Thursday, July 07, 2005

"A Golden Picture" by Dazai Osamu

A struggling writer remembers his entitled youth and the family servant who he most abused. Of course, he's changed, even reformed--but is his remorse alone enough? Read by Scoot.

Dazai Osamu died just short of his 39th birthday, in 1948: Now, don't you just hate biographical snippets that begin as dry as that? Actually, it's a bit more interesting than it sounds. Shuji Tsushima, as he is otherwise known, was a wealthy landowner's son whose attempts at committing suicide read a little like Dorothy Parker's poem "Résumé:" sleeping pills, sleeping pills again, hanging, and one might say indirect attempts through morphine and then alcohol. At last, drowning did the trick, and Shuji/Dazai took his latest paramour with him. One shouldn't be surprised to discover his stories are full of suicides and attempted suicides, although they were quite popular in Japan during his life. The novel that is supposed to explain it all is called No Longer Human.

No comments: