Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Osamu Dazai, La Vie Murmureé

Some things just speak to you and you want them straight  away, having discovered they exist. This is how I felt seeing the trailer for La Vie Murmureé (The Whispered Life), a French documentary about the Japanese writer Dazai. I'd never heard of Osamu Dazai. I watched the clip a few times, it just hypnotised me. I wanted to know more about this writer, who killed himself when he was just 38. I could find no info on the DVD in France (or UK or USA). I know Scott of The Friday Project - my publisher - loves Japanese writing so I asked him, and also emailed Rick, a Canadian teacher who lives in Japan (Rick takes brilliant photos by the way). Scott had not heard of the documentary but was going to see what he could find out. Rick then told me there's no DVD released in Japan, and he couldn't unearth any other traces. How frustrating, to see this gorgeous teaser-trailer but nothing more accessible! I have meanwhile downloaded The Schoolgirl onto my Kindle. I know little about Japanese literature apart from Banana Yoshimoto (I loved Kitchen) and Murakami (whom I've, shamefully, never got into) and I also loved Amélie Nothomb's Stupeur et Tremblements, set in Japan (she's a Belgian writer born in Japan).

1 comment:

Carissa Thorp said...

Have you heard of Shusaku Endo? His novel Silence is quite well regarded.