"Angst Journal" -- Dazai Osamu

posted Saturday, April 30, 2005

________ _____th

Someone put a live snake into the mailbox. Anger. Whoever it was must enjoy laughing at unsuccessful writers who go out to check mailbox twenty times a day. Start to feel bad and stay in bed all day.

________ _____th

"Don't sell your suffering" -- letter from a friend.

________ _____th

Condition terrible. Bloody phlegm. Sent word home, but they don't seem to believe me.

Peach tree is blossoming in corner of garden.

________ _____th

Inheritance from father was apparently 1.5 million yen. No idea how much is left. Was disinherited eight years ago anyway. Have only managed to live this long thanks to kindness of elder brother. But what about from now on? Have never even dreamed of earning own keep. Won't have any option but to die if this keeps up. On this day, man of corruption, that'll teach you, bad writer of terrible books.

Dan Kazuo came to visit. Borrowed forty yen from him.

________ _____th

Correct proofs of short story collection The Final Years. Suddenly wonder if this might end up being my final work. No doubt it will.

________ _____th

Number of people who haven't bad-mouthed me this year: three? Less? Surely not.

________ _____th

Letter from my elder sister.

"I just sent twenty yen, so please go and collect it. You put me in a very difficult position by always asking for money. I can't tell mother, so it always comes from me, and it makes things most difficult. Mother doesn't have that much money either... You must be more frugal and stop spending so much. The magazine companies are paying you at least a little, aren't they? Stop borrowing from others and tighten your belt. Take better care of yourself. Look after your health, and stop going out so much with your friends. We are tired of worrying about you so much..."

________ _____th

Drowsy all day. Have begun to suffer from insomnia. Two nights so far. If I don't sleep tonight, three nights.

________ _____th

Visit to doctor at dawn. Remember Tanaka's poem:
If I forget
my journey, weeping, down this road
who will ever know?
Coerce doctor into giving me morphine.

Wake in early afternoon. Feel anxious and sad at light in young leaves. Decide that I need to get healthy.

________ _____th

Most livid, burning shame brought up with no hesitations by family. Leapt to feet. Put on geta clogs. Home! Froze for a moment, looking like Deva King. Kicked brazier. Kicked coal bucket into the air. Went into four-and-a-half tatami room and kicked kettle into sliding door. Door's glass rattled. Kicked tea table over. Soy sauce on wall. Cups and saucers. Scapegoats. Couldn't have gone on living without breaking all these things. No regrets.

________ _____th

"Five feet eight and shaggy." "Die of shame." Think back on phrases I wrote earlier, chuckle to self.

________ _____th

Yamagishi Gaishi comes to visit. Enemies on every side, I say. Oh, no, only on two sides, really, he replies. Laughs handsomely.

________ _____th

When you aren't talking, you look fine. I just want you to listen to this. No, I've heard plenty. But-- ... Argued over one and a half yen with family for three hours last night. Absolutely mortifying.

________ _____th

Can't go to the toilet alone at night. Small-headed boy of fifteen or sixteen in a white yukata stands behind me. Looking back over own shoulder is taking life in hands these days. Definitely a small-headed boy there. Yamagishi Gaishi says it's because of "somethin' unspeakably cruel" one of my ancestors did five or six generations ago. Maybe so.

________ _____th

Finish writing next novel. Did it always make me this happy? Read through it again. Looks good. Send word to two or three friends. Can pay everyone back now. Title is The White Monkey Berserk.


『悶悶日記』 (Monmon Nikki), published 1936, written by Dazai Osamu (太宰治), 1909-1948.

Aozora Bunko version entered by Tsuchiya Takashi (土屋隆) and proofread by noriko saito.


Comments: 2


That is so funny and unexpected and cool. Livejournal came too slow for him.

Seriously. One of his most famous lines is "生れて、すみません。" -- "Sorry for being born". (here)
The Bass Harp: new English translations of Japanese short stories, essays, poems, criticism, and whatever else is out of copyright.

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