I’ve read this week’s part because I had time this morning.
Thoughts on the はしがき:
I roughly know what the story is about and it feels like the author is describing how he felt when he was looking at photos of himself. In particular it’s noteworthy how he describes someone who tries to fit in, but can’t – in other words, someone who’s trying to put on an act to mimic what society expects of him, though is unable to fully do so.
It sounds an aweful lot like Dazai is, to some extend, autistic, though I’m no expert on the matter. There’s a book reexamining Dazai’s writing by taking potential ADHD and asperger’s into consideration.
Also this part from chapter 1:
Some else pointed to Psychotic Depression.
Another person in the Amazon reviews mentions borderline personality disorder (境界性人格障害).
Unrelated, but it’s a bit annoying that you can’t properly search for Dazai anymore without getting 80% articles about Bungō Stray Dogs.
Whoa, so the enlightened people who’ve studied 美醜 can tell truly ugly from truly beautiful people? What a useful skill to have! [/irony]
感ぜられて – I simply cannot get used to this spelling, even though it was used constantly in 風立ちぬ.
Thoughts on chapter 1:
I can relate a little but in that I never felt sleepy as a child (maybe as a very young child) and always had to go to sleep without really feeling like sleeping. I still remember a time when I was 9 or so and really thought that I’d felt sleepy for the first time in my life (or a very long time at least). This doesn’t happen anymore, though.
三度々々 – Interesting to see a double 々. (sandosando is the reading)
サーヴィス – A proper ヴィ! Rare today!
ナアヴァスネス – They sure had different katakana spelling back then.
And yup, this is a slow and depressing story already. I didn’t find it very difficult to read overall so far. Shorter sentences than 風立ちぬ, no long-winded descriptions of the scenery and the language / kanji usage is not quite as dated. I think I’ll enjoy this as a weekly read.
And if anyone wondered about the “下男、下女に犯される” part in chapter 1 – I really wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be literal or not –, this may help.