授乳 🤱 Book Club ・ Week 2

授乳 ・ Week 2

Week 2 21 August 2021
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Vocabulary

Please read the guidelines on the first page before adding any words.

Discussion questions

  1. 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!
  2. What was your favorite new vocab word from this week’s reading?
  3. 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?
2 Likes

I am reading this and 生命式 now, and in my opinion 授乳 is definitely more dense.

1 Like

Interesting atmosphere so far. No idea where this is heading even though we’re almost halfway through now.

It feels a lot harder than the previous book. It’s more text heavy so far in regards to density and length of sentences. I definitely look up a lot more stuff.

I also agree with @AmomentOfMusic, feels a lot more like Konbini Ningen.

7 Likes

The sudden foot stomping caught me off-guard. That’s some violent nursing :grin:

And if my husband had described me as しわくちゃだけど、うちの古女房ちゃんね, I would’ve done something else with the genkan slippers! :grin:

5 Likes

Just back from a week vacation (yay seeing family for the first time since Covid!) so only just finished week 2 yesterday. But also, as other’s have noted, I have found this story a bit more challenging to read. Hard to pin down exactly what is more difficult, but I think there are just more complex sentences overall, and lots of vocab I’ve had to look up. Will do my best to catch up in the coming week!

Somewhat dark prediction on what the title is referencing: we might see some blood sucking before the end.

Sentence I’m struggling with:
黒い穴あいたのっぺらぼうのようになって、じっとダイニングテーブルを磨いている母は、何を考えているのだろうか。

Second half is pretty straight forward (wondering what the mother is thinking as she is blankly polishing the dining room table), but not sure about the second, especially the use of あいた. Any thoughts?

Thoughts on plot

That being said, I’m really enjoying this story: I like the two parallel stories of the mother’s strained relationship to the father and the tutor, both of which feel like stories of depression and frustration with the world. I loved the part where the mother pulled the lettuce from the garbage can to feed to the father. So hilariously passive aggressive.

I also found the narrators reaction to the disclosure of self harm really realistic, in that rather than ask questions about it, or be alarmed, she just went into caring mode, and was a bit bewildered about the entire situation, not really questioning his request to not tell anyone.

In my experience, that is really how it happens. You think you will be all pro-active, in a very-special-episode kind of way, but actually… you don’t really know what to, especially as a teen. I was in that situation once as a teen, and I remember weirdly calm about it. And then I basically didn’t really do anything, or say anything of use. I want to think that now that I’m an adult, I would be better, and maybe I would, but it’s hard to know until you are in that situation.

7 Likes
Summary

のっぺらぼう is a Japanese 妖怪 with a featureless face, or really no face. (The wiki page has some interesting pictures if you’re interested.)

あいた is 開いた, to have opened. The mother’s face is featureless (emotionless, still, empty) like that of a のっぺらぼう, with the added feature of eyes/nose/mouth, which she likens to black holes.

I also just finished week 2 after some time away! :smiley: Happy catching up to the both of us!

5 Likes

Finally on the other side of Week 2!

I quite like the narrator in this one. Every now and then, she gives a straight up opinion of hers that is so blunt I find myself actually laughing out loud. For example, when she was talking about the value of her tutor early on in the section and says 「まあ私のお金じゃないし」. The line took me by surprise, and it adds a little something to her personality.

The Parents

I’m with @Phryne on this one: I was hoping she’d do the proper thing and whack those drunkards with her slipper, but alas, she had a more intricate revenge in store for them. On the one hand, feeding people garbage is a horrible thing to do. On the other, if garbage is what comes out of your mouth, then guess what gets to go in? :wastebasket: Just kidding. Still, I can sympathize.

The passive-aggressiveness is interesting. He messes up the tidiness of his underwear (perhaps on purpose) and she fixes it immediately. To be honest, it’s not really effective as a form of passive aggression, at least, on the mother’s part. I’m with Naoko when it comes to giving this woman a long, side-eyed stare. I’m curious about how else her mother’s need for order and tidiness, as well as the need to act in contrast to her husband, will manifest themselves in this story.

Scene with the Tutor

I’m surprised no one mentioned Naoko’s use of a pad to help clot her tutor’s blood. Their relationship thus far is very much “she attempts to push past boundaries.” There’s the boundary of communication (our fella here is a シャイボイ), physical boundary (the foot thing was odd; did he like it? Did she?? I still don’t know.), and the boundary of sex (perhaps menstrual pads aren’t “sexy,” but it’s a product that’s usually near something a straight guy might think is sexy). I’m interested in the dichotomy between her parents’ relationship and the one Naoko is clearly trying to start with her tutor.

5 Likes