Crackling Mountain and Other Stories

Crackling Mountain and Other Stories

by Osamu Dazai

Dazai experimented with a wide variety of short story styles and brought to each a sophisticated sense of humor, a broad empathy for the human condition, and a tremendous literary talent.

By turns hilarious, ironic, introspective, mystical and sarcastic, the eleven stories present the most fully rounded portrait available of a tragic, multifaceted genius of modern Japanese letters.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Asian Literature
  • Rating: 3.89
  • Pages: 256
  • Publish Date: 1989 by Tuttle Publishing
  • Isbn10: 0804833427
  • Isbn13: 9780804833424

What People Think about "Crackling Mountain and Other Stories"

I once wanted a fountain pen like his, but was too afraid to ask for one. Father was talking to a guest in the next room and my words were meant for him. According to my family, this sister too was homely." From "Heed My Plea", Judas on Jesus: "And even if people despise me forever and I end up suffering in eternal hellfire, it will be like nothing alongside my unquenchable love for him."

Here our main characters are a badger and a rabbit, representative of (a) man and (a) woman, as rendered by Dazai. In every woman dwells this cruel rabbit, while in every man a good badger always struggles against drowning.

Memories 5/5 It's not possible to put a rating on the events of someone's life so the lessons that were taught in this first story are where the rating comes from. In memories we come to see how the thoughts, feelings, actions, and experiences of a child can be misinterpreted by adults. That time she seems to be calling him a fool for failing to see the situation his daughter is in. The final time, she never calls herself a fool but I think you can guess when she said it. He comments on how there were different types of monkeys (different cultures, all of which were under some European countries control) and how he and the other monkey were the same but different (Japan's situation regarding the West) They then observe the humans who come to put on a show only to realize that they are the show. But I think he was also showing that these people are no different then them using the description of the the wife, scientist, and landlord (a jab towards his own dad). It was interesting to see the story from Judas' point of view. I knew Dazai would sympathize with Judas and try to show the thoughts behinds his actions. However, I like how Dazai shows that it's possible to want attention for something you're dedicated to. He knows his words will mean nothing compared to that of Jesus who has a huge following and even accused Judas in front of everyone. The only way I can connect this story to him is how people often had the wrong impression of him and he didn't try to correct them (much). I don't know why the king got let off at the end of the story (I thought it was funny how he wanted to become friends with the duo. I liked the contrast he showed in the book where he has Melos running at inhumane speeds, yet, when confronted with the robbers his stance as a herdsman comes to play and he explains that he wouldn't normally do this. It's so sad to see how no matter what Dazai wore or what he thought about his clothes, people passed their unwanted opinion. I think the only person who was kind was his friend who said that no one would pay much attention to him. A Poor Man's got his Pride 3/5 This was an interesting tale that shows how pride still remains in a person no matter where they are in life. I liked the realism it shows when two people elope. Dazai is really showing how even if you have good intentions, you will still struggle in life. Our protagonist goes through life but every time he feels energetic or enthusiastic (not matter how small) he hears a sound that causes him to lose complete interest in the activity. I think this story can be taken in 2 ways. The events of your life always has a way of effecting you and in this case I feel it was depression. I think Dazai wrote this story really well because you can take out the WW2 setting and still get an effective piece of literature that shows how depression affects an individual, especially the situation where they lose interest in doing things.

But these stories also retain the reserved and less-detailed style of classic Japanese; so there's nothing fun or overtly tragic about the heroes, or certainly not without knowing the classic source and what exactly Dazai's retelling is doing.

I'd definitely recommend this book, although I must say that I found the translator's notes prefacing every single story to be almost completely unnecessary.

There was just so much fun in this volume, seeing a livelier more comedic (albeit still dark since this is Dazai) side to Dazai's writing as opposed to his more well known works which tend to lean more towards the tragic and dark. This struggle makes an appearance in glimpses throughout his other works but here it's laid bare - the story is the struggle. That's what made this volume so enjoyable, most of the stories are designed simply to make the reader laugh, On the Question of Apparel, A Poor Man's Got His Pride. While others aim to question important issues while still making the reader laugh with Dazai's command of self-characterisation and satire, like Monkey Island, Crackling Mountain and Melos, Run!.