Wednesday, June 22, 2011


No Longer Human, Osamu Dazai's final (complete) novel could more literally be translated as "disqualified from being a human," but I suppose someone along the path to its Western publication decided that wording would not have the proper je ne sais quoi when faced out on the bookshelves. A shame, I think. Whereas "No Longer Human" seems to presuppose a world of curious advent, possibly even some kind of sci-fi connotation (nothing wrong with that), the less judicious version seems to get straight to the point. This is a novel about a weird sap that can't hang out with normal people. He's all twisted up. Lacking. Backwards. Completely without qualifications. It's a really neat book and you should probably read it before you die.

On a related note, Dazai committed suicide in the June of 1948.

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