Advanced Japanese Book Club // Next: アンダーグラウンド

The current book will be finished in a bit less than two months, and so I figured it might be about time to think about the next poll.

We currently have 16 proposals (12 fast and 4 hard ones), which is a very good number, but nonetheless I would like to ask whether anybody would like to propose another book? (We will only accept 20 proposals in total, though, as this is the maximum number that the poll can hold.)


Having said all that, I actually would like to propose a book :nerd_face:

人間失格

Author : 太宰治 (だざいおさむ)

Summary

Japanese

「恥の多い生涯を送って来ました」。そんな身もふたもない告白から男の手記は始まる。男は自分を偽り、ひとを欺き、取り返しようのない過ちを犯し、「失格」の判定を自らにくだす。でも、男が不在になると、彼を懐かしんで、ある女性は語るのだ。「とても素直で、よく気がきいて(中略)神様みたいないい子でした」と。だれもが自分のことだと思わせられる、太宰治、捨て身の問題作。
(Source: BookWalker)

English

No Longer Human is told in the form of notebooks left by one Ōba Yōzō (大庭葉蔵), a troubled man incapable of revealing his true self to others, and who, instead, maintains a facade of hollow jocularity. The work is made up of three chapters, or “memoranda”, which chronicle the life of Ōba from his early childhood to his late twenties. The story is bookended with two other, shorter, chapters from the point of view of a neutral observer, who sees three photos of Ōba and eventually tracks down one of the characters mentioned in the notebooks who knew him personally.

The novel, narrated in first person, contains several elements which portray an autobiographical basis, such as suicide, a recurring theme in the author’s life. Many believe the book to have been his will, as Dazai took his own life shortly after the last part of the book (which had appeared in serial form) was published.

Length : 131 pages (BookWalker standardized page count) / 192 pages (Amazon paperback bunko)
Category : Hard

Availability

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/product/4101006059/ref=as_li_tf_tl
BookWalker: 人間失格 - 文芸・小説 太宰治(新潮文庫):電子書籍試し読み無料 - BOOK☆WALKER -
(There are also other editions on BookWalker and probably also physical. I’d like to choose this one as reference.)
Aozora: https://www.aozora.gr.jp/cards/000035/files/301_14912.html

Personal Opinion

Insert why you think this book would be good to read, personally and for the book club here.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • It is considered Dazai’s masterpiece
  • It ranks as the second-best selling novel ever in Japan
  • Many translations are available for reference
  • Good price (~300 Yen both digital and physical, free on Aozora)

Cons

  • Deals with suicide, so might not be for everyone

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One


Additional Pages


Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters

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