コンビニ人間: Week 8 Discussion

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Week 8

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Start Date: August 17th
Previous Thread: Week 7
Next Chapter: Week 9

Reading:

End Page (PB) End Page (HB) End % End Phrase Pages
100 92 59% 済んだのに、と思った。 11

Word lists - Learn the vocabulary for コンビニ人間

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
  • When asking for help, please mention the chapter and page number. Also mention what version of the book you are reading.
  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
  • To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun! :durtle:

Read-along Sessions

Come and read from the previous week’s section, join in the chat about this book or just lurk and listen. Readers of all speeds and abilities welcome - we are here to help each other out. Reading sessions will be held every Sunday at 9:30pm JST.

Week 8 session (in your timezone): Sunday, August 25, 2019 12:30 PM TZ

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7 Likes

There’s a four line sentence towards the beginning of the section. Plus lots of 自分s, which tend to confuse me. I might ask a specific question in a few days if no one else has by then.

1 Like

That’s a tricky sentence, I’ll attempt to parse it for posterity as we’re bound to have questions about it.

Full sentence:
どちらかというと白羽さんが性犯罪者寸前の人間だと思っていたので、迷惑をかけられたアルバイト女性や女性客のことも考えずに、自分の苦しみの比喩として気軽に強姦という言葉を使う白羽さんを、被害者意識は強いのに、自分が加害者かもしれないとは考えない思考回路なんだなあ、と思って眺めた。

Summary

どちらかというと白羽さんが性犯罪者寸前の人間だと思っていたので、

If I have to say, I think of Shiraha as someone who’s so close to being a sex offender,

迷惑をかけられたアルバイト女性や女性客のことも考えずに、

without thinking about the staff and customers in the store whom he had bothered,

自分の苦しみの比喩として気軽に強姦という言葉を使う白羽さんを、

to use words like “rape” as a metaphor to his suffering.

被害者意識は強いのに、

Even though his sense of being victimized is too strong,

自分が加害者かもしれないとは考えない思考回路なんだなあ、と思って眺めた。

it seems that he employs the kind of thinking where he never considers himself the assailant, I thought while I looked at him.

(Preserving some of the constructs here is hard because of that “言葉を使う白羽さんを” in the middle, which is the object of the last verb “眺めた”.)

7 Likes

Some questions please, if I may.

At 52%

それは結局、世界を全面的に受容することなのでは、と不思議に思ったが
I am not sure what this means… “in the end, that just means receiving the world completely, I (surprisingly) thought.” is my best guess, but no idea what “receiving the world” means. Accepting it? Submitting to it?

Then a couple sentences after that part we have
「疲れるのは、非合理的ですね。結婚をしただけで文句を言われないなら、手早くて合理的ですね」

疲れる のは 、 非合理的ですね => I’m not sure if this means “what’s tiring is (you) being illogical” or “begin tired is illogical”
手早くて合理的ですね => I have no idea about this… quickly logical? what? =@.@=

Any help is appreciated!

2 Likes

QTyping one-handed, so i’ll keep it quick.

First one is more like accepting. 受け入れること is how my jp dictionary defines it.

Second one is unclear, but grammatically it should be “(about to be tired) it’s illogical” hence, it’s illogical to be/remain tired.
Just do the damn thing they want you to do and, boom, not tired anymore. That’s quick and logical :wink:

5 Likes
Translation attempt :)

“Becoming tired is illogical. If only by getting married you won’t get complained at, quickly doing so is logical, isn’t it.”

Since 白羽 said, 疲れたんだ as his reason for why he can just accept not fitting in, rather than becoing tired of it, he should just do as he says if that’s all it’d take. I think.

Still 3 or 4 more pages to go, but so far I’m loving their conversation. :smiley: Irrational 白羽 who just wants someone else to blame so he doesn’t have to find fault in himself, ‘against’ rational 恵子 who very neutrally keeps pointing out the faults in his logic. He must be so thrown by her calm acceptance of all the things he keeps saying. :smiley:

4 Likes

Done with this week and back on track schedule-wise.
Somehow the conversation with 白羽 was hard to read, it made me kind of angry and frustrated :sweat_smile:. But I felt bad for him when she mentioned that he had probably nowhere to go, and I guess kind of happy for him that she took him home and let him shower and stay over.
And the end, the phone call with her sister, was also really weird, but I thought it was sweet that she called her and told her about 白羽.
Also her realisation at the end about how “normal people” all have a manual in their head and don’t need it spelled out was really cool and eye-opening.

The reading in general seemed harder this week. Some of the sentences were long and confusing, but I didn’t really want to take the time to untangle them :smile:

7 Likes

Yes it was hardest this week I think.

The whole part was very good, we got to see more of why 白羽 is the way he is. The sister talk was nice, but ominous for me. It seemed that she’s delving even further into the rabbit hole. It’s like on one side she’s realizing things, but at the same time she’s reaching messed up conclusions without even knowing, confusing them with what being “normal” is supposed to be. It’s a mixed feeling really, excited to see where this is going.

4 Likes

I kind of had the opposite reaction to Keiko’s phone call with her sister. It felt like Keiko was calling her to test out how she’d react, almost as an experiment for future reference. She even pointed out that her sister, from the sole information that a guy was at her house, and without asking anything more, assumed they were in a relationship and went so far as to ask about marriage. Like “Ahhh, so this is how people will respond to this scenario”. It seemed more sad than sweet to me, like her sister wasn’t really thinking about Keiko at all.

I did like Keiko’s analogy between societal expectations and a manual in everyones’ head. It’s interesting how she always seems to relate things back to the コンビニ.

4 Likes

On page 92, is ムラ just 村? That’s an odd word to put in katakana. Maybe because it’s being used in an analogy where it really means the world?


Also, as a random aside, my brief misreading of 狩り as 守り made me realize how ironic it is for 狩 to be written from 守 and 犭. I mean, I guess you can be protecting your family (or your ムラ :wink:) by hunting the animals, but it naively reads as protecting the animals by hunting them.


One more question.

Page 92-93

コンビニと一緒で、私たちは入れ替わっているだけで、ずっと同じ光景を続けているのかもしれない。

I can’t really make sense of this sentence. I feel like she’s saying something profound here that I’m missing. :sweat_smile:

1 Like

That’s how I interpreted it. It’s a metaphorical 村.

About the question

Just in case 入れ替わる is the problem:
https://hinative.com/ja/questions/269111

If I remember correctly, the 一緒で was referring to the fact that the world is like the kombini. I’ll need to check the book to make sure of what comes before, though.
So yeah, just by changing us, the world, like the kombini, ensures that the same environment keeps going on (which is why we are still in the 縄文時代, deep down).
It’s kinda funny that her point of reference to understand the world is the kombini, not the other way around (although it’s not surprising anymore by now). :stuck_out_tongue:

3 Likes
About your answer

The rest of her thoughts beforehand doesn’t say anything about the world, just that she couldn’t completely refute what he was saying. But obviously he was talking about the world via the 村 metaphor, so that could still be relevant.

It seems like my confusion might have stemmed from コンビニと一緒で. Normally I’d interpret something like this as “together with the konbini”, but from your explanation it sounds like here it really makes “the same as the konbini”. Is that right? Is this an inherent difference between 一緒に and 一緒で or does it just depend on the context?

Your explanation makes a lot of sense because she’s referred to the employees changing before and immediately after the sentence I asked about she references the regular customer who always says 変わらないわね in reference to the konbini.

Thanks!!

2 Likes

That’s right. Interestingly, when trying to look up a reference, I found a ton of stuff on hinative and the like saying that 一緒で is wrong (but that’s just because people want to use it instead of 一緒に)

Anyway, here’s one link that explains it in a little bit more details:

Relevant part:

一緒 could also indicate that two things are the same; in this case, 一緒で can be replaced with 一緒であって:

彼は母校が一緒で、子供のころは毎日遊んでいた。 He went to the same school as I did, and when we were kids we played every day.

That being said, I still want to check context.

3 Likes

Yey, managed to finish this week’s part. I agree that this week seemed harder to understand than the previous ones. In particular I’d like to ask about the following part:

At 55%

「でも白羽さん 、ついさっきまで迎合しようとしてたじゃないですか。 やっぱりいざとなると難しいですか? そうですよね、真っ向から世界と戦い、自由を獲得するために 一 生を捧げる方が、多分苦しみに対して誠実なのだと思います

So, in this part 恵子 is trying to convince 白羽 about getting married on paper for the sake of avoiding other people meddling into their lives. If I understand the first part correctly, she’s saying:

“But 白羽さん, just a moment ago you were planning on going along (with what society asks from you).”

“When push comes to shove, it is difficult after all, isn’t it?”

Then comes the part I’m struggling with:

So, the first part starts with “Fight the world from the other side, devote all of one’s life for the sake of acquiring freedom”. I’m not sure what 方が is doing there at the end. Is it a comparison with an implied より? If so, what exactly is this being compared to? with 迎合する?

Then we have the next part which I literally seems to say “probably in contrast with suffering it is honesty” but I have no idea what that means, so I’m probably missing/confusing something.

Any help is appreciated!

Summary

そうですよね、真っ向から世界と戦い、自由を獲得するために 一 生を捧げる方が、多分苦しみに対して誠実なのだと思います

“I guess people who fight the world/society head on and devote their whole life trying to acquire freedom, those people are sincere about suffering.”

(To be honest I don’t think I understand what she’s referring to exactly.)

This 方 is the かた reading here, which is the respectful version of 人.

1 Like

Read this today. It took me a while to get into it as it did feel harder than usual, but apart from that it was really interesting. I’m not even sure how I feel about the whole thing to be honest.

I’m finding it difficult to put into words what I thought of this section, and other people said things better than I probably could but I’ll try anyway since that’s kind of the point of the club…

I can’t like 白羽, even if I do feel bad for him in some ways. But as even 恵子 said it seems like he is just deflecting blame. It seems to me that even though he may have been wronged in some ways, he still doesn’t really want to fix things. For example, he was complaining about not being able to get married, so she suggests they get married and suddenly he is like…uhh maybe not.

I loved reading 恵子’s reactions and answers even if they are somewhat misguided. At least she is consistent. I found really funny the part when she is trying to explain things to him by comparing to the コンビニ and he is like ??? what are you talking about what does the コンビニ have to do with anything?

The conversation with her sister gave me mixed feelings. On one hand it was kinda sweet that she was happy for her, but on the other hand she was making all those assumptions and possibly giving 恵子 the impression that she is on the right path (since she is often shown to follow her sister’s advice), while if she actually knew the full details she would probably be telling her that she shouldn’t invite to her home a man that she thinks is nearing sex offender territory. I don’t think that’s the direction this is going, thankfully, but still.

And I’m just rambling aimlessly at this point so I’ll just finish by saying that I can’t wait to see where this is going and I also enjoyed the manual-in-head analogy.

6 Likes

Somehow my mind completely discarded the possibility of it being かた =._.=
Thanks for the help!

I am sure about the specifics either, but I believe she’s referring to the fact that 白羽 (and herself to a degree, probably) doesn’t seem to be willing to embrace his own peculiarities and face the world head on. 白羽 keeps shifting blame to others, while 恵子 seems obsessed with disguising herself to be as normal as possible. Maybe 恵子 means that only people who have the courage to do such a thing have the right to say they are actually suffering? If that’s right, then she’d be invalidating 白羽 affirmations about his suffering.

3 Likes

Ohh that does make sense. For some reason I just couldn’t understand what “sincere about suffering” meant in this context, but reading your explanation makes the meaning clearer :+1:

1 Like

This week’s section is harder than previous sections, but not terribly so. I’m slightly behind, but that’s because I’ve read 250 pages of a book in English this week, not because of the difficulty.

Anyway, I do have two questions for now.

Page 96

ここ二週間で14回、「何で結婚しないの?」と言われた。「何でアルバイトなの?」は12回だ。とりあえず、言われた回数が多いものから消去していってみようと思った。

  1. Does ここ二週間 mean these last two weeks?
  2. Am I forgetting other significant incidents where people asked her why she wasn’t married? I honestly don’t remember, but with how much happened at the barbecue earlier that day you’d think she’d just be thinking about that.
  3. What is the role of もの in the second sentence? Couldn’t it just be 言われた回数が多いから?

私はどこかで、変化を求めていた。それが悪い変化でもいい変化でも、膠着状態の今よりましなのではないかと思えた。

So she’s wishing for some kind of change. Good or bad, it seemed preferable to the status quo. Is that right?

1 Like
Summary
  1. Yeah pretty sure prefixing ここ makes any time interval “last x” (I can’t find an article about it with a quick search though). ここ二時間 = last 2 hours

  2. None that we saw, I think. Probably a count of those are behind the scenes.

  3. I think this is just ものだから (because)? The result is the same as から but this has a more explanatory tone to it. @Myria’s comment below might be the correct one. I don’t feel like the だ can be left out of ものだから.

Yup. Seems to her any kind of change is better than her current state of stagnation.

3 Likes