Week 9: 雪国 - Snow Country ⛄️❄️

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雪国 - Snow Country :snowman::snowflake: Home Thread

Week 9

yukiguni

Start Date: Dec 26th
Previous Part: Week 8
Next Part: Week 10

Reading:

Week Start Date End Phrase End Page (角川文庫) End % Page Count
Week 9 Dec 26th 墓参り一丁一丁一丁や (after song) 142 78% 15

Word lists - Learn the vocabulary for 雪国 - Snow Country :snowman::snowflake:

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Proper Noun Readings

Name Reading Notes Proof
島村 しまむら Our protagonist
葉子 ようこ The girl on the train Furigana
駒子 こまこ The girl in the village Furigana

I have been weeks behind for a while, but I wanted to catch up since I felt guilty every time a new thread went up. :sweat_smile: Since I was so close to the end anyway, last weekend I made it my goal to finish the remaining part before the end of the year so I could count it as another book for 2020. I made it! :tada:

I have to say that this was the most challenging book I’ve read in Japanese so far. Sometimes it was grammar I wasn’t familiar with, but for the most part it was vocabulary. I had to look up a lot of words. There were words I had never come across, words I’d only seen once before, words I knew (but with different kanji), and several words that made me pause for a second because I thought there was something missing (omitted kana after a kanji in a verb).

One thing that really stood out to me was specific recurring word choices that actually reminded me of キッチン by 吉本ばなな. She also used words like 透明, 冴える, 鮮やか, and 澄む frequently in her two stories and for that reason I’ve since associated them with her book. Reading through weeks 4-9 all at once, I noticed that 島村 constantly used that language to describe 駒子 and the 雪国, giving them an otherworldly and fleeting feeling.

Overall I really enjoyed 雪国, and it’s my goal to read more proper literature in 2021, even if it is more challenging than reading light novels. Thank you to @NicoleRauch for suggesting this book! I’m sorry I wasn’t more active these last few weeks, and I look forward to discussing the last few sections with you guys. :slight_smile:

7 Likes

I‘m almost done as well!
This week was comparatively easy to read. Finally some dialogue with someone other than drunk 駒子. I liked that 島村 was finally able to have a conversation with 葉子, but turns out 葉子 also says a lot of weird 理不尽 things. Was that just Kawabata‘s image of women? I‘m not sure xD

I kind of gave up on looking up every word I don’t understand. My understanding is gonna be foggy anyway, so I’m trying to make reading less painful by not wasting time on dictionary lookups :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

3 Likes

That explains so much! :joy:

This is both encouraging and discouraging at the same time, haha.

3 Likes

I just feel like he does so little scene-setting, most of the time I‘m not even sure where these conversations take place, y‘know? :laughing:
Suddenly they’re back in his room, one time they’re walking through the woods, sometimes he‘s walking through the woods, then they’re at Komako‘s place.

It would probably help to read the whole chapter a second time, when I already have an idea where he is and what he’s going to do… (there was another confusing dialogue but that resolved when I went looking for it and read it a second time).
Sometimes I’m not even sure if I’m interpreting the conversations correctly.

When talking to 葉子, there‘s this part:
「女中に使っていただけませんの?」
「なあんだ、女中にか?」
「女中はいやなんです。」
And I‘m like ??? Am I missing something obvious here? :smiley:

Compared to for example 博士の愛した数式, where you always know where something takes place, who is where, etc. Which just makes it so much easier to read.

5 Likes

I also felt like I was missing cues all over the place but I figured that was because I actually was - maybe it’s really that the book doesn’t give a lot of cues like you said, instead.

Or neither of us is used to the writing style. :sweat_smile:
博士 was such a nice read.

3 Likes

At some point I even started to read a German translation (mainly because I was so insecure about my understanding and wanted to double-check what I had missed out on), so I read the first three chapters, I think, and I must say, I got like 80% of it or so, but it was not that the German version truly deepened my understanding of what was going on :joy_cat: :woman_shrugging:

Maybe a certain amount of weirdness is a prerequisite for getting a Nobel Prize?

4 Likes