Download No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai PDF book free online – From No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai PDF: 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. Portraying himself as a failure, the protagonist of Osamu Dazai’s No Longer Human narrates a seemingly normal life even while he feels incapable of understanding human beings. Oba Yozo’s attempts to reconcile himself to the world around him begin in early childhood, continue through high school, where he becomes a “clown” to mask his alienation, and eventually lead to a failed suicide attempt as an adult. Without sentimentality, he records the casual cruelties of life and its fleeting moments of human connection and tenderness.
“No Longer Human is his masterpiece, though all his work is worthy. Dazai was an aristocratic tramp, a self described delinquent, yet he wrote with the forbearance of a fasting scribe. “
― Patti Smith
This is one of the most famous books in Japanese literature and for good reason. It’s an in-depth and very personal look at one man’s neurosis; it is widely assumed to be Dazai’s fictionalized autobiography (think of a more antiquated version of Philip K. Dick’s VALIS, replacing some of the schizoid delusions and hallucinations with deep despair and depression).
I won’t just summarize the book, because Amazon already has a short summary. I will recommend it to anyone who struggles to understand depression, trauma, alcoholism, and suicide. On the flip side, if those things upset or distress you you may not wish to read this. It is an excellent example of how depression can feel, how it breaks a person down, how a man can feel completely useless in society, and how some people can choose to face these things in ways that others don’t understand.
It’s an important and powerful work both as a look into the psychology of one man and as a cultural touchstone for post-war Japan. Oda, the narrator and stand-in for Dazai himself, is from an aristocratic background and faces all of the pressure and expectations associated with the Japanese high culture. To complicate this, Oda himself is deeply depressed from a young age and is unable to connect with others or to even develop a sense of humanity.
Physically, the copy I received was in great shape, and the build quality is nice. The cover design is almost violently pink and the pages are a decent weight for a paperback. Bizarrely, the text is set in what appears to be a boldface font for the majority of the book. This may annoy some readers.
Overall, I think this is an intriguing and powerful work that would appeal to people interested in historic, personal examples of depression and abnormal psychology or developing a deeper appreciation for Japanese culture through literature.
From the Back Cover
This story 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.
About the Author
OSAMU DAZAI was born in 1909 into a powerful landowning family of Northern Japan. A brilliant student, he entered the French Department of Tokyo University in 1930, but later boasted that in the five years before he left without a degree he had never attended a lecture. Dazai was famous for confronting head-on the social and moral crises of postwar Japan when he committed suicide by throwing himself into Tokyo’s Tamagawa Reservoir. His body was found on what would have been his 39th birthday.
DONALD KEENE, the author of dozens of books in both English and Japanese as well as the famed translator of Dazai, Kawabata, and Mishima, was the first non-Japanese to receive the Yomiuri Prize for Literature