Jeremy's Reviews > The Setting Sun

The Setting Sun by Osamu Dazai
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's review
Aug 28, 2011

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bookshelves: japanese-literature

So bleak. Dazai writes about the dissolution of a single aristocratic Japanese family, and he does a great job of showing the sad, helpless position that lower aristocrats of any nationality usually find themselves in. They're lost between a quickly disintegrating past and future that has no real interest in or place for them. Suicide comes up a lot in this book. Yet it never felt shocking or surprising. It seems inevitable that they will all end up compromised, broken, and dead. What did surprise me were the occasional christian allusions that pop up in the book which I guess, as someone who admittedly has a shallow understanding of Japanese culture, I just don't much expect. Of course even these are tinged by the pessimism and impending doom that runs through the whole book.
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