授乳 🤱 Book Club ・ Week 9

授乳 ・ Week 9

Week 9 9 October 2021
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End loc (Kindle) 1164
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Vocabulary

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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

So, all in all, I liked it, more than the previous story. The much easier language was a nice surprise too, I expected to struggle throughout the whole book :stuck_out_tongue:

But I think I appreciate better the Murata’s stories which end with protagonist getting herself (I don’t think I saw a non-female protag yet) a nice safe space in society where she can happily live her life and her weird quirks are okay in the end. Revenge stories are also satisfying.
Therefore, I’m not fully happy with the conclusion that the toys were detrimental for the girls :disappointed_relieved: What is worse, that it’s impossible for protag to change her life and she’s destined to be… possessed?

Nevertheless, it’s always a pleasure to get all these non-typical weird characters, because the world always feels a little more spacious to me after reading Murata’s work :sparkles:

Also, I know it’s a Week 5 quote, but I wanted to include it in my summary… my first reaction to this was “but it’s so sad and fakey and cold and not a genuine relationship”… and the second reaction was “eh but i guess it’s one of these society rules …i don’t get it, but i need to remember to remember it better” :stuck_out_tongue:

2 Likes

Oh, that was an interesting ending.

My interpretation is a bit different. The problem in protag’s life wasn’t Hoshio but unprocessed trauma. But what we got in the story were two equally inaccurate views on the situation, protag’s “if I get rid of Hoshio I will be free” and Misako’s “you can never be normal”. And I agree with Misako’s reaction insofar as protag is likely going to be developing other unhealthy coping mechanisms unless she deals with her trauma in a productive way/gets professional help, though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a lost cause.

I guess the difference to me between this and other Murata protagonists is that this protag was actually unhappy with the situation her quirk has gotten her into, whereas for example in コンビニ人間 protag was perfectly satisfied with her life if it wasn’t for outside interference. So I’m glad that Hoshio went out the window, it’s probably a step in the right direction for protag. But only a step, nothing more.

6 Likes

But wasn’t she:

  • using Hoshio
  • having problems with functioning within the school kids
    before the incident anyway?

(But I guess this still can be an argument for getting professional help)

2 Likes

Yup, but I feel like the incident was the big trigger for turning her relationship with Hoshio into something she later felt was unhealthy for her. Otherwise her 8pm dates with Hoshio would just fall into the “quirk that doesn’t harm anyone” category for me as well.

Especially this part reminded me a lot of コンビニ人間 but the two main characters have developed in quite different directions after their childhood…

4 Likes

Welp! Though I did cackle when it was described as a 無理心中, lol. The situation mirrored the protagonist’s origin story in a sense, didn’t it? In the sense that she could’ve prevented it, perhaps? Or do you think there is nothing she could’ve done?

At least I called this one correctly :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Or did I? It seems like she had an immediate relapse… I think @NyappyTiramisu’s interpretation is right. The protagonist did have a realisation, but it wasn’t quite the one she needed to have.

It also strikes me that sexually transgressive teachers are a bit of recurring theme in Murata’s works. I wonder why…

4 Likes
  • and toy animals (地球星人, ミラクリーナ, and here, although as a lover - only here so far)
  • and cousins met only at Obon (地球星人, and a story from 生命式)
4 Likes

Was a nice story. I can definitely feel it’s her first book. Her writing style isn’t as polished as it is with Konbini Ningen and it’s a lot more dense (maybe a bit more bloated even compared to the other stuff we’ve read so far? Not sure how to describe my feeling about it) The stories are still just as weird and original though, hehe. Looking forward to the last story :slight_smile:

7 Likes

Definitely enjoyed this story a good deal more than the last one due to the easier language and more bizarre (and thus intriguing) subject matter. I agree that these stories don’t feel as “polished” from a writing standpoint as the other things we’ve read, but the elements are all there in a sort of “Murata Soup”. It doesn’t take a huge leap of the imagination to see how she got from here to コンビニ人間 or even 地球星人.

Considering so many of the themes and motifs in Murata’s writing are clearly autobiographical, it does concern me a bit that childhood traumas and sexually transgressive teachers seem to pop up so often.

That’s a pretty funny turn of events after your week 8 comment. I also laughed at 無理心中–it’s definitely my favorite new vocab word from this story. Perhaps it was ムータ who was doing the coercing :thinking:. As to whether she could have prevented it, I’m not sure, but I do agree that there’s a strong parallel.

At the end of the story I felt like I was reading a horror book (although I guess Murata doesn’t hesitate to dip her toes into the genre now and then). 美佐子 and the protagonists mental diseases were embodied in these demonic stuffed animals.

I’m really excited to read 地球星人 again after having read more of Murata’s works. Even if these stories aren’t quiet as good as some of her others, I think it’s been a valuable experience seeing where she started off as an author.

6 Likes

Actually, it isn’t a mystery - Murata does comment on this during various 地球星人 interviews, for example:

and I’ve experienced it in a mild way, so I wanted to get that into the story.

source (but light spoilers for 地球星人 :warning:): Author Sayaka Murata: 'Every day I got up at 2am and wrote before going into work at 6am'

or during this group discussion, around 57:20 (here heavy 地球星人 spoilers :warning:): JFNY Literary Series Episode #2: Sayaka Murata x Ginny Tapley Takemori - YouTube

And I feel like I have experienced fragments of what this girl suffers at the hands of her teacher

4 Likes

And just now I noticed this Instagram post:
Login • Instagram

alternatively, Twitter version:
https://twitter.com/sayakamurata/status/1448645618038046742

It seems the book itself was released over a year ago (and I totally missed it) but it’s getting its marketing campaign now? :thinking: Probably covid issues, I guess.

Anyway, it’s 32-pages picture book with basically the following plot:

日曜日、ぼくのおばあちゃんとぬいぐるみのポーポが結婚する。

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/村田-沙耶香/dp/4265022456/

3 Likes