Today, we’re talking about the I-Novel—the highest form of literature in Japan in the 1910s and 20s.
It’s a genre one American scholar describes as “perhaps the most striking feature of modern Japanese literature.”
And it’s a genre Haruki Murakami claims to have an allergy to.
We’ll also be looking at the life and work of Osamu Dazai and asking, “What does it take to get disqualified as a human being?”
Content warning: This episode addresses addiction, rape, suicide, and misogyny.
More by Dazai:
- Blue Bamboo: Japanese Tales of Fantasy
- Early Light (new release for July 2022)
- A New Hamlet
- Otogizhoshi: The Fairy Tale Book of Dazai Osamu
- Return to Tsugaru
- The Setting Sun
- A Shameful Life
- Wish Fulfilled
More to read:
Find Out More
Understanding Japan: A Cultural History by Professor Mark J. Ravina. Produced by The Great Courses, 2015.
Lyons, Phyllis I. “‘Art Is Me’: Dazai Osamu’s Narrative Voice as a Permeable Self” in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 1981.
Murakami Haruki. “Introduction” in The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories, ed. Jay Rubin, Penguin, 2020.