No Longer Human

English language

Published May 18, 1973

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No Longer Human (人間失格, Ningen Shikkaku) is a 1948 Japanese novel by Osamu Dazai. It is considered Dazai's masterpiece and ranks as the second-best selling novel ever in Japan, behind Natsume Sōseki's Kokoro. The literal translation of the title, discussed by Donald Keene in his preface to the English translation, is "Disqualified From Being Human". The novel, narrated in first person, contains several elements which portray an autobiographical basis but is in fact categorized under the semi-autobiographical genre since the characters in the book are all fictional. The novel presents recurring themes in the author's life, including suicide, social alienation, and depression. Much like the protagonist Yozo, Dazai attempted suicide a total of five times in his lifetime, with consorts. 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 …

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