Favourite Quotes

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Quotes

These days, I am writing the second chapter of my dissertation and it is about Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. While I am at it, I also wanted to share some quotes I like in the novel 🙂

  • birdbird
    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami
    Published by Vintage Books
    Format: Paperback
    Source: Publisher
    Buy the Book
  • “Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understand another? We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close can we come to that person’s essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?”
  • “‘No flow now,” Mr Honda said, nodding to himself. “Now’s the time to stay still. Don’t do anything. Just be careful of water. Sometime in the future, this young fellow could experience real suffering in connection with water. Water that’s missing from where it’s supposed to be. Water that’s present where it’s not supposed to be. In any case, be very, very careful of water”’
  • “‘When you sneak into somebody’s backyard, it does seem that guts and curiosity are working together. Curiosity can bring guts out of hiding at times, maybe even get them going. But curiosity evaporates. Guts have to go for the long haul. Curiosity’s like an amusing friend you can’t really trust. It turns you on and then it leaves you to make it on your own—with whatever guts you can muster”’
  • “‘When you’re supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you’re supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom”’
  • “Memories and thoughts age, just as people do. But certain thoughts can never age, and certain memories can never fade”
  • “I realize full well how hard it must be to go on living alone in a place from which someone has left you, but there is nothing so cruel in this world as the desolation of having nothing to hope for.”
  • “I am not so weird to me”

  • “To know one’s own state is not a simple matter. One cannot look directly at one’s own face with one’s own eyes, for example. One has no choice but to look at one’s reflection in the mirror. Through experience, we come to believe that the image is correct, but that is all.”
  • “Hatred is like a long, dark shadow. Not even the person it falls upon knows where it comes from, in most cases. It is like a two-edged sword. When you cut the other person, you cut yourself. The more violently you hack at the other person, the more violently you hack at yourself. It can often be fatal. But it is not easy to dispose of. Please be careful, Mr Okada. It is very dangerous. Once it has taken root in your heart, hatred is the most difficult think in the world to shake off.”
  • “Everybody’s born with some different thing at the core of their existence. And that thing, whatever it is, becomes like a heat source that runs each person from the inside. I have one too, of course. Like everybody else. But sometimes it gets out of hand. It swells or shrinks inside me, and it shakes me up. What I’d really like to do is find a way to communicate that feeling to another person.”
  • “What we see before us is just one tiny part of the world. We get in the habit of thinking, this is the world, but that’s not true at all. The real world is a much darker and deeper place than this, and much of it is occupied by jellyfish and things.”
  • “Results aside, the ability to have complete faith in another human being is one of the finest qualities a person can possess.”
  • “You might think you made a new world or a new self, but your old self is always gonna be there, just below the surface, and if something happens, it’ll stick its head out and say ‘Hi.’ You don’t seem to realize that. You were made somewhere else.”
  • “I have come to think that life is a far more limited thing than those in the midst of its maelstorm realize. That light shines into the act of life for only the briefest moment-perhaps only a matter of seconds. Once it is gone and failed to grasp its offered revelation, there is no second chance. One may have to live the rest of one’s life in hopeless depth of loneliness and remorse. In that twilight world, one can no longer look forward to anything. All that such a person holds in his hands is the withered corpse of what should have been.”
  • “Now all you can do is wait. It must be hard for you, but there is a right time for everything. Like the ebb and flow of tides. No one can do anything to change them. When it is time to wait, you must wait.”
  • “We were young, and we had no need for prophecies. Just living was itself an act of prophecy.”
  • “You always look so cool, like no matter what happens, it’s got nothing to do with you, but you’re not really like that. In your own way, you’re out there fighting as hard as you can, even if other people can’t tell by looking at you.”
  • “I rarely suffer lengthy emotional distress from contact with other people. A person may anger or annoy me, but not for long. I can distinguish between myself and another as beings of two different realms. It’s a kind of talent (by which I do not mean to boast: it’s not an easy thing to do, so if you can do it, it is a kind of a talent – a special power). When someone gets on my nerves, the first thing I do is transfer the object of my unpleasant feelings to another domain, one having no connection with me. Then I tell myself, Fine, I’m feeling bad, but I’ve put the source of these feelings into another zone, away from here, where I can examine it and deal with it later in my own good time. In other words, I put a freeze on my emotions. Later, when I thaw them out to perform the examination, I do occasionally find my emotions in a distressed state, but that is rare. The passage of time will usually extract the venom from most things and render them harmless. Then sooner or later, I forget about them.”

Favourite Quotes from Sputnik Sweetheart

sputnikSputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami 
Published by Vintage 
Format: Paperback
Buy the Book

It has been such a long time since I read this novel. Back then, I read it within couple of hours and it is among my favourite Murakami works. Here are some parts I love and still remember :))

“I think it was the right move, but if I can be allowed a mediocre generalization, don’t pointless things have a place, too, in this far-from-perfect world? Remove everything pointless from an imperfect life and it’d lose even its imperfection.” (Murakami 4).

“”My head is like some ridiculous barn packed full of stuff I want to write about,” she said. “Images, scenes, snatches of words . . . in my mind they’re all glowing, all alive. Write! they shout at me. A great new story is about to be born – I can feel it. It’ll transport me to some brand-new place. Problem is, once I sit at my desk and put them all down on paper, I realize something vital is missing. It doesn’t crystallize – no crystals, just pebbles. And I’m not transported anywhere.”” (Murakami 16).

“Writing novels is much the same. You gather up bones and make your gate, but no mater how wonderful the gate might be, that alone doesn’t make it a living, breathing novel. A story is not something of this world. A real story requires a kinda of magical baptism to link the world on this side with the world on the other side.” (Murakami 17).

“Imagine if they erected a statue of your father in the square in front of Chigisaki Station. You’d feel pretty weird about it, right? My father was actually fairly short, but the statue made him look like some towering figure. I was only five at the time, but I was struck by the way things you see aren’t always true to life.” (Murakami 39).

“The right hand doesn’t try to know what the left hand’s doing – and vice versa. Confusion reigns, we end up lost – and we crash smack-bang right into something. Thud.” (Murakami 148).

“So what are people supposed to do if they want to avoid a collision (thud!) but still lie in the field, enjoying the clouds drifting by, listening to the grass grow – not thinking, in other words? Sounds hard? Not at all. Logically, it’s easy. C’est simple. The answer is dreams. Dreaming on and on. Entering the world of dreams, and never coming out. Living in dreams for the rest of time.” ( Murakami 148).

“But tomorrow I’ll be a different person, never again the person I was. Not that anyone will notice after I’m back in Japan. On the outside nothing will be different. But something inside has burned up and vanished. Blood has been shed, and something inside me is gone. Face turned down, without a word, that something makes its exit. The door opens; the door shuts. The light goes out. This is the last day for the person I am right now. The very last twilight. When dawn comes, the person I am won’t be here any more. Someone else will occupy this body.” (Murakami 195-196).

“I closed my eyes and listened carefully for the descendants of Sputnik, even now circling the Earth, gravity their only tie to the planet. Lonely metal souls in the unimpeded darkness of space, they meet, pass each other, and part,  never to meet again. No words passing between them. No promises to keep.” (Murakami 196).

“So that’s how we live our lives. No matter how deep and fatal the loss, no matter how important the thing that’s stolen from us – that’s snatched right out of our hands – even if we are left completely changed people with only the outer layer of the skin from before, we continue to play out our lives this way, in silence. We draw nearer to our alloted span of time, bidding farewell as it trails off behind. Repeating, often adroitly, the endless deeds of the everyday. Leaving behind a feeling of immeasurable emptiness.” (Murakami 225).

“We’re both looking at the same moon, in the same world. We’re connected to reality by the same line. All I have to do is quietly draw it towards me.” (Murakami 229).

What’s Your Favourite Dance Dance Dance Quote?

dance dance picDance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami
Published by Vintage
Format: Paperback
Pages: 393
Source: Publisher
Buy the Book

“It is out of your hands, kid. Whatever you may be thinking, you can’t resist. The story’s already decided” (6).

“The Dolphin Hotel, such that I was seeking, no longer existed. It didn’t matter what it was I was looking for, the place was no more. And not merely gone, it’d been replaced by this idiotic Star Wars high-tech hotel-a-thon. I was too late” (30-31).

“Latter-day capitalism. Like it or not, it’s the society we live in. Even the standard of right and wrong has been subdivided, made sophisticated. Within good, there’s fashionable good and unfashionable good, and ditto for bad. Within fashionable good, there’s formal and then there’s casual; there’s hip, there’s cool, there’s trendy, there’s snobbish. Mix ‘n’ match. Like pulling on a Missoni sweater over Trussardi slacks and Pollini shoes, you can now enjoy hybrid styles of morality. It’s the way of the world – philosophy starting to look more and more like business and administration” (55).

“Although I did not know so at the time, things were a lot simpler in 1969. All you had to do to express yourself was throw rocks at riot police. But with today’s sophistication, who’s in a position to throw rocks?” (55).

“For a moment, I tried to picture sleeping with an Egyptian court lady, but the image wouldn’t gel. The more I forced it, the more everything turned into 20th Century Fox’s Cleopatra. Very Epic” (72).

“‘Dance,” said the Sheep Man. “Yougotta dance. Aslongasthemusicplays.Yougotta dance. Don’teventhinkwhy. Starttothink, your feetstop. Yourfeetstop, wegetstuck. Wegetstuck, you’restuck. Sodon’tpayanymind, nomatterhowdumb. Yougottakeepthe step. Yougottalimberup. Yougottaloosenwhatyoubolteddown. Yougottauseallyougot. Weknowyou’re tired, tiredandscared. Happenstoeveryone, okay? Justdon’tletyourfeetstop” (86).

“Perhaps the lines were crossed. I had to get clear what it was she wanted from me. Enlist the help of the Sheep Man and link things up one by one. No matter how out of focus the picture, I had to unravel each strand patiently. Unravel then bind all together. I had to recover my world” (95).

“At times like this, the telephone becomes a time bomb. Nobody knows when it’s going to go off. But it’s ticking away with possibility” (125).

“Just wen to prove, once you’ve got an illusion going, it can function on the market like any other product. Advanced capitalism churning out goods for every conceivable niche. Illusion, that was the key word here. Whether prostitution or discrimination or personal attacks or displaced sex drive, give it a pretty name, a pretty package, and you could sell it. Before too long they’ll have a call girl catalog order service at the Seibu department store. You can rely on us” (282).

“‘Easy baby, you don’t have to try so hard,” I said with an affectionate pat on the dashboard. But the Maserati wasn’t listening to the likes of me. Cars know their class, too” (293).

“Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going  by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting” (332).

Some Quotes from Orhan Pamuk’s The New Life 

pamuk new lifeThe New Life by Orhan Pamuk 
Published by Faber & Faber
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“The glow of the new life I felt inside existed in a faraway place, even in a land that was unattainable, but I sensed that as long as I was in motion, I was getting closer. I could at least leave my old life behind me” (11).

“For a moment I sensed that if any old object from my old world were to be discovered and scrutinized now, from my new viewpoint enlightened by the book, it could be transformed into that magical piece children are always looking for” (11).

“The last page said “The End” just like in the movies and, reading those six letters, not only did I come to an exit point of the country where I’d wanted to remain, I was once again painfully aware that the magic realm was just a place made up by Uncle Railman Rıfkı” (12).

“The clatter of cups, spoons, and the teakettle, the noise of the citrus truck in the street were telling me to trust in the normal flow of life, but I wasn’t deceived. When I stepped outside, I was so sure the world had been utterly transformed that I was not embarrassed to be wearing my dead father’s worn and cumbersome overcoat” (16-17). 

“Tell me how the new world can be as familiar as my home and yet my home as strange as the new world” (20).

“What was it that made one’s life incomplete?” (51).

“Many times one does exactly the opposite of what one thinks, or thinks one is doing. You are on the road to that realm, but you are turning inwards. You think you are reading the book, yet you are rewriting it. When you imagine you are helping, you inflict harm. Most people want neither a new life nor a new world. So they kill the book’s author” (68).

“It was love. Sometimes I thought love was the only way of apprehending a distant world, like in the movies, and being transported there” (73).

“Who among us can be himself? Who’s the lucky person who hears the angels whisper? It’s all speculation, empty words meant to dupe the unwary” (95).

“God created the universe when he wished to see the reflection of his own infinite attributes, re-creating his own image which he beheld in his mirror. So the Moon, which frightens us when it shines into the forest, materialized over the images that we see so abundantly on the TV and movie screen such as the morning on the steppe, the brilliant sky, spanking-clean water washing rocky shores. The Moon was all alone back then in the dark sky like a television set that plays for itself in the living room when the power comes back on while the family is fast asleep in the night. The Moon and all creation existed back then, but there was no one to see them. Like an unreflecting mirror which is devoid of silver backing, things were devoid of spirit. You know what it is like, having watched so much of it. Now take another look at this spiritless universe so it may serve you as a lesson” (105).

“A grandfather clock somewhere outside the dining room struck nine, reminding us that time and life are transitory” (111).

My Favourite Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Quotes

Hard Boiled Wonderland and 
the End of the World by Haruki Murakami 
Published by Vintage Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
Source: Publisher 
Buy the book

“In the middle of the North Plaza stands a large Clock-tower piercing skyward. To be precise, one should say it is less a clocktower than an object retaining the form of a clocktower. The clock has long forfeited its original role as a timepiece.” (37-38)

“All the doors are sealed tight; no one is seen entering or leaving. Here, is this a post office for dead letters? This, a mining firm that engages no miners? This, a crematorium without corpses to burn?” (38)

“An expensive automobile may well be worth its price, but it’s only an expensive automobile. If you have the money, you can buy it, anyone can buy it. Procuring a good sofa, on the other hand, requires style and experience and philosophy. It takes money, yes, but you also need a vision of the superior sofa. That sofa among sofas.” (45)

“I wasn’t particularly afraid of death itself. As Shakespeare said, die this year and you don’t have to die the next. All quite simple, if you want to look at it that way. Life’s no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe’s my own to fool with. Hence I can live with it. But after I’m dead, can’t I just lie in peace? Those Egyptian pharoahs had a point, wanting to shut themselves up inside pyramids.” (51)

“… this Town is perfect. And by perfect, I mean complete. It has everything. If you cannot see that, then it has nothing. A perfect nothing.” (86)

“Big Boy was bringing new meaning to the word destruction in my cozy, tasteful apartment. I pulled another can of beer out of the refrigerator and sat back to watch the fireworks.” (142)

“The food here is different than elsewhere. We use only a few basic ingredients. What resembles meat is not. What resembles eggs is not. What resembles coffee only resembles coffee. Everything is made in the image of something.” (224)

“Besides, posters have a way of looking better than the real thing: the reality never lived up to the expectation.” (326)

“Thinking about time was torment. Time is too conceptual. Not that it stops us from filling it in. So much so, we can’t even tell whether our experiences belong to time or to the world of physical things.” (338)

“But I must see consequences of my own doings. This is my world. The Wall is here to hold me in, the River flows through me, the smoke is me burning, I must know why.” (399)



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