset konuşarak, ümitsizliğe kapılmadan, teslim olmadan yaşam mücadelemi sürdürüyorum. Öyleyse bir sıkıntım olmamalı. Tam bir egoistim, üstelik bunun doğal bir şey olduğuna inanıyorum, bir kez bile kendimden şüpheye düştüğüm olmadı. Öyleyse, rahat olmalıyım Fakat belki tüm insanların ulaştıkları doyum noktası budur. Bilemiyorum… Gece güzelce uyuyup sabah rahatlarlar mı acaba? Nasıl rüyalar görürler? Yolda yürürken ne düşünürler? Para mı? Sadece bu olmasa gerek. İnsanların yemek için yaşadığını duymuştum ama para için yaşadıklarını hiç duymadım. Yok, belki duruma göre… Hayır, bunu da bilemiyorum. Düşündükçe anlaşılmaz hale geliyor. Sanki sadece ben farklıymışım gibi tedirginlik ve korkuya kapılıyorum. Çevremdekilerle neredeyse hiç konuşamıyorum. Neyi, nasıl söylemeliyim, bilemiyorum."

  • Larnacouerde SH
    2018-11-17 14:50

    Sade, akıcı, muntazam. Mutsuzluğum, reddetme yeteneği olmayan birinin mutsuzluğuydu. Bir şeyler reddedince, karşımdakinin yüreğinde de kendi yüreğimde de sonsuza dek onarılmayacak aleni bir çatlağın oluşacağı korkusunu taşırdım hep.// Şu an ben ne mutluyum ne de mutsuz. Sadece her şey geçip gidiyor. Benim şimdiye kadar pantomim sayesinde yaşamaya sürdürdüğüm bu insan dünyasında, gerçek olduğunu düşündüğüm tek şey bu. Sadece her şey geçip gidiyor. Bu sene otuz yedi yaşında olacağım. Saçlarımdaki aklar iyice çoğaldı diye insanlar beni kırkımı geçtim sanıyor. Tüm Osamu Dazai eserlerini edinip bağrıma basasım, bittiği için ağlayasım var. Öyle güzeldi ki!

  • Cem
    2018-12-07 17:35

    * Zayıf insanlar mutluluktan bile korkarlar. İplikle bile yaralanırlar.* Birlikte aşk intiharına kalkıştığım kadının ismini bile unutacak biriyim.* Kendimin gerçek, suskun ve karanlık halimi olduğu gibi sergileyerek, sessizce içkimi içtim.Yozo adıyla aslında kendi yaşantısını anlatıyor Osamu Dazai. Yaşamla ilgili (sosyolojik olarak) aklımıza gelip de dillendirmeye dahi cüret edemeyeceğimiz konularda net çözümlemeler yapıyor ve al işte diyor. Hoşlanmak-hoşlanılmak, sevmek-sevilmek, ilgilenilmek gibi edimlerle ilgili çarpıcı tespitlerde bulunuyor. Topluluk halinde yaşamanın asla ona göre olmadığını söylüyor. Evde gün boyu kitap okuyup resim yapıyor(sağlıklı bir hayat belirtisi kesinlikle değil bana göre). Çok başarılı bir öğrenci olduğu halde okulu sevememiş. Kendi resmini yapmaya çalışmış, ama ürpertici bir resim çıkmış ortaya, ve o resmin kendi yüreğinin derinliklerinde saklamayı sürdürdüğü özü olduğunu düşünüyor. İnsanları şaklabanlıklarıyla güldürüyor ancak aslında böyle karanlık bir yüreği olduğunu düşünüyor. İnsanların bu resmi de farklı bir şaklabanlık olarak göreceğinden endişe ederek resmi saklıyor. Horiki adındaki bir arkadaşının teşvikiyle içkiyle (birayla) tanışıyor. Coşkunun belki de insanın karşısındakinin durumunu görmezden gelmek olduğu tespiti bence çoğumuzun aklımıza bile gelmeyecek türden. İnsanlardan korkusu had safhada. İçki, sigara ve fahişeleri ise insanlardan korkusunu unutturabilecek çok iyi bir yol olduğunu anladığını söylüyor. Bunlar için sahip olduğu herşeyi satıp savsa bile pişman olmayacağını düşünmeye başlıyor.Orda burda debelenmek yerine Japon edebiyatının engin deryasında dolaşmak bence en iyisi.

  • umberto
    2018-11-16 13:26

    Second Review [3.75 stars]Keenly interested in a column in a Thai newspaper dated November 5th, 2017 showing a book cover of a translated novel in Thai titled สูญสิ้นความเป็นคน, I recalled reading this book No Longer Human last year and it has roughly similar meaning as compared with the Thai title. Incidentally, I need time to have a look at the Thai version since, I think, it's interesting to read and compare the Thai version translated from Japanese into Thai as a second language (L2) with the Thai version translated from English into Thai as a third language (L3). I still found reading this novel amazing due to its seemingly sombre plot, reader-friendly thick fonts and of course fine translation from Japanese by Prof. Donald Keene. Obviously, Osamu Dazai has uniquely devised the plot depicting an anonymous narrator (in Prologue and Epilogue) who has presumably read and written the fiction titled as The First Notebook, The Second Notebook and The Third Notebook; the original being written by a man called Yozo, being inexplicably kept by the madam of the bar in Kyobashi and ten years later she allowed the narrator to read them.From the very first sentence, "Mine has been a life of much shame." (p. 21) in the First Notebook, we as readers could realize how obsessive Yozo was in terms of his weird pessimism.To continue . . .First Review [3 stars]Reading this novel “No Longer Human” by Osamu Dazai, another fine translation by Donald Keene, is quite similar to his “The Setting Sun” which I read with dubious enjoyment in 2013. I know he has long had his literary stature as “A leading light of the Japanese avant-garde, he gained wide recognition after the war for his pessimistic novels, which skewered the social establishment, while exploring the possibility of redemption for the misplaced people with whom he so closely identified.” (back cover) as we can see from his 25 titles written from 1933-1948. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osamu_D...) I’ve read only a book of tales (Blue Bamboo) and these two novels of his; therefore, to be fair with him I wouldn’t say anything more unless I read nearly all of his novels. One of the reasons is that I need time to immerse in the whole of his works, reflect and find out his pattern as a pessimist. In the meantime, I would say something worth mentioning or rethinking from his points given in this novel. First, this extract has revealed a negative sort of kindness:At the bar I was treated like a customer, like the owner, like an errand boy, like a relative of the management; one might have expected that I would be considered a very dubious character, but “society” was not in the least suspicious of me, and the regular customers of the bar treated me with almost painful kindness. They called me by my first name and bought me drinks. (pp. 125-126) It is quite rare to come across “painful kindness” in literary works. I wonder why he has thought so and this proves his inert pessimism while optimistic persons, I think, take others’ kindness per se, that is, any kindness should be all right, positive, helpful, etc. In other words, we can regard any normal kindness as something that helps people live together in harmony.

  • Tô
    2018-11-16 12:23

    Thất lạc cõi người là một cuốn sách dành cho những kẻ không biết cách tha thứ cho bản thân mình trong cuộc đời và trước lương tâm của anh ta. Phải tha thứ thì ta mới có thể sống tiếp & sống tốt.Thuở còn trẻ dại còn chưa biết tự vấn bản thân, tôi đọc Thất lạc cõi người và nghĩ "Cái mớ này cũng được gọi là tiểu thuyết á?" - tôi thấy nó chả hơn nhật ký của một đứa vị thành niên/thanh nhiên ăn hại nào đó là bao (giống Bắt trẻ đồng xanh, nhưng dễ đọc hơn). Sau này, khi đã tìm thấy nhiều điều để dằn vặt lương tâm trong những đêm dài mất ngủ, tôi mới bắt đầu đồng cảm hơn. Việc tôi không thể tha thứ cho những những thiếu sót của bản thân mình rất giống cách nhân vật "Tôi" khinh bỉ bản anh ta, và càng ghét mình thì tôi lại càng thấy thương xót anh ta hơn.Phải sau khi cái vỏ trứng vỡ ra thì nhân gian này mới xác nhận được, sinh vật đang ra đời kia là một con thằn lằn ăn muỗi khả kính hay một con rắn độc gớm giếc. Nhưng lỡ có nở ra rắn độc đi chăng nữa thì con rắn ấy cũng phải biết tự tha thứ & chấp nhận bản thân mình, bất chấp sự nguyền rủa của người đời. Chỉ có như thế thì nó mới tiếp tục tồn tại được.Tác phẩm này mô tả nhiều bi kịch - cơ bản của một cá nhân người Nhật - cơ bản:- Lúc nào cũng có cảm giác mình bị bỏ rơi, thiếu thốn tình thương (khi phải sinh trưởng trong một môi trường đề cao tính tự lập, căm ghét sự chịu ơn của người khác ngay từ khi còn nhỏ)- Lúc nào cũng mang nỗi mặc cảm rằng mình không xứng đáng được sống ( khi phải sống trong một xã hội quá đề cao sự hoàn hảo của từng cá nhân)- Lúc nào cũng sợ hãi trước ánh mắt, đánh giá của kẻ khác (khi phải sống trong một cộng đồng luôn yêu cầu tính hòa đồng đến mức cực đoan từ một cá nhân)- Mất tính đề kháng với các tác nhân xấu (hậu quả xấu của triết lí xử thế ưa mềm mỏng, ưa thỏa thiệp với môi trường hơn là đấu tranh phản kháng)Nhưng nứt vỡ ngay từ thời ấu thơ là tiền đề của những đổ vỡ từ tuổi thiếu niên trở về sau, để ô nhục nối tiếp ô nhục, sa đọa tiếp nối sa đọa. Bản thân nhân vật chính cũng đã biết phản tỉnh & cố tìm cách cải thiện sự méo mó trong nhân cách của mình nhưng đáng buồn thay, anh ta lại chọn sai con đường. Thay vì tìm kiếm hay bồi dưỡng nó ngay trong linh hồn mình, anh ta lại chọn cách vay mượn "tính lương thiện" "tính toàn vẹn" từ "tha nhân" (người vợ trẻ). Điều đó dẫn tới bi kịch ở cuối truyện: Khi phát hiện ra kẻ mình tôn thờ đã mất đi hào quang do "quá ngây thơ" thì nhân cách của nhân vật Tôi đã hoàn toàn đổ vỡ để trở thành một bóng ma ăn bám gia đình, tóc đã bạc trắng dù tuổi còn xanh.Tôi cứ ước, giá như tác giả cho nhân vật chính (cuối cùng) cũng tự sát thành công thì tốt hơn, chứ để anh ta tiếp tục sống như thế thì đáng buồn & đáng thương quá. Nếu so sánh với tên Hán Việt là Nhân gian thất cách, tựa đề được dịch bởi các nhóm dịch không chuyên khi tác phẩm này được chuyển thể thành Anime là "Không còn/được là người" hoặc "Mất tư cách làm người" (khá sát tựa tiếng Anh là No longer Human), thì xem ra cách dịch "Thất lạc cõi người" trong ấn bản ở Việt Nam là nghe hay nhất, Nhật bản nhất, mỗi tội... xa nội dung & nguyên tác nhất ^_^

  • Stian
    2018-12-05 13:26

    Fails to deliver and didn't captivate me at all; didn't draw me in in any serious way either. Time passes, and things happen, but I feel like there's no reason for me to care. I don't feel anything reading this, and that's odd considering the topics dealt with. 177 pages blow by and leave no mark or trace at all. There are beautiful passages here, to be sure, but the book is, in my opinion, largely forgettable.

  • Jon(athan) Nakapalau
    2018-11-18 14:49

    Caught between the past and the present a young man (Oba Yozo) finds that he is becoming more and more alienated from society and any sort of future. His decent into existential crisis is the reason why this book is so often compared to The Stranger by Albert Camus.

  • Jonfaith
    2018-11-25 17:29

    The quiddity of No Longer Human was a game of antonyms. I found the novel heartbreaking because of the protagonist’s clarity; this isn’t a ready world for such vision.

  • Sinem A.
    2018-11-18 12:38

    iyi yazar sade anlatım yoğun duygular..

  • Ursa
    2018-11-14 13:40

    Trước tiên, bắt giò linh tinh. Nói đến văn học & nghệ thuật đương đại của Nhật Bản, thường ta sẽ nghĩ ngay đến sự dung dị và tối giản. Bản thân dịch giả Hoàng Long ngay từ phần giới thiệu cũng khẳng định rằng văn phong của Dazai Osamu “chân thành, không lên gân giả tạo”. Nhưng cái bìa của tái bản I lại khá rườm rà với những họa tiết lẫn màu sắc rất chi là Art Nouveau, còn ý tưởng bìa không biết là vay mượn từ meme “glasscase of emotion” tràn lan trên mạng XH, hay là từ bức hình On Display (1993) của Skip Anorld nhưng nét vẽ nói chung là thô và vụng kiểu cẩu thả hoặc thiếu hoa tay. Typeface thì ôi thôi luôn! Về phần dịch thuật, vài ba chương mở đầu của dịch giả Hoàng Long (dịch năm 2011) có hành văn khá trúc trắc, đôi chỗ lại khó hiểu hoặc đối lập với những câu phía trước, không rõ là do nguyên tác như vậy hay do dịch giả hiểu sai. Đối chiếu với bản tiếng Anh của Donald Keene (1958) thì thấy rõ ràng có sự khác biệt khá lớn về sắc thái lẫn ngữ nghĩa. Ví dụ:Tôi cũng chưa từng biết đói ăn là như thế nào. Tất nhiên điều này không có nghĩa là tôi được nuôi dưỡng trong một gia đình đầy đủ cái ăn cái mặc, hoàn toàn không có ý nghĩa ngu ngốc như thế. (đoạn 3, tr. 16)Dĩ nhiên tôi cũng ăn nhiều nhưng tôi không nhớ được mình đã ăn những gì lúc đói. Tôi đã ăn nhiều thứ được cho là hiếm và quý thời bấy giờ. Tôi cũng ăn nhiều thứ hào hoa xa xỉ. Khi đến nhà người khác, tôi hầu như ăn hết những thứ người ta mời, dù đôi khi phải gắng sức. (đoạn 1, tr. 17)Hai đoạn văn trên lại được Donald Keene dịch là:Again, I have never known what it means to be hungry. I don’t mean by this statement that I was raised in a well-to-do family—I have no such banal intent. (đoạn 4, tr. 22)Of course I do eat a great deal of all the same, but I have almost no recollection of ever having done so out of hunger. Unusual or extravagant things tempt me, and when I go to the house of somebody else I eat almost everything put before me, even if it takes some effort. (đoạn 2, tr. 23)Vì không biết tiếng Nhật cho nên tôi chỉ có thể chỉ ra sự khác biệt từ hai bản dịch. Ở bản Việt, Yozo ngụ ý rằng nhà mình không giàu có nhưng anh ta từng được ăn nhiều thứ "quý hiếm, hào hoa xa xỉ". Ngược lại, ở bản tiếng Anh, Yozo chỉ thanh minh là mình không có ý khoe khoang về gia cảnh và rằng món ngon vật lạ hấp dẫn anh ta. Quả thật, các trang sau của tiểu thuyết cho thấy gia đình của Yozo khá giàu có, chứng minh bản tiếng Việt không hợp lý.Khi mưu tả diện mạo của Yozo thời niên thiếu, Donald Keene để là “there is something strangely unpleasant about this handsome young man”, tức là con người này đẹp mà sao khó ưa lạ.Hoàng Long thì dịch là "cậu học sinh anh tuấn ấy cho ta cảm giác tà ma ngoại đạo."Không rõ là ông Donald Keene lược giản quá tay anh Hoàng Long phóng đại quá mức. Còn rất nhiều ví dụ khác khiến tôi nghi ngờ sự chuẩn xác của cả hai bản dịch.Tuy thế, về những chương sau, bản dịch tiếng Việt lại có sự đơn giản hóa về ngôn từ, văn phong vì thế trở nên mềm mại và uyển chuyển hơn so với bản tiếng Anh. Có một điều kỳ lạ là các truyện ngắn đi kèm, được dịch trước cả “Thất lạc cõi người” thì lại rất tự nhiên, không có cảm giác lợn cợn, câu trước đá câu sau. Về nội dung, tôi đặc biệt thích truyện ngắn “Tám cảnh sắc Tokyo”, đơn giản vì tôi tìm thấy ở mẩu truyện ấy nhiều cảm xúc đồng điệu và quen thuộc của tuổi trẻ, một khao khát được khẳng định bản sắc của riêng mình, sự rệu rã trong tâm hồn sau nhiều nỗ lực không đem lại kết quả. Song cuối cùng thì nhân vật "tôi" vẫn có một cái nhìn hướng ngoại và tích cực hơn. Nếu như truyện ngắn trên tạo sự đồng cảm vì giọng điệu bộc bạch chân thành và cái nhìn hướng ngoại tích cực, “Thất lạc cõi người” lại gây ra cảm giác tẻ nhạt trong một không gian tự hãm. Donald Keene cho rằng tác phẩm phản ánh một bộ phận trí thức của nước Nhật trong thời kỳ mở cửa, khi văn hóa phương Tây dần du nhập vào một miền đất vốn nổi tiếng vị chủng, gây ra những mâu thuẫn nội tại trong những cá thể có tư tưởng nửa Tây - nửa ta như Yozo. Có lẽ, “Thất lạc cõi người” mang giá trị nhân văn và là một dấu mốc trong lịch sử văn học Nhật Bản. Tuy thế, sự bế tắc của Yozo không phải là một hiện tượng mới lạ, những trăn trở của anh này về thuyết hiện sinh và cảm giác lạc lõng giữa cuộc đời cũng không phải dị thường.Bên cạnh đó, tôi cũng chưa nhìn thấy điều mà dịch giả Hoàng Long đã hứa hẹn ở phần giới thiệu cũng như phụ lục, rằng tác phẩm này “được viết bằng giọng văn hài hước u mặc, gần gũi và thân mật.” Cá nhân tôi thấy cả hai bản dịch Anh và Việt đều không thể hiện được chất tiếu lâm hoặc hài hước của nguyên tác (Nếu có).

  • Lalarme23
    2018-11-23 12:34

    Nhân Gian Thất Cách (Mất tư cách làm người) hay còn có tên tiếng Việt khác là Thất lạc cõi người, một cái tựa sách thật hay, buồn và gợi hiện sinh về một nhân vật hoàn toàn lạc lõng trong kiếp sống làm người của mình. Quả vậy, tìm cách chết nhiều lần không thể chết, sống với sự hoang phế của tâm hồn, dặt vờ của thể xác. Khi có ý thức đã nhận ra mình không thuộc về cuộc sống bình thường, phải mang cái mặt nạ của chú hề, cười, đùa với nhân gian với những nỗi sợ nguyên sơ bị phát hiện, bị lật tẩy, bị chế nhạo.Những câu văn buồn thấu tận tim gan, hành trang của nhân vật ngay từ đầu đã là ám thị của sự mỏng manh của số phận làm người, của nỗi buồn vĩnh cửa, của những thứ tình yêu kì lạ đầy ai oán và bi thương. Người ta bảo Dazai chết một phần vì ông không còn trải nghiệm gì để viết nữa. Quả vậy, đọc tác phẩm này, chất tự sự thấm đẫm, nhưng bên cạnh sự tự sự là những câu chuyện mang tính chất siêu hình của cuộc sống, khiến ta, nhiều bản thể người đọc sẽ tìm được mình không đó. Tìm được ở đó một nhân diện, phải cười để được sống trong một xã hội, người ta cần lừa dối nhau để tồn tại.Không giống Nhật Kí Dưới Hầm của Dostoievski, mặc dù nhân vật cũng tự xỉ vả với giọng văn hài hước, với sự tự cao của một kẻ tự biết hạ thấp bản thân mình trong một xã hội kì cục như rạp xiếc, Nhân Gian Thất Cách, có ít sự hài hước, châm biếm, chỉ là một thân phận sinh ra trong một gia đình danh giá nhưng đã không thể chấp nhận những con người vây quanh mình, để rồi ông tự biến mình thành một kẻ bần cùng và tự huỷ diệt.Ai coi nỗi buồn là vẻ đẹp vĩnh cửu, coi cuộc đời là vô thường, coi hành trình sống là sự trải nghiêm hơn là đạt được mục địch gì đó lớn lao, thì nên đọc.Tác phẩm dịch ra tiếng Việt bao gồm tiểu thuyết ngắn Nhân gian thất cách và 3 truyện ngắn đi kèm.