Osamu Dazai

A Shameful Life

Osamu Dazai is one of the most famous—and infamous—writers of 20th-century Japan. A Shameful Life (Ningen shikkaku) is his final published work and has become a bestselling classic for its depiction of the tortured struggle of a young man to survive in a world that he cannot comprehend. Paralleling the life and death of Dazai himself, the delicate weaving of fact and fiction remorselessly documents via journals the life of Yozo, a university student who spends his time in increasing isolation and debauchery. His doomed love affairs, suicide attempts, and constant fear of revealing his true self haunt the pages of the book and reveal a slow descent into madness. This dark tale nevertheless conveys something authentic about the human heart and its inability to find its true bearing.
140 printed pages
Original publication
2018
Translator
Mark Gibeau

Impressions

    Andrea Poulainshared an impressionlast year
    👍Worth reading
    💧Soppy

    Aprendí mucho sobre Dazai con este libro. Creo que es un must read de entre los japoneses

    Priscila Talaverashared an impressionlast year
    👍Worth reading
    💡Learnt A Lot
    🚀Unputdownable

Quotes

    Priscila Talaverahas quotedlast year
    Human life is so full of pure, vivid, merry duplicity that I begin to think they don’t even realize they are deceiving one another.
    Priscila Talaverahas quotedlast year
    Concerned with representing the thoughts, feelings, and anxieties of the author/narrator/protagonist with the greatest possible fidelity, I-novel narratives were not overly concerned with plot development or with showing how a character transforms or overcomes a particular problem.
    Priscila Talaverahas quotedlast year
    The true coward is frightened even by happiness. He is bruised even by cotton wool. He is wounded even by joy.

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