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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami

  • “When you don’t have anything to do, your thoughts get really really far out – so far out you can’t follow them all the way to the end.”
  • “I really suffer  emotional distress from contact with other people. A person may anger or annoyme, but not for long. I can distinguish between myself and another as beings of two different realms.”
  • “Kumiko’s father was an arrogant, unpleasant man, to be sure, but finally he was a small minded character who had lived by clinging to a simple set of narrow believe narrow beliefs.”
  • “Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of 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?”
  • “But even so, every now and then I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drink, the very air I breathe, would feel like long, sharp needles. The pages of a book in my hands would take on the threatening metallic gleam of razor blades. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o’clock in the morning.”
  • “Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can’t buy.”
  • “Memories and thoughts age, just as people do. But certain thoughts can never age, and certain memories can never fade.”
  • “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. But I can’t seem to do it. They just don’t get it. Of course, the problem could be that I’m not explaining it very well, but I think it’s because they’re not listening very well. They pretend to be listening, but they’re not, really. So I get worked up sometimes, and I do some crazy things.”
  • “In a place far away from anyone or anywhere, I drifted off for a moment.”
  • “Have you ever had that feeling—that you’d like to go to a whole different place and become a whole different self?”
  • “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.”
  • “The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you’re supposed to go up and down when you’re supposed to go down. 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. When there’s no flow, stay still. If you resist the flow, everything dries up. If everything dries up, the world is darkness.”
  • “I’d be smiling and chatting away, and my mind would be floating around somewhere else, like a balloon with a broken string.”
  • “When you are used to the kind of life -of never getting anything you want- you stop knowing what it is you want.”
  • “Kumiko and I felt something for each other from the beginning. It was not one of those strong, impulsive feelings that can hit two people like an electric shock when they first meet, but something quieter and gentler, like two tiny lights traveling in tandem through a vast darkness and drawing imperceptibly closer to each other as they go. As our meetings grew more frequent, I felt not so much that I had met someone new as that I had chanced upon a dear old friend.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “Tell me, Doctor, are you afraid of death?” – “I guess it depends on how you die.”
  • “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 could disappear from the face of the earth, and the world would go on moving without the slightest twinge. Things were tremendously complicated, to be sure, but one thing was clear: no one needed me.”
  • “Nothing so consumes a person as meaningless exertion”
  • “This person, this self, this me, finally, was made somewhere else. Everything had come from somewhere else, and it would all go somewhere else. I was nothing but a pathway for the person known as me.”
  • “To tell you the truth, he said,  I can neither understand nor care about what you have been telling me. The things I care about are of an entirely different order, things that I suspect you can neither understand nor care about. To state my conclusions as concisely as possible, if you wish to marry kumiko and she wishes to marry you, I have neither the right nor any reason to stand in your way. Therefore I shall not stand in your way.”