No longer human

Osamu Dazai (1948)

  • Prologue
    • insensitive people (that is to say, those indifferent to matters of beauty and ugliness)
  • The First Notebook
    • I also have the inpression that many women have been able, instinctively, to sniff out this loneliness of mine, which I confided to no one, and this in later years was to become one of the causes of my being taken advantage of in so many ways. Women found in me a man who could keep a love secret.
  • The Second Notebook
    • An actor dreads most the audience in his home town..
    • We were of one species if only in that we were disoriented. At the same time there was a basic difference in us: he operated without being conscious of his farcicality or, for that matter, without giving any recognition to the misery of that farcicality.
    • Irrationality. I found the thought faintly pleasureable. Or rather, I felt at ease with it. What frightened me was the logic of the world; in it lay the foretaste of something incalculably powerful. Its mechanism was incomprehensible, and I could not possibly remain closeted in that windowless, bone-chilling room. Though outside lay the sea of irrationality, it was far more agreeable to swim in its waters until presently I drowned.
    • "I'm told that some men heat their bath water by burning the love letters they get from women." "How horrid! It must be you!" "As a matter of face, I have boiled milk that way - and drunk it too." "What an honor for the girl! Use mine next time!"
    • I was impatient to leave her while things stood the same, before I got wounded, and I spread my usual smokescreen of farce.
  • The Third Notebook - Part One
  • The Third Notebook - Part Two
    • Despising each other as we did, we were constantly together, thereby degreading ourselves. If that is what the world calls friendship, the relations between Horiki and myself were undoubtedly those of friendship.
    • Just when I was beginning to forget, that bird of ill-omen came flapping my way, to rip open with its beak the wounds of memory.
    • We began a guessing game of tragic and comic nouns. Thos game, which I myself had invented, was based on the proposition that just as nouns could be divided into masculine, feminine, and neuter, so there was a distinction between tragic and comic nouns. For example, this system decreed that steamship and steam engine were both tragic nouns, while streetcar and bus were comic. Persons who failed to see why this was true were obviously unqualified to discuss art, and a playwright who included even a single tragic noun in a comedy showed himself a failure if for no other reason. The same held easeually true of cosmic nouns in tragedies.
    • "Actions punishable by jail sentences are not the only crimes. If we knew the antonym of crime, I think we would know its true nature. But for God there is the antonym Satan, for salvation there is perdition, for love there is hate, for light there is darkness, for good, evil. Crime and prayer? Crime, they're all synonymous. What is the opposite of crime?"
    • Crime and punishment, Dostoievski. These words grazed over a corner of my mind, startling me. Just supposing Dostoievski ranged 'crime' and 'punishment' side by side not as synonyms but as antonyms. Crime and punishment - absolutely incompatible ideas, irreconcilable as oil and water. I felt I was beginning to understand what lay at the bottom of the scum-covered, turbid pond, that chaos of Dostoievski's mind - no, I still didn't quite see...Such thoughts were flashing through my head like a revolving lantern when I heard a voice.
    • My unhappiness was the unhappiness of a person who could not say no. I had been intimidated by the fear that if I declined something offered me, a yawning crevice would open between the other person's heart and myself which could never be mended through all eternity.
  • Epilogue

Page last revised on: 2024-05-05