Whenever i put pen on to a paper or I type words I think of Osamu Dazai. The craft of his writing with the mixture of his character equals a major influence on me, and I suspect on contemporary Japanese literature as well. For instance, Mishima's major influence was Dazai. Well, sort of. He didn't want to be a Dazai, in fact, he hated his work. But the truth is hatred of Dazai's character and work was a sign of love and respect to the great decadent literary figure - and Dazai was extremely decadent in the Japanese context. Drinker, womanizer, cad, drug addict, and extremely handsome - and a writing talent that is extremely superb. Dazai is one unique writer, and a day doesn't go by where I don't think about him. Hmm, perhaps this is really an obsession on my part, but let's put that aside for the moment.
"Schoolgirl" is a snapshot of the day in the life of a young girl, with her inner thoughts, her 'childish' impressions mixed in with great awareness of her world. It reads like a narrative poem, with some quiet beautiful moments, but with a 'punk' attitude. Well, punk attitude in 1939 Tokyo! You can smell the coming disaster in these pages, and they a writer/poet can smell the culture as it happens - and Dazai is one of those writers who for sure knew how the wind was blowing at the time of his writings. This small book is under a 100 pages, but it hits hard like a heavyweight fighter. One of the great writers of the 20th Century, and "Schoolgirl" is small in size, but huge as a classic piece of literature.