Quotes by Haruki Murakami
Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Haruki Murakami. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Wikipedia Summary for Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami (村上 春樹, Murakami Haruki, born January 12, 1949) is a Japanese writer. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work being translated into 50 languages and selling millions of copies outside his native country. His work has received numerous awards, including the World Fantasy Award, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, and the Jerusalem Prize.
Murakami's most notable works include A Wild Sheep Chase (1982), Norwegian Wood (1987), The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994–95), Kafka on the Shore (2002), and 1Q84 (2009–10). He has also translated works by writers like Raymond Carver and J. D. Salinger into Japanese.
Despite one of his books, 1Q84, being ranked in Japan as the best work of fiction published in Japan's Heisei era (1989–2019), his fiction is sometimes criticised by Japan's literary establishment as un-Japanese. Murakami is influenced by western writers from Chandler to Vonnegut by way of Brautigan. Murakami's fiction is frequently surrealistic and melancholic or fatalistic, marked by a Kafkaesque rendition of the "recurrent themes of alienation and loneliness" he weaves into his narratives. Steven Poole of The Guardian praised Murakami as "among the world's greatest living novelists" for his works and achievements.
There's no war that will end all wars.
Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves.
Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who's in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It's like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven't seen in a long time.
Listen up -- there's no war that will end all wars.
You're tired and scared. Happens to everyone, okay? Just don't let your feet stop.
The stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they're watching me.
And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in.
Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can't buy.
The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can't be learned at school.
It is sometimes necessary for each person. Fill up with delicious food, get drunk, sing loudly and chat frivolously.
The power to concentrate was the most important thing. Living without this power would be like opening one's eyes without seeing anything.
I don't know, there's something about you. Say there's an hourglass, the sand's about to run out. Someone like you can always be counted on to turn the thing over.
The past became a long, razor-sharp skewer that stabbed right through his heart. Silent silver pain shot through him, transforming his spine to a pillar of ice. The pain remained, unabated. He held his breath, shut his eyes tight, enduring the agony.
I closed my own jazz bar so I could be a man who can write novels as I like. I was pleased about that. This pleasure was connected to the pleasure of writing.
What she most wanted was to blend in with her background by changing color and shape, to remain inconspicuous and not easily remembered. This was how she had protected herself since childhood.
For a ten-year-old boy and a ten-year-old girl to become good friends was not easy under any circumstances. Indeed, it might be one of the most difficult accomplishments in the world.
He did not have the sort of looks suited for stakeouts or tailing people. As much as he might try to lose himself in a crowd, he was as inconspicuous as a centipede in a coup of yogurt.
You're wrong. The mind is not like raindrops. It does not fall from the skies, it does not lose itself among other things. If you believe in me at all, then believe this: I promise you I will find it. Everything depends on this.
I believe you, she whispers after a moment. Please find my mind.
Slowly like a movie fade out, the real world evaporates. I'm alone, inside the world of the story. My favorite feeling in the world.
It was as if my whole life revolved around trying to judge the appropriate point in a conversation to say goodbye.
I can't imagine how American readers will react to a novel, but if the story is appealing it doesn't matter much if you don't catch all the detail. I'm not too familiar with the geography of nineteenth century London, for instance, but I still enjoy reading Dickens.
When I see a dictionary on my desk I feel like I'm looking at some strange dog leaving a twisty piece of poop on our lawn out back.
Only where there is disillusionment and depression and sorrow does happiness arise; without the despair of loss, there is no hope.
When you fall in love, the natural thing to do is give yourself to it. That's what I think. It's just a form of sincerity.
Things change everyday. With each new dawn, it is not the same world as before. And you're not the same person you were either.
Everybody feels safe belonging not to the excluded minority but to the excluding majority. You think, Oh, I'm glad that's not me. It's basically the same in all periods in all societies. If you belong to the majority, you can avoid thinking about lots of troubling things.
For me, it was a lonely season. Whenever I got home and took off my clothes, I felt as if any second my bones would burst through my skin. Like some unknown force inside me had taken a wrong turn somewhere, and was leading me off in some strange direction to another world.
If you have to choose between something that has form and something that doesn't, go for the one without form. That's my rule.
Reaching the finish line, never walking, and enjoying the race. These three, in this order, are my goals.
Our hands were clasped together for ten seconds at most, but to me it felt more like thirty minutes. When she let go of my hand, I was suddenly lost.
Now that you've said hello, I'm afraid we move right into farewells. Hello, goodbye. Like flowers scattered in a storm, man's life is one long farewell, as they say.
Humans by necessity must have a midway point between their desires and their pride. Just as all objects must have a center of gravity.
If you listen carefully, you can hear these things. If you look carefully, you'll see what you're after.
Ice contains no future, just the past, sealed away. As if they're alive, everything in the world is sealed up inside, clear and distinct. Ice can preserve all kinds of things that way -- cleanly, clearly. That's the essence of ice, the role it plays.
Perhaps normal imperfect human beings simply preferred the company of other normal imperfect human beings.
I was always hungry for love. Just once, I wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it -- to be fed so much love I couldn't take it any more. Just once.
I've been clinging to this world like a discarded shell of an insect stuck to a branch, about to be blown off forever by a gust of wind.
You are caught between all that was and all that must be. You feel lost. Mark my words: as soon as the bones mend, you will forget about the fracture.
Smart presidents usually became the target of assassins so people with higher than average intelligence probably did their best to avoid being elected.
Strange as it may seem--or perhaps it does not seem so strange--they all had the same thought: it was so much easier to kill humans on the battlefield than animals in cages, even if, on the battlefield, one might end up being killed oneself.
No one noticed that I had changed- that I had given up sleep entirely, that I was spending all my time reading, that my mind was someplace a hundred years -- and hundreds of miles -- from reality.
Generally, people who are good at writing letters have no need to write letters. They've got plenty of life to lead inside their own context.
I've never once thought about how I was going to die, she said. I can't think about it. I don't even know how I'm going to live.
Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I'm gazing at a distant star.
It's dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago.
Maybe the star doesn't even exist any more. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything.
I all of a sudden got to feeling like talking to people. Whenever I look at the ocean, I always want to talk to people, but when I'm talking to people, I always want to look at the ocean. I'm weird like that.
Somewhere in his body -- perhaps in the marrow of his bones -- he would continue to feel her absence.
It's all matter of attitude. You could let a lot of things bother you if you wanted to But it's pretty much the same anywhere you go, you can manage.
Like a button on a shirt buttoned wrong, every attempt to correct things led to yet another fine -- not to say elegant -- mess.
Allegories and metaphors are not something you should explain in words. You just grasp them and accept them.
I've had sex with lots of guys, but I think I did it mostly out of fear. I was scared not to have somebody putting his arms around me, so I could never say no. That's all. Nothing good ever came of sex like that. All it does is grind down the meaning of life a piece at a time.
We can, if we so choose, wander aimlessly over the continent of the arbitrary. Rootless as some winged seed blown about on a serendipitous spring breeze.
Considering the sense of powerlessness that such a state of affairs would bring about, to have people floating in a pool of mysterious question marks seems like a minor sin.
Reality's just the accumulation of ominous prophecies come to life. All you have to do is open a newspaper on any given day to weigh the good news versus the bad news, and you'll see what I mean.
The moon had been observing the earth close-up longer than anyone. It must have witnessed all of the phenomena occurring -- and all of the acts carried out -- on this earth. But the moon remained silent; it told no stories.
My world foreshortened, flattening into a credit card. Seen head on, things seemed merely skewed, but from the side the view was virtually meaningless -- a one-dimensional wafer. Everything about me may have been crammed in there, but it was only plastic. Indecipherable except to some machine.
No matter how advanced the system, no matter how precise, unless we have the will to communicate, there's no connection. And even supposing the will is there, there are times like now when we don't know the other party's number. Or even if we know the number, we misdial.
I shouted into the phone, but there was no reply. Silence floated up from the receiver like smoke from the mouth of a gun.
To sleep with a woman: it can seem of the utmost importance in your mind, or then again it can seem like nothing much at all. Which only goes to say that there's sex as therapy (self-therapy, that is) and there's sex as pastime.
I'm just ordinary guy, ordinary family, ordinary education, ordinary face, ordinary exam results, ordinary thought in my head.
In everybody's life there's a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can't go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That's how we survive.
Don't get impatient. Even if things are so tangled up, you can't do anything, don't get desperate or blow a fuse and start yanking on one particular thread before it's ready to come undone. You have to realise it's going to be a long process and that you'll work on things slowly, one at a time.
I learned that realism can come in all shapes and sizes. The world is big
enough for different values to coexist.
A revelation leaps over the borders of the everyday. A life without revelation is no life at all. What you need to do is move from reason that observes to reason that acts. That's what's critical.
It's all a question of imagination. Our responsibility begins with the power to imagine.
It's all a question of imagination. Our responsibility begins with the power to imagine. It's just as Yeats said: "In dreams begin responsibility. Turn this on its head and you could say that where there's no power to imagine, no responsibility can arise." ... Just like Adolf Eichmann caught up in the twisted dreams of a man named Hitler. -- Oshima.
Sometimes I feel as if I'm racing with my own shadow, Korogi says. But that's one thing I'll never be able to outrun. Nobody can shake off their own shadow.
This is the extent of his knowledge of the sea: it was very big, it was salty, and fish lived there.
I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it's a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.
If a person remains tense for a long time he might not notice it himself, but it's like his nerves are a piece of rubber that has been stretched out. It's hard to go back to the original shape.
If you try to use your head to think about things, people don't want to have anything to do with you.
We survived. You and I. And those who survive have a duty. Our duty is to do our best to keep on living. Even if our lives are not perfect.
Of course you got rights, the law's on your side, but sometimes the law takes a long time to kick in and so it gets put in the hands of us poor suckers on duty. You get my drift?
The month of travelling neither lifted my spirits nor softened the blow of Naoko's death. I arrived back in Tokyo in pretty much the same state in which I had left.
I think of rivers, of tides. Forests and water gushing out. Rain and lightning. Rocks and shadows. All of these are in me.
I always feel like I'm struggling to become someone else. Like I'm trying to find a new place, grab hold of a new life, a new personality. I guess it's part of growing up; it's also an attempt to reinvent myself.
From his shoulder on down, the Rat felt the supple weight of her body. An odd sensation, that weight. This being that could love a man, bear children, grow old, and die; to think one whole existence was in this weight.
Is the narrative you now possess really and truly your own? Are your dreams really your own dreams? Might not they be someone else's visions that could sooner or later turn into nightmares?
I happen to like the strange ones. People who look normal and leads normal lives -- they're the ones you have to watch out for.
I turned to run, but I didn't actually take a step, even though I wanted to. That wasn't the way I was raised. My mother taught me that if you knock on a door, you have to wait there until someone answers.
I think certain types of processes don't allow for any variation. If you have to be part of that process, all you can do is transform--or perhaps distort--yourself through that persistent repetition, and make that process a part of your own personality.
Kindness and a caring mind are two separate qualities. Kindness is manners. It is superficial custom, an acquired practice. Not so the mind. The mind is deeper, stronger, and, I believe, it is far more inconstant.
No matter what they wish for, no matter how far they go, people can never be anything but themselves. That's all.
It's just like Yeats said. In dreams begin responsibilities. Flip this around and you could say that where there's no power to imagine, no responsibility can arise.
That's how stories happen -- with a turning point, an unexpected twist. There's only one kind of happiness, but misfortune comes in all shapes and sizes. It's like Tolstoy said. Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story.
Age certainly hadn't conferred any smarts on me. Character maybe, but mediocrity is a constant, as one Russian writer put it. Russian writers have a way with aphorisms. They probably spend all winter thinking them up.
Between the time the last train leaves and the first train arrives, the place changes: it's not the same as in daytime.
Kā tas var būt, ka laikmetā, kad cilvēki būvē stacijas uz Mēness, ogles joprojām iegūst raktvēs, Aomaame nobrīnījās.
If I used being busy as an excuse not to run, I'd never run again. I have only a few reasons to keep on running, and a truckload of them to quit.
Sometimes I feel like a caretaker of a museum -- a huge, empty museum where no one ever comes, and I'm watching over it for no one but myself.
Well, look at it another way: why shouldn't there be cats in a zoo? I said.
They're animals, too, right?
Cats and dogs are your run-of-the-mill-type animals. Nobody's going to pay money to see them, he said. Just look around you-they're everywhere. Same thing with people.
I love pop culture -- the Rolling Stones, the Doors, David Lynch, things like that.
That's why I said I don't like elitism.
A sheet of white extends to the lone dark vertical of the elm tree in the centre ... It is too perfect, to inviolate ... The snow is graced with waves written by the wind, the elm raises crooked arms in sleeves of white.
She was hearing everything that went on in his heart, like a person who can trace a map with his fingertip and conjure up vivid, living scenery.
The curious thing about individuals is that their singularity always goes beyond any category or generalization in the book.
I wasn't particularly afraid of death itself. As Shakespeare said, die this year and you don't have to die the next.
Lots of different ways to live and lots of different ways to die. But in the end that doesn't make a bit of difference. All that remains is a desert.
Say it before you run out of time. Say it before it's too late. Say what you're feeling. Waiting is a mistake.
It's like doughnut holes. Whether you take a doughnut hole as a blank space or as an entity unto itself is a purely metaphysical question and does not affect the taste of the doughnut one bit.
There weren't any curtains in the windows, and the books that didn't fit into the bookshelf lay piled on the floor like a bunch of intellectual refugees.
I don't know, I don't feel right unless I've got the sea and mountains nearby. People are mostly a product of where they were born and raised. How you think and feel's always linked to the lay of the land, the temperature. The prevailing winds, even.
Here, too, a brand-new day is beginning. It could be a day like all the others, or it could be a day remarkable enough in many ways to remain in the memory. In either case, for now, for most people, it is a blank sheet of paper.
Writers have to keep on writing if they want to mature, like caterpillars endlessly chewing on leaves.
Music always stimulates my imagination. When I'm writing I usually have some Baroque music on low in the background chamber music by Bach, Telemann, and the like.
Perhaps this was the wisdom with which a child in her position survived: by minimizing her wounds--staying as small as possible, as nearly transparent as possible.
One heart is not connected to another through harmony alone. They are, instead, linked deeply through their wounds.
One heart is not connected to another through harmony alone. They are, instead, linked deeply through their wounds. Pain linked to pain, fragility to fragility. There is no silence without a cry of grief, no forgiveness without bloodshed, no acceptance without a passage through acute loss. That is what lies at the root of true harmony.
Some things in life are too complicated to explain in any language.
Some things in life are too complicated to explain in any language. Not just to explain to others but to explain to yourself. Force yourself to try to explain it and you create lies.
The things that his death gave rise to are still there, bright and clear, inside me, some of them even clearer than when they were new.
Dreaming is the day job of novelists, but sharing our dreams is a still more important task for us. We cannot be novelists without this sense of sharing something.
I generally concentrate on work for three or four hours every morning. I sit at my desk and focus totally on what I'm writing. I don't see anything else, I don't think about anything else.
'How much do you love me?' Midori asked. 'Enough to melt all the tigers in the world to butter,' I said.
When you're surrounded by endless possibilities, one of the hardest things you can do is pass them up.
But if you peeled away the ornamental egos that she had built, there was only an abyss of nothingness and the intense thirst that came with it.
I don't really know if it's the right thing to do, making new life. Kids grow up, generations take their place. What does it all come to? More hills bulldozed and more ocean fronts filled in? Faster cars and more cats run over? Who needs it?
One of these days they'll be making a film where the whole human race gets wiped out in a nuclear war, but everything works out in the end.
I've just been feeling insecure since I was 20, and that's all I've been trying to express. Now the entire world is feeling insecure.
As if a great creature had grown old without being able to express its feelings. Not that it didn't know how to express them, but rather it didn't know what to express.
After such prolonged frowning, it took her some moments to recall what her normal face even looked like, but after several attempts she was able to settle on a reasonable facsimile.
Give yourself five minutes to consider how you can turn a miserable situation to your benefit and that light bulb is going to click on.
Her smile steps offstage for a moment, then does an encore, all while I'm dealing with my blushing face.
You make do with what you have. As you age you learn even to be happy with what you have. That's one of the few good points of growing older.
I always used to think that I'd like to stay 17 or 18 if I could. But not any more. I'm not a teenager any more. I've got a sense of responsibility now. I'm not the same person I was when we used to hang out together. I'm 20 now. And I have to pay the price to go on living.
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