bsd-bibliophile
bsd-bibliophile
Japanese Literature and Bungou Stray Dogs
📚Website: https://sites.google.com/view/bsd-bibliophileonlinelibrary/online-library 📚 📚Twitter: @bsd_bibliophile📚 Welcome to my collection of Japanese literature quotes and facts! The authors and literary works I collect are all from the authors who inspired the manga and anime series Bungou Stray Dogs. Feel free to privately message me with any questions. - Anne (BSD-Bibliophile) Also, if anyone is interested in Soukyuu no Fafner, I have the blog Fafnerophile if you want to check it out.
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bsd-bibliophile · 9 hours ago
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I felt sure that something more obscure, more frightening lurked in the hearts of human beings. Greed did not cover it, nor did vanity. Nor was it simply a combination of lust and greed. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I felt that there was something inexplicable at the bottom of human society which was not reducible to economics. Terrified as I was by this weird element, I assented to materialism as naturally as water finding its own level. But materialism could not free me from my dread of human beings; I could not feel the joy of hope a man experiences when he opens his eyes on young leaves.
Dazai Osamu, No Longer Human pg. 66
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bsd-bibliophile · 14 hours ago
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And Petersburg was left without Akakii Akakievich, as though he had never lived there. A being disappeared, and was hidden, who was protected by none, dear to none, interesting to none, who never even attracted to himself the attention of an observer of nature, who omits no opportunity of thrusting a pin through a common fly, and examining it under the microscope…
Nikolai Gogol, “The Overcoat” from The Overcoat and Other Stories
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bsd-bibliophile · 19 hours ago
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In the case of Nakajima, he was a virtually unknown writer until shortly before he died from asthma at age thirty-three in December of 1942. He had just made his literary debut with the publication of two stories in February of 1942, then published a long work in May, and two collections of stories in the summer of 1942, becoming a candidate for the Akutagawa Prize in September, just before his death. Within a short time after his death, however, his complete works were published, in 1948…. His stories, particularly ‘The Moon over the Mountain,’ have become well established in the Japanese canon by becoming incorporated into high school textbooks… Atsushi Nakajima has a secure place in Japanese literary history.
Nobuko Ochner and Paul McCarthy, the Afterword of The Moon Over the Mountain and Other Stories by Nakajima Atsushi
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bsd-bibliophile · a day ago
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Humans are sorry, pitiful beings. No matter whether we succeed or fail, are intelligent or dimwitted, win or lose: we will harden our expressions and exert our strength, running around sweating from morning to evening, and meanwhile only grow older. I wonder if that is all we were put on this earth to do. What separates us from insects? It’s so stupid. I have lived and worked all my life… but now I realize I am a fool. I have been deceived… They all have deceived me.
Dazai Osamu, “A New Hamlet”
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bsd-bibliophile · a day ago
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Not a leaf on a tree moved. The silence was deathlike: even the grasshoppers had ceased to whir. There was not a soul in the garden. But I must confess, that, if the wildest and most stormy night, with the utmost inclemency of the elements, had overtaken me alone in the midst of an impassable forest, I should not have been so much alarmed by it as by this fearful stillness amid a cloudless day. On such occasions, I usually ran in the greatest terror, catching my breath, from the garden, and only regained composure when I encountered some person, the sight of whom dispelled the terrible inward solitude.
Nikolai Gogol, “Old-Fashioned Farmers” from The Overcoat and Other Stories
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bsd-bibliophile · a day ago
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BSD-Bibliophile Online Library:
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Translators and Translation Projects:
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bsd-bibliophile · 2 days ago
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Nakajima had another reason for choosing to write about someone else, outside Japan and in the remote historical past, rather than about himself… Nakajima came to realize that life as a schoolteacher was not interesting enough material or a broad enough canvas to depict the general human condition: the search for meaning in a possibly meaningless world. He chose instead to tell the story of his philosophical wanderings by describing the struggles of the protagonist, a completely fictitious character…
Nobuko Ochner and Paul McCarthy, the Afterword of The Moon Over the Mountain and Other Stories by Nakajima Atsushi
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bsd-bibliophile · 2 days ago
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It seems that the unpredictable happens in life all the time.
Dazai Osamu, “A New Hamlet”
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bsd-bibliophile · 2 days ago
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These were the tears which flowed without asking a reason, distilled from the bitter pain of a heart already growing cold.
Nikolai Gogol, “Old-Fashioned Farmers” from The Overcoat and Other Stories
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bsd-bibliophile · 3 days ago
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Because of increasing censorship within Japan in the 1930s and early 1940s, writers were forced to produce works supporting the Japanese government’s policy, or to write something totally unrelated to the time. Nakajima’s personal essay written in 1942 expresses his view that literature should be separate from politics, and that if one did not have a topic one truly wished to write about, one should not write. Writing about ancient China was a way of expressing his own existential search for the meaning of self and of the world in a society that severely limited what one could write.
Nobuko Ochner and Paul McCarthy, the Afterword of The Moon Over the Mountain and Other Stories by Nakajima Atsushi
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bsd-bibliophile · 3 days ago
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Hamlet: Horatio, stop saying just whatever comes to mind. This is not a problem of old or new. People with a worldly view are always like that. My uncle believes that the real world will bring him fortune. Of course a man like him would have that kind of opinion. I knew that from the very beginning. That’s what causes me suffering. Submission or escape; to keep up the fair-and-square fight or compromise with lies; deception or placation; to be or not to be - which one is better? I don’t know. I don’t know, so it causes me suffering. Polonius: Twice! You used the word “suffering” twice! You always go right off spouting this philosophical hyperbole and sighing without meaning - all the while maintaining an expression almost like a bad actor - it’s unbecoming.
- Dazai Osamu, “A New Hamlet”
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bsd-bibliophile · 3 days ago
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I never beheld such a terrible outburst of spiritual suffering, such mad, fiery grief, such consuming despair,… I never thought that a man could make for himself such a hell, where there was neither shadow nor form, nor any thing in any way resembling hope.
Nikolai Gogol, “Old-Fashioned Farmers” from The Overcoat and Other Stories
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bsd-bibliophile · 4 days ago
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Nakajima Atsushi’s manner of using Chinese sources… is mostly faithful to the classical source texts, keeping changes to a minimum. Nakajima’s treatment of Confucius and his disciples in ‘The Disciple’ (1943), for example, weaves several sources together to create a dynamic story of human interaction, yet he does not easily take liberties with the situations, ideas, or characterizations…. It is important to note that this ‘respect for the classical sources’ is a characteristic that distinguishes Nakajima as a writer from Akutagawa, although some critics have compared Nakajima to Akutagawa on the basis of the two writers’ predilection for using classical source texts. Akutagawa generally reinterprets the events and characters from a modern skeptical perspective, probing the hidden motives and darker emotions of human beings. By contrast, Nakajima focuses on larger, more fundamental issues of human existence - how one should find oneself, how one should live in an unjust world.
Nobuko Ochner and Paul McCarthy, the Afterword of The Moon Over the Mountain and Other Stories by Nakajima Atsushi
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bsd-bibliophile · 4 days ago
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I’m not allowed to say I suffer at times that suffer? Why is that? All I’m doing all the time is saying what I feel just as I feel it. I’m being honest. I’m really sad, and so I say I’m sad. I’ve gained courage, and so I say I’ve gained courage. There isn’t any trick or gap with the truth. I’m putting everything into my own words.
Dazai Osamu, “A New Hamlet”
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bsd-bibliophile · 4 days ago
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All this has indescribable charm, perhaps because I no longer see it, and because anything from which we are separated is pleasing to us.
Nikolai Gogol, “Old-Fashioned Farmers” from The Overcoat and Other Stories
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bsd-bibliophile · 5 days ago
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One might ask why Nakajima turned to ancient China for material for his stories instead of contemporary Japan. What compelled him to write about Confucius and his disciples; about a cavalry commander and a court historian, an archer in quest of the ultimate mastery of his art, dukes’ and princes’ rise and fall, a poet metamorphosing into a tiger, and a river monster searching for self-identity?…Nakajima’s grandfather, father ,and three of his uncles studied and taught the Chinese classics. He grew up among the texts of ancient Chinese philosophy, history, and literature, gaining familiarity with many of them. This was a time-honored branch of intellectual activity in traditional Japan.
Nobuko Ochner and Paul McCarthy, the Afterword of The Moon Over the Mountain and Other Stories by Nakajima Atsushi
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bsd-bibliophile · 5 days ago
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There is no one who knows the true character of a child - no, perhaps his weaknesses - better than the [parent who raised] him. That is because his weaknesses are the exact weaknesses of the [parent].
Dazai Osamu, “A New Hamlet”
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bsd-bibliophile · 5 days ago
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I don’t have the strength to keep writing this. To go on living with these feelings is painful beyond description. Isn’t there someone kind enough to strangle me in my sleep?
Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, “Spinning Gears” from Rasōmon and Seventeen Other Stories
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bsd-bibliophile · 6 days ago
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What is our purpose…? Is it to accomplish good deeds and be reborn into paradise? If we are just going to sit on lotus leaves, swaying to and fro, it is useless, is it not? In paradise, will there be the pleasure of sipping and blowing on steaming hot soup, or the pleasure of filling our mouths with aromatic meat with crispy roasted skin? If not, and all they do is live by inhaling the mist, as in the tales of Taoist immortals, then I would hate it! I want no such paradise. Even though there are hardships, this world has wonderful pleasures that make me forget those hardships - so this world is best. At least for me.
Nakajima Atsushi, “On Admiration: Notes by the Monk Wujing” from The Moon over the Mountain and Other Stories
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bsd-bibliophile · 6 days ago
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I don’t know what to say. I shall no longer respond.
Dazai Osamu, “A New Hamlet”
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