No Longer Human (Revised)
176 pages | paperback |
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 himself 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.
Staff pick by Angel:
Ozamu Dazai's semi-biographical novel, written in the form of three letters, delves deep into a depressing portrayal of isolation, anxiety and self hatred. This follows a man who feels apart from his own humanity and that of others; he feels as though he is not a human being. A deep dive into the nihilistic philosophy that prevailed in Japan after the second world war. The last published work of Dazau that serves as a suicide note of sorts. Not for the faint of heart.