Please read the guidelines on the first page before adding any words.
What sentence/passage gave you the most difficulty? Feel free to request some help, or if you figured it out on your own break it down for the rest of us!
What was your favorite new vocab word from this week’s reading?
Was there any passage that you found particularly intriguing? Did it resonate with you (either positively or negatively)? Was it surprising? Offer any insight or new perspective? Was it just beautifully written?
Bit confused by the twist at the end, to be honest! I am trying to think back to the various events of the book and figuring out if reading them in this new light gives fresh insights
I noticed that she (suddenly?) seemed to be very discontent with Youji as of this week. It seems that Ken-gate was the catalyst for this. It was the last thing that happened before she soured on Youji. It’s also clear that it had a massive impact on her emotionally, considering her dream:
As for the that ketchup scene… After she has (I assume) squirted ketchup all over her head, she notes: あたしは今、自分の足の間にも、同じような赤黒い体液が流れ出ていることを思い出していた。Is that referring to menstruation? She was terrified of becoming pregnant by Ken before, so is this mention of menstruation related to that? Proof that she isn’t pregnant? Is Ken-gate pivotal in the sense that this pregnancy scare was the last push she needed to realise she is uncomfortable with her femininity?
And is the realisation that she might be transgender the reason she has become increasingly discontent with Youji, because she has come to realise that she wasn’t infatuated with him, but rather with the masculine ideal of him, that she wishes she herself could be? A realisation she came to when she saw Youji in a different context (his university), in which he behaved completely differently. 要二は僕の中にいた人物を演じていたに過ぎないとわかった。
When there was the 血 scene, my first assumption was also a suicide, but nope, blood’s Ken’s. But why?
(because of the transgender twist, I’m going with “they” pronoun below, because I couldn’t decide between she/he)
Protag went to Ken because on their own volition, Ken didn’t pressure them into anything. Is is just about the fact that the disgust was so strong protag didn’t see any other solution than murdering Ken in their dream?
I think there was a connection between playing house and the make-believe game with Youji, but also with the dreams protagonist is having and with the loss of sight (I think there were also weird things with the sense of touch?) at the ending. Everything is about disconnecting from reality and building your own ideal world. Oh, and Masao’s pictures, too, were the ideal fictional world.
Even if the protagonist had a transgender realization about themselves, it still wasn’t a way they wanted to connect with the world. I had the impression it was more “I don’t need an utopia outside of me, I have a perfect utopia within my own body.”
Hmm, technically, there was already one utopia within protag’s body, their mind TV, which was broken by Ken.
Thanks for the interpretation stuff. I’m so bad at interpreting things, especially on top of making sense of the language and to be honest, for the last two weeks I was just glad when I somehow got through to the end. Very exhausting.
Really felt like Murata was testing the waters with these stories. They all have quite a different style. So far this has been my least favorite. It was very drawn out, but the twist/ending was unexpected though pretty nice. コイビト being my favorite of the three.
I definitely feel similarly about this story. If not for the storyline about Masao I think it would been my least favorite so far. I found myself pushing through the main story just to get to those vignettes. I have a tough time determining whether my struggles are due to language, interpretation, or lack of interest. It seems that the more interested I am the less difficult the language is. I perceived this story as being the most difficult thing I’ve ever read, but the Masao parts just snapped into clarity.
I was wondering the whole story why the Masao story was paired with the Youji story but I guess that ending explains it!
I can’t wait to start 地球星人! I think it’ll be a nice change of pace. Hopefully I’ll have the thread up by later tonight.
That’s the same conclusion I reached as well! This book felt more exhausting to read than the other ones we’ve read, and the last story especially was a bit of a chore. I’ll be voting for later works from now on.