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No Longer Human


No Longer Human

人間にんげん失格しっかく


Osamu Dazai

太宰だざい おさむ [1909 - 1948]

I Prorogue, The First Notebook

II The Second Notebook

III The Third Notebook: Part One

IV The Third Notebook: Part Two, Epilogue


No Longer Human

I Prorogue, The First Notebook


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Overcome by an intense feeling of alienation and otherness and finding it nearly impossible to understand those who surround him who live in egoism and bad faith, Oba can't help but resort to buffoonery in order to establish interpersonal relationships. He is abused by a female servant during his childhood, but decides reporting it would be useless.


No Longer Human

II The Second Notebook



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Under the influence of a fellow artist he meets at a painting class, Horiki, he descends into a vicious cycle of drinking, smoking and harlotry, culminating in a one-night stand with a married woman with whom he attempts to commit double suicide via drowning. Though he survives, she dies, leaving him with nothing but an excruciating feeling of guilt.



No Longer Human

III The Third Notebook: Part One


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Oba is expelled from university, and comes under the care of a friend of the family. He tries to have a normal relationship with a single mother, serving as a surrogate father to her little girl, but abandons them in favor of living with the madam of a bar he patronizes. Since then he tries to believe the meaning of society for an individual is to escape out of fear of humanity. He drinks heavily, inspired by Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Later, he falls into a relationship with a young and naive woman who wants him to stop drinking.


No Longer Human

IV The Third Notebook: Part Two, Epilogue


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Thanks to this woman's grounding influence on his life, Oba stops drinking and finds gainful work as a cartoonist. Then Horiki shows up, turning Oba to self-destructive behavior again. Worse, at the moment of recalling Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky while he discusses the antonym of crime with Horiki, Oba becomes estranged from his wife following an incident where she is sexually assaulted by a casual acquaintance. Over time Oba becomes an alcoholic and a morphine addict, out of fatal fear he felt faced the assault of his wife. He is eventually confined to a mental institution and, upon release, moves to an isolated place, concluding the story with numb self-reflection after profound despair.


Osamu Dazai

Osamu Dazai (太宰 治 Dazai Osamu, June 19, 1909 - June 13, 1948) was a Japanese author who is considered one of the foremost fiction writers of 20th-century Japan. A number of his most popular works, such as The Setting Sun (Shayo) and No Longer Human (Ningen Shikkaku), are considered modern-day classics in Japan. With a semi-autobiographical style and transparency into his personal life, Dazai's stories have intrigued the minds of many readers.
His influences include Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Murasaki Shikibu and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. While Dazai continues to be widely celebrated in Japan, he remains relatively unknown elsewhere with only a handful of his works available in English. (Osamu Dazai)

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