Quotes by Osamu Dazai

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Not long ago I learned from a certain person in considerable detail about the worthlessness of your character. All the same, it is you who have given me strength, you who have put the rainbow of revolution in my breast. It is you who have given an object to my life. more...

To fall for," "to be fallen for"-I feel in these words something unspeakably vulgar, farcical, and at the same time extraordinarily complacent. Once these expressions put in an appearance, no matter how solemn the place, the silent cathedrals of melancholy crumble, leaving nothing but an impression of fatuousness. It is curious, but the cathedrals of melancholy are not necessarily demolished if one can replace the vulgar "What a messy business it is to be fallen for" by the more literary "What uneasiness lies in being loved. more...

Virtue and vice are concepts invented by human beings, words for a morality which human beings arbitrarily devised. more...

I have often felt that I would find it more complicated, troublesome and unpleasant to ascertain the feelings by which a woman lives than to plumb the innermost thoughts of an earthworm. more...

I have always found the female of the human species many times more difficult to understand than the male. more...

For someone like myself in whom the ability to trust others is so cracked and broken that I am wretchedly timid and am forever trying to read the expression on people's faces. more...

I was afraid to board a streetcar because of the conductor; I was afraid to enter the Kabuki Theater for fear of the usherettes standing along the sides of the red-carpeted staircase at the main entrance; I was afraid to go into a restaurant because I was intimidated by the waiters furtively hovering behind me waiting for my plate to be emptied. more...

A true artist is an ugly man. more...

To be a friend of the weak-that is the artist's point of departure as well as his ultimate goal. more...

I like roses best. But they bloom in all four seasons. I wonder if people who like roses best have to die four times over again. more...

The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness more...

Victims. Victims of a transitional period of morality. That is what we both certainly are. more...

Mother, recently I have discovered the one way in which human beings differ completely from other animals. Man has, I know, language, knowledge, principles, and social order, but don't all the other animals have them too, granted the difference of degree? Perhaps the animals even have religions. Man boasts of being the lord of all creation, but it would seem as if essentially he does not differ in the least from other animals. But, Mother, there was one way I thought of. Perhaps you won't understand. It's a faculty absolutely unique to man - having secrets. Can you see what I mean? more...

I am convinced that those people whom the world considers good and respects are all liars and fakes. I do not trust the world. My only ally is the tagged dissolute. The tagged dissolute. That is the only cross on which I wish to be crucified. Though ten thousand people criticize me, I can throw in their teeth my challenge: Are you not all the more dangerous for being without tags? more...

Labeled a delinquent. That's the only kind of label I want to be crucified under. more...

The real things are apt to be deviant. more...

Addiction is perhaps a sickness of the spirit. more...

As for love . . . no, having once written that word I can write nothing more. more...

What frightened me was the logic of the world; in it lay the foretaste of something incalculably powerful. Its mechanism was incomprehensible, and I could not possibly remain closeted in that windowless, bone-chilling room. Though outside lay the sea of irrationality, it was far more agreeable to swim in its waters until presently I drowned. more...

What is society but an individual? [] The ocean is not society; it is individuals. This was how I managed to gain a modicum of freedom from my terror at the illusion of the ocean called the world. more...

In my case such an expression as 'to be fallen for' or even 'to be loved' is not in the least appropriate; perhaps it describes the situation more accurately to say that I was 'looked after. more...

I want to spend my time with people who don't look to be respected. But such good people won't want to spend their time with me. more...

I also have the impression that many women have been able, instinctively, to sniff out this loneliness of mine, which I confided to no one, and this in later years was to become one of the causes of my being taken advantage of. more...

Last year nothing happened The year before nothing happened And the year before that nothing happened. more...

When I pretended to be precocious, people started the rumor that I was precocious. When I acted like an idler, rumor had it I was an idler. When I pretended I couldn't write a novel, people said I couldn't write. When I acted like a liar, they called me a liar. When I acted like a rich man, they started the rumor I was rich. When I feigned indifference, they classed me as the indifferent type. But when I inadvertently groaned because I was really in pain, they started the rumor that I was faking suffering. The world is out of joint. more...

And I was incapable of living all by myself in those lodgings where I didn't know a soul. It terrified me to sit by myself quietly in my room. I felt frightened, as if I might be set upon or struck by someone at any moment. more...

At times everything grows misty and dark before my eyes, and I feel that the strength of my whole body is oozing away through my finger tips. more...

Scoundrels [...] simply don't die. The ones who die are always the gentle, sweet, and beautiful people. [...] Scoundrels live a long time. The beautiful die young. more...

It isn't that I dislike artists, but I can't stand anyone who puts on those ponderous airs of a man of character. more...

One day, I went to a soba restaurant outside town, and while I was waiting for the zarusoba I opened an old graph magazine. There was a picture of an exhausted, lonely kneeling woman who wore a checked patterned yukata after the tradegy of a large earthquake. With the intensity of my chest ready to burn up, I fell in love with that poor woman. I also felt a horrifying desire for her. Maybe tragedy and desire are back to back to one another. more...

I have no desire for others to take it on themselves to analyze my thoughts. I am without thoughts. I have never, not even once, acted on the basis of any doctrine or philosophy.I am convinced that those people whom the world considers good and respects are all liars and fakes. I do not trust the world. more...

I drink out of desperation. Life is too dreary to endure. The misery, loneliness, crampedness - they're heartbreaking.[...] What feelings do you suppose a man has when he realizes that he will never know happiness or glory as long as he lives? Hard work. All that amounts to is food for the wild beasts of hunger. more...

All I feel are the assaults of apprehension and terror at the thought that I am the only one who is entirely unlike the rest. It is almost impossible for me to converse with other people. What should I talk about, how should I say it? - I don't know. more...

What uneasiness lies in being loved. more...

It would seem that the more irresponsible and crafty one is, the more likely one is to have a talent for storytelling. more...

Unhappiness. There are all kinds of unhappy people in the world. I suppose it would be no exaggeration to say that the world is composed entirely of unhappy people. But those people can fight their unhappiness with society fairly and squarly, and society for its part easily understands and sympathizes with such struggles. My unhappiness stemmed entirely from my own vices, and I had no way of fighting anybody. more...

But happiness is being able to hope, however faintly, for happiness. So, at least, we must believe if we are to live in the world of today. more...

I must go on living. And, though it may be childish of me, I can't go on in simple compliance. From now on I must struggle with the world. I thought that Mother might well be the last of those who can end their lives beautifully and sadly, struggling with no one, neither hating nor betraying anyone. In the world to come there will be no room for such people. The dying are beautiful, but to live, to survive - those things somehow seem hideous and contaminated with blood. more...

As long as I can make them laugh, it does' matter how, I"ll be alright. If I succeed in that, the human beings probably wo' mind it too much if I remain outside their lives. The one thing I must avoid is becoming offensive in their eyes: I shall be nothing, the wind, the sky. more...

I thought, "I want to die. I want to die more than ever before. There's no chance now of a recovery. No matter what sort of thing I do, no matter what I do, it's sure to be a failure, just a final coating applied to my shame. That dream of going on bicycles to see a waterfall framed in summer leaves-it was not for the likes of me. All that can happen now is that one foul, humiliating sin will be piled on another, and my sufferings will become only the more acute. I want to die. I must die. Living itself is the source of sin. more...

Mine has been a life of much shame. I can't even guess myself what it must be to live the life of a human being. more...

I am convinced that human life is filled with many pure, happy, serene examples of insincerity, truly splendid of their kind-of people deceiving one another without (strangely enough) any wounds being inflicted, of people who seem unaware even that they are deceiving one another. more...

As long as I can make them laugh, it doesn't matter how, I'll be alright. If I succeed in that, the human beings probably won't mind it too much if I remain outside their lives. The one thing I must avoid is becoming offensive in their eyes: I shall be nothing, the wind, the sky. more...

I soon came to understand that drink, tobacco and prostitutes were all great means if dissipating (even for a few moments) my dread for human beings. I came even to feel that if I had to sell every last possession to obtain these means of escape, it would be well worth it. more...

People talk of "social outcasts." The words apparently denote the miserable losers of the world, the vicious ones, but I feel as though I have been a "social outcast" from the moment I was born. If ever I meet someone society has designated as an outcast, I invariably feel affection for him, an emotion which carries me away in melting tenderness. more...

Having said that, I must now admit that I was still afraid of human beings, and before I could meet even the customers in the bar I had to fortify myself by gulping down a glass of liquor. The desire to see frightening things-that was what drew me every night to the bar where, like the child who squeezes his pet all the harder when he actually fears it a little, I proclaimed to the customers standing at the bar my drunken, bungling theories of art. more...

I thought, "I want to die. I want to die more than ever before. There's no chance now of a recovery. No matter what sort of thing I do, no matter what I do, it's sure to be a failure, just a final coating applied to my shame. That dream of going on bicycles to see a waterfall framed in summer leaves-it was not for the likes of me. All that can happen now is that one foul, humiliating sin will be piled on another, and my sufferings will become only the more acute. I want to die. I must die. Living itself is the source of sin. more...

The world, after all, was still a place of bottomless horror. It was by no means a place of childlike simplicity where everything could be settled by a simple then-and-there decision. more...

What did he mean by "society"? The plural of human beings? more...

Then what's a synonym for woman?" "Entrails." "You're not very poetic, are you? Well, then, what's the antonym for entrails?" "Milk. more...

The weak fear happiness itself. more...

Whenever I was asked what I wanted my first impulse was to answer "Nothing." The thought went through my mind that it didn't make any difference, that nothing was going to make me happy. more...

I have always shook with fright before human beings. Unable as I was to feel the least particle of confidence in my ability to speak and act like a human being, I kept my solitary agonies locked in my breast. I kept my melancholy and my agitation hidden, careful lest any trace should be left exposed. I feigned an innocent optimism; I gradually perfected myself in the role of the farcical eccentric. more...

Any man who criticizes my suicide and passes judgment on me with an expression of superiority, declaring (without offering the least help) that I should have gone on living my full complement of days, is assuredly a prodigy among men quite capable of tranquilly urging the Emperor to open a fruit shop. more...

Now I have neither happiness nor unhappiness.Everything passes.That is the one and only thing that I have thought resembled a truth in the society of human beings where I have dwelled up to now as in a burning hell.Everything passes. more...

To wait. In our lives we know joy, anger, sorrow, and a hundred other emotions, but these emotions all together occupy a bare one percent of our time. The remaining ninety-nine percent is just living in waiting. I wait in momentary expectation, feeling as though my breasts are being crushed, for the sound in the corridor of the footsteps of happiness. Empty. Oh, life is too painful, the reality that confirms the universal belief that it is best not to be born. more...

Now even if I die, no one will be so grieved as to do himself bodily harm. No [...] I know just how much sadness my death will cause you. Undoubtedly you will weep when you learn the news-apart, of course, from such ornamental sentimentality as you may indulge in-but if you will please try to think of my joy at being liberated completely from the suffering of living and this hateful life itself, I believe that your sorrow will gradually dissolve. more...

Is it not true that no two human beings understand anything whatsoever about each other, that those who consider themselves bosom friends may be utterly mistaken about their fellow and, failing to realize this sad truth throughout a lifetime, weep when they read in the newspapers about his death? more...


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