Week 1: アンダーグラウンド

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Week 1

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Start Date: May 25
Next Part: Week 2

Reading:

Week Start Date Chapter Start Page Page Count
Week 1 May 25 はじめに to 千代田線 Intro 6 20

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
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2 Likes

Kinda surprised to see so many brackets in a Japanese book. I only read fiction tbh so I’m guessing it’s just a non fiction book thing? Wondering if its a style thing though because I swear スペキュレーション(憶測)and the 顔のない多くの被害者の一人(ワンオブゼム)did not need brackets :rofl::rofl:

3 Likes

I‘d expect this to be a style thing. Murakami is known for his „western“ writing style, including many katakana words, and I‘m not surprised to see that it extends to brackets as well :thinking:

Although now that I think about it, there were also a few explanations in brackets in Kino no Tabi, so I dunno :woman_shrugging:

For this week’s reading, I found it very interesting to read about how they found the interviewees, how difficult it turned out to be, what goals they had in mind, and how they went about turning the interviews into the book.

For the intro part, what surprised me most was that the attackers survived. I had expected them to be so exposed that they would die there on the spot. But apparently the poison gas was not as effective, as none of the passengers died from it? Also I was surprised as to how unprepared they went into this („let’s get up at 3am and learn how to stab some plastic bags yay!“) and that the attackers were such high-ranking people in the organization. As one of them said, that was probably to shut them up - does this mean that it was expected that they would die?

3 Likes

Sorry for coming late to the party! Fixed that today and finished week 1 before I fall more behind.

Language wise I find it tough, such long sentences, oof! Example:

どれだけ話の細部が丹念に拾われていても、また何度もテープを聞き返してみても、現場の空気の全体的な流れが把握されていないと、会話の核のようなものを見失ってしまうこともあるし、そうなると証言そのものが力を失ってしまう

“Story” wise, I did know about the main event, but not about what happened later to the workers and their rejection from society. I wasn’t expecting that angle and never thought about that. Very deep.

とりあえずは本を読んでみていただきたい。

Sir yes sir, will do!

Nice to have so much context about how the interviews took place. Looking even more forward to them now that I know how hard it was to get them and how meticulously he tried to re-convey them! Especially after reading that last paragraph of 初めに, wow, what a master of world and mood building.

I wonder if any of you are reading this book without knowing about the events by the way? So far they are not related, I don’t know if it’s to come, as I imagine Japanese people (the target audience?) are very familiar to them. But if you don’t know about them, might a bit confusing to know what he is talking about when he mentions for example オウム?

2 Likes

Not exactly like I understood it. I understood it more like, now they are involved in this incident, so they can’t for example just quit the sect and go back to a normal life, like they maybe could have if they weren’t involved. So in that way they will be kept an eye on from the inside.

2 Likes

Oh ok that’s a good interpretation, thank you! Makes much more sense than my assumption.

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