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The Flowers of Buffoonery

Dazai, Osamu, Bett, Sam
Format: Paperback
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Published: April 7, 2023
ISBN: 9780811234542
80 pages
Country of publication: United States


For the first time in English, the hilarious and deeply moving prequel to No Longer Human

The Flowers of Buffoonery opens in a seaside sanitarium where Yozo Oba―the narrator of No Longer Human at a younger age―is being kept after a failed suicide attempt. While he is convalescing, his friends and family visit him, and other patients and nurses drift in and out of his room. Against this dispiriting backdrop, everyone tries to maintain a lighthearted, even clownish atmosphere: playing cards, smoking cigarettes, vying for attention, cracking jokes and trying to make each other laugh.

While No Longer Human delves into the darkest corners of human consciousness, The Flowers of Buffoonery pokes fun at these same emotions: the follies and hardships of youth, of love and of self-hatred and depression. A glimpse into the lives of a group of outsiders in prewar Japan, The Flowers of Buffoonery is a darkly humourous and fresh addition to Osamu Dazai’s masterful and intoxicating oeuvre.

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