Click here to Download No Longer Human PDF Book by Osamu Dazai Language English having PDF Size 1 MB and No of Pages 106.
I think that Osamu Dazai would have been gratified by the reviews his novel The Setting Sun received when the English translation was published in the United States. Even though some of the critics were distressed by the picture the book drew of contemporary Japan, they one and all discussed it in the terms reserved for works of importance.
No Longer Human PDF Book by Osamu Dazai
|Name of Book||No Longer Human|
|PDF Size||1 MB|
|No of Pages||106|
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There was no trace of the condescension often bestowed on writings emanating from remote parts of the world, and for once nobody thought to use the damning adjective “exquisite” about an unquestionably Japanese product. It was judged among its peers, the moving and beautiful books of the present generation. One aspect of The Setting Sun puzzled many readers.
However, and may puzzle others in Dazai’s second novel No Longer Human1 : the role of Western culture in Japanese life today. Like Yozo, the chief figure of No Longer Human, Dazai grew up in a small town in the remote north of Japan, and we might have expected his novels to be marked by the simplicity, love of nature and purity of sentiments of the inhabitants of such a place.
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However, Dazai’s family was rich and educated, and from his childhood days he was familiar with European literature, American movies, reproductions of modern paintings and sculpture and much else of our civilization. These became such important parts of his own experience that he could not help being influenced by them, and he mentioned them quite as freely as might any author in Europe or America.
In reading his works, however, we are sometimes made aware that Dazai’s understanding or use of these elements of the West is not always the same as ours. It is easy to conclude from this that Dazai had only half digested them, or even that the Japanese as a whole have somehow misappropriated our culture. I confess that I find this parochialism curious in the United States.
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Here where our suburbs are jammed with a variety of architecture which bears no relation to the antecedents of either the builders or the dwellers; where white people sing Negro spirituals and a Negro soprano sings Lucia di Lammermoor at the Metropolitan Opera; where our celebrated national dishes, the frankfurter, the hamburger and chow mein betray by their very names non-American origins.
Can we with honesty rebuke the Japanese for a lack of purity in their modern culture? And can we criticize them for borrowing from us, when we are almost as conspicuously in their debt? We find it normal that we drink tea, their beverage, but curious that they should drink whiskey, ours. Our professional decorators, without thinking to impart to us an adequate background in Japanese aesthetics.
Decree that we should brighten our rooms with Buddhist statuary or with lamps in the shapes of paper-lanterns. Yet we are apt to find it incongruous if a Japanese ornaments his room with examples of Christian religious art or a lamp of Venetian glass. Why does it seem so strange that another country should have a culture as conglomerate as our own? When we arrived home I asked my aunt to dry our jackets. No Longer Human PDF Book
I had succeeded in luring Takeichi to my room. The household consisted of my aunt, a woman in her fifties, and my two cousins, the older of whom was a tall, frail, bespectacled girl of about thirty (she had been married at one time but was later separated), and the younger a short, round-faced girl who looked fresh out of high school.
The ground floor of the house was given over to a shop where small quantities of stationery supplies and sporting goods were offered for sale, but the principal source of income was the rent from the five or six tenements built by my late uncle. Takeichi, standing haplessly in my room, said, “My ears hurt.” “They must’ve got wet in the rain.”
I examined his ears and discovered they were both running horribly. The lobes seemed filled to the bursting with pus. I simulated an exaggerated concern. “This looks terrible. It must hurt.” Then, in the gentle tones a woman might use, I apologized, “I’m so sorry I dragged you out in all this rain.” I went downstairs to fetch some cotton wool and alcohol. Takeichi lay on the floor with his head on my lap, and I painstakingly swabbed his ears. No Longer Human PDF Book
Even Takeichi seemed not to be aware of the hypocrisy, the scheming, behind my actions. Far from it—his comment as he lay there with his head pillowed in my lap was, “I’ll bet lots of women will fall for you!” —It was his illiterate approximation of a compliment. This, I was to learn in later years, was a kind of demoniacal prophecy, more horrible than Takeichi could have realized.
“To fall for,” “to be fallen for” —I feel in these words something unspeakably vulgar, farcical, and at the same time extraordinarily complacent. Once these expressions put in an appearance, no matter how solemn the place, the silent cathedrals of melancholy crumble, leaving nothing but an impression of fatuousness. It is curious, but the cathedrals of melancholy are not necessarily demolished if one can replace the vulgar.
“What a messy business it is to be fallen for” by the more literary “What uneasiness lies in being loved.” Takeichi uttered that idiotic compliment, that women would fall for me, because I had been kind enough to clean the discharge from his ears. My reaction at the time was merely to blush and smile, without saying a word in return but, to tell the truth, I already had a faint inkling of what his prophecy implied. No Longer Human PDF Book
No, to speak in those terms of the atmosphere engendered by so vulgar an expression as “to fall for” is to betray a precocity of sentiment not even worthy of the dialogue of the romantic lead in a musical comedy; I certainly was not moved by the farcical, self-satisfied emotions suggested by the phrase “to have a faint inkling.” Horiki informed me of it half as a compliment, I suppose, but it struck a painful chord in me.
I remembered now clumsily written letters from bar girls; and the general’s daughter, a girl of twenty, whose house was next to mine, and who every morning when I went to school was always hovering around her gate, all dressed up for no apparent reason; and the waitress at the steak restaurant who, even when I didn’t say a word …. ; and the girl at the tobacco shop I patronized who always would put in the package of cigarettes.
She handed me …; and the woman in the seat next to mine at the Kabuki Theatre . . . ; and the time when I was drunk and fell asleep on the streetcar in the middle of the night; and that letter burning with passion that came unexpectedly from a girl relative in the country; and the girl, whoever it was, who left a doll—one she had made herself—for me when I was away. No Longer Human PDF Book Download
With all of them I had been extremely negative and the stories had gone no further, remaining undeveloped fragments. But it was an undeniable fact, and not just some foolish delusion on my part, that there lingered about me an atmosphere which could send women into sentimental reveries. It caused me a bitterness akin to shame to have this pointed out by someone like Horiki; at the same time I suddenly lost all interest in prostitutes.
To show off his “modernity” (I can’t think of any other reason) Horiki also took me one day to a secret Communist meeting. (I don’t remember exactly what it was called—a “Reading Society,” I think.) A secret Communist meeting may have been for Horiki just one more of the sights of Tokyo. I was introduced to the “comrades” and obliged to buy a pamphlet. then heard a lecture on Mandan economics delivered by an extraordinarily ugly young man.
Everything he said seemed exceedingly obvious, and undoubtedly true, but I felt sure that something more obscure, more frightening lurked in the hearts of human beings. Greed did not cover it, nor did vanity. Nor was it simply a combination of lust and greed. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I felt that there was something inexplicable at the bottom of human society which was not reducible to economics. No Longer Human PDF Book Download
Terrified as I was by this weird element, I assented to materialism as naturally as water finding its own level. But materialism could not free me from my dread of human beings; I could not feel the joy of hope a man experiences when he opens his eyes on young leaves. Nevertheless I regularly attended the meetings of the Reading Society.
I found it uproariously amusing to see my “comrades,” their faces tense as though they were discussing matters of life and death, absorbed in the study of theories so elementary they were on the order of “one and one makes two.” I tried to take some of the strain out of the meetings with my usual antics. That was why, I imagine, the oppressive atmosphere of the group gradually relaxed.
I came to be so popular that I was considered indispensable at the meetings. These simple people perhaps fancied that I was just as simple as they—an optimistic, laughter-loving comrade—but if such was their view, I was deceiving them completely. I was not their comrade. Yet I attended every single meeting and performed for them my full repertory of farce. No Longer Human PDF Book Free
I went back to the custody room. The police chief’s loud voice reached me as he barked out to the policeman, “Hey, somebody disinfect the telephone receiver. He’s been coughing blood, you know.” In the afternoon they tied me up with a thin hemp rope. I was allowed to hide the rope under my coat when we went outside, but the young policeman gripped the end of the rope firmly.
We went to Yokohama on the streetcar. The experience hadn’t upset me in the least. I missed the custody room in the police station and even the old policeman. What, I wonder, makes me that way? When they tied me up as a criminal I actually felt relieved—a calm, relaxed feeling. Even now as I write down my recollections of those days I feel a really expansive, agreeable sensation.
But among my otherwise nostalgic memories there is one harrowing disaster which I shall never be able to forget and which even now causes me to break out into a cold sweat. I was given a brief examination by the district attorney in his dimly lit office. He was a man of about forty, with an intelligent calm about him which I am tempted to call “honest good looks.” No Longer Human PDF Book Free
In contrast to my own alleged good looks which, even if true, certainly are tainted with lewdness). He seemed so simple and straightforward that I let down my guard completely. I was listlessly recounting my story when suddenly I was seized with another fit of coughing. I took out my handkerchief. The blood stains caught my eye, and with ignoble opportunism I thought that this cough might also prove useful.
I added a couple of extra, exaggerated coughs for good measure and, my mouth still covered by the handkerchief, I glanced at the district attorney’s face. The next instant he asked with his quiet smile, “Was that real?” Even now the recollection makes me feel so embarrassed] I can’t sit still. It was worse, I am sure, even than when in high school.
I was plummeted into hell by that stupid Takeichi tapping me on the hack and saying, “You did it on purpose.” Those were the two great disasters in a lifetime of acting. Sometimes I have even thought that I should have preferred to be sentenced to ten years imprisonment rather than meet with such gentle contempt from the district attorney. Flatfish’s house was near the Okubo Medical School. No Longer Human PDF Book Free
The signboard of his shop, which proclaimed in bold letters “Garden of the Green Dragon, Art and Antiques,” was the only impressive thing about the place. The shop itself was a long, narrow affair, the dusty interior of which contained nothing but shelf after shelf of useless junk. Needless to say, Flatfish did not depend for a living on the sale of this rubbish.
He apparently made his money by performing such services as transferring possession of the secret property of one client to another— to avoid taxes. Flatfish almost never waited in the shop. Usually he set out early in the morning in a great hurry, his face set in a scowl, leaving a boy of seventeen to look after the shop in his absence. Whenever this boy had nothing better to do, he used to play catch in the street with the children of the neighborhood.