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Welcome to むらさきのスカートの女
This book has originally been nominated in the WaniKani Profoundly Weird Book Club, but its reading thread is being hosted here on Natively.
Where to buy
Amazon via Natively
The book does not have chapters nor star separators, only sections divided by blank lines. I hope I discovered them all! The pages are calculated from ebook pages so there may be some leeway…
When commenting, please refer to the section number.
We’re planning to start reading this book on Nov 1st, 2023. We don’t have a fixed schedule, so please feel free to join at any time and read at your own pace! It doesn’t matter when you start reading, even if it is much later than the “official” start. People will still watch this thread and discuss with you later on.
- Please mention which chapter your comment is meant for.
- Please use spoiler tags for any kind of spoiler-y events.
- When asking for help, please mention the chapter and page number. Also mention what version of the book you are reading.
- Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarrassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
- To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun!
Are you planning to read むらさきのスカートの女 with the book club?
Yay! We’re doing this! I was so looking forward to it
(of course I have a million other things I’m currently reading, but that’s fiiiiine)
This is so funny! I picked this up today in my other target language just by reading what it’s about and only later realizing it’s a Japanese author (my other TL always spells names so weird, I never quite process those)
But now that a book club might be around the corner, I might switch to Japanese for this for now
OK when are y’all up for starting this book?
(Note: This will be an informal book club, meaning that everybody can read at their own pace, starting whenever they like, but reading somewhat in sync just increases the fun!)
- ~Oct 15th
- ~Nov 1st
- ~Nov 15th
- ~Dec 1st
So I looked at my reading workload, saw that the next few weeks are already overloaded, and voted for the next few weeks anyway
It’s short and apparently easy, so I’m sure I can fit it in any time. Right?
It’s fairly short and also an easy, quick read so it should be ok come on, just add more to the pile….
Of course, the book does not feature any chapters or anything… There is just a fairly large number of sections, separated by a blank line. I hope I caught all of them Added them to the OP, together with the first word of each section. (Those words don’t particularly look like spoilers to me but I can hide them if anybody thinks otherwise.)
The page numbers are recalculated from the ebook so they may be wrong. If somebody owns the paperback book and feels the urge to look them all up, I’d be happy to include the correct page numbers. (That’s also why I did not calculate the page count - it’s probably incorrect anyways ).
I go to Ikea to pick up some things. I come back and there is a new bookclub with a book that was just mentioned in the “What are you reading?” thread… This forum moves quickly.
Wow, 7 people are interested in reading this book! Very nice!
Everybody agreed that Nov 1st or Nov 15th would be good starting points (except @cat who didn’t vote - I take this to mean that you’re fine with any start date? )
Anyways, as I see no reason to delay the start, I herewith declare Nov 1st to be the official start date! This is a Wednesday, and it’s right after Halloween, which means you can balance your Halloween reading with something completely different (or so I assume ).
As this is an informal thread, you are of course free to start earlier or later, depending on your preference. Please make sure to annotate your comments with the section(s) they refer to, and please use spoiler tags
Looking forward to everybody’s discussions!
In this case it means I somehow wasn’t getting notifications anymore for this thread but I’ll make do with whatever schedule, November is going to be a rough month for me bookclub wise
Oh oops, sorry!
On the other hand, the book is ~150 pages at level 27, so you should be able to read the whole thing in an afternoon or so (the Audible audiobook is 4 hours)
Anyways, I hope it won’t cause too much disruption to your schedule!
That is a good point. Short + easier (and an audiobook?!) means it won’t be a problem at all.
I won’t have much time tomorrow, so I started today already
For the text, I can read it with ease most of the time, but sometimes the author throws in a grammar point that confuses me quite a bit and makes me reach out for my grammar dictionary (and sometimes I even needed to ask the ever supportive @Myria ). This makes me seriously doubt the assigned Level 27
We meet the woman in the purple skirt and learn about her special walking skills (and about our not-so-skillful narrator ), and also how the children challenge each other with pranking her or the like. Feels super realistic to me, and I laughed out loud a few times.
Our narrator thinks hard about whom the lady in the purple skirt seems to resemble, and we learn a bit about her former friends Finally she concludes that she wants to become friends with this mysterious lady.
Thanks for the reminder.
Did I potentially forget this was even happening? We all know the answer to that question.
Luckily tomorrow is a holiday, so I should be able to get some stuff done.
You and me both. It’s not on my calendar so it doesn’t exist.
I’ll try to start tonight
I also read the first 2 sections.
I wonder what it is about that purple skirt woman that makes everyone notice her and treat her so differently to everyone else, as if she was an alien or ghost or a natural phenomenon or something. What makes her a novelty? Is she maybe a foreigner? (sometimes the children spoke English to her I think?). Does she never interact with anyone? How does she buy that パン? And does she never change clothes?
It looks like the narrator will go through a list of everyone she’s ever met that may bear a passing resemblance to the woman in the purple skirt
Could you share some examples? I’m supposedly always on the lookout for new grammar, but I must have glossed over it, because I haven’t noticed anything that gave me pause.
The first sentence I reflected on for a bit was
残念ながら「黄色いカーディガンの女」は、「むらさきのスカートの女」と違って、その存在を知られてはいない。because if the その存在を知られて. But I got it on my own.
The one that really threw me was
むらさきのスカートの女がすごいと思うのは、周りの人間がどんな反応を示そうと、決して自分の歩みのペースを変えないことだ。as I found the topic hard to wrap my head around, and I totally misunderstood the 自分, and also I didn’t know the 示そうと grammar point.
I have maybe looked up one or two other grammar points in the N2 range so you probably know them anyways.
Will keep track of my lookups and confusions going forward!
Thank you. The first sentence gave me a little pause too, but not because of grammar.
自分 often confuses me as to who it refers to, but not this time. I had no idea 示そうと was a grammar point. I think I’m at the stage where I understand (or think I do) most sentences instinctively, and don’t even try to analyse them. Which is generally the goal of course, and how we continue learning in our native language too, but it’s very possible I’m missing many formal learning opportunities this way.
This is my third re-read of this book, so I’m going to try and read it a bit more deeply with an analytical eye this time, so…uhh bear with me and my unstructured literary thoughts (No spoilers ofc)
Would love to hear other’s takes or opinions as well.
The entire narration is almost completely focused on the woman in the purple skirt with very few details about our narrator herself, putting us immediately in the world of 人間関係 between woman and how they observe each other. It’s significant how the very first description of her besides her skirt is about her physical appearance and how old she appears, in a way that involves evaluation or in “the language of women” - she has spots on her face and her hair is dry.
If you consider all the ways various women are mentioned throughout the chapter, there are, in addition to descriptions of the physical appearance, the following:
descriptors of how they eat (her sister and the woman in the purple skirt)
how they move (彼女はやはり運動神経抜群に違いない。むらさきのスカートの女と「運動」の二文字が、どうも似合わない気がするが。- a positive evaluation directly followed by a slightly negative one)
how they speak (おばちゃんみたいな喋り方をする子だ。- ambiguously negative evaluation?)
how popular or noticed they are by children and other adults
Thinking about it, the descriptions are all about how the women “are” or act in the world versus their character. Words describing personality such as kind, warm hearted, etc. are pretty much lacking so far!
I think the woman in the purple skirt having weirdo walking skillz makes her seem a bit fantastical and unreal - are we supposed to project something onto her?
One thing that stood out to me that I want to ponder on is the fact the narrator used the word 残念ながら in the quote 「残念ながら「黄色いカーディガンの女」は、「むらさきのスカートの女」と違って、その存在を知られてはいない。」
Why is it unfortunate? She wants to be “well known?” But she just described that she’s kind of known for being weird and kids mess with her?! I shall pay attention for some evidence for this 残念ながら as I read.
Lol read just a few pages and had so many thoughts! But the beginning of a story is always significant!