The Japanese Bukowski - Dazai Osamu

My first posting here - wanted to share with you one of my favourite writers, the great Dazai Osamu (or Osamu Dazai). Died at 38 by suicide, an alcoholic, drug addict, womaniser, made magic with the pen, great short stories, a couple of novels (Setting Sun, No Longer Human), very honest (sometimes self-pitying, hell, that's honesty if you're honest), laugh out loud funny, and, like Buk, says a difficult thing in a simple way, and a familiar thing in a different way. He was fairly prodigious in his lifetime although not a lot has been translated into English. There are three short story collections - Self Portraits, Blue Bamboo and Crackling Mountain - in print (Kodansha) and the aforementioned novels. I have trouble with the novels but the collections are pure genius. And their spirit isn't ruined (as far as I can tell) by the translations. Example: "I've always had confidence when it comes to dogs. I am confident that one day one will bite me." (From memory). I have no doubt that anyone into Bukowski would appreciate Dazai. He's still something of a cult in Japan (he died in 1946 I believe). Anybody read him or got any views?
Also, check out MA JIAN - a wonderful Chinese writer.
Both kicking against the pricks.
And while I'm about (should be - probably already is - a different thread) what's your favourite Bukowski poem? Mine: Genius - I met a genius on the train today, he was eight years old ...
 

ROC

It is what it is
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Thanks Ona Nizm
I'll check him out.
I've had great 'luck' with Jap writers - my favorite being Kenzaburo Oe. A Personal Matter is up there with the best 20C lit. Buk included.

This relates somewhat to another thread in which the question is asked 'where are the next great writers going to come from?'
Well, they are already here.

Welcome
 
Thanks ROC. Yeah, certainly some great Japanese writers. Kawabata (Palm of the Hand Stories - stunning); Soseki Natsume; Akutagawa; Oe - all magical.

One thing I've read recently, not Japanese, but Chinese, is a short story collection called "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers" by Yiyun Li. Best debut I've read in a long time. Highly recommended.
 

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
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My favorite Japanese poet of the 20th centrury: Soen Nakagawa.
 
M

MULLINAX

I've always been partial to Nagai Kafu, a chronicler of the pre-war 'low city' (shitamachi) of whores, gamblers and reprobates.
 
On the topic of Dazai, I wanted to mention Yoshio Toyoshima, a Japanese author who was a friend of Dazai and wrote some dark, introspective stories. The depraved life depicted in some of them can certainly be seen a Bukowski-ish. You can check out "Tales of the Disturbed" that contains a few of these stories.

(Disclaimer: I'm the translator and publisher of said work)
 
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