Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood

p. 32 Even I would be move by his kindness at times, but he could, just as easily, be malicious and cruel. He was both a spirit of amazing loftiness and an irredeemable man of the gutter. He would charge forward, the optimistic leader, even as his heart writhed in a swamp of loneliness. I saw these paradoxical qualities of him from the start, and I could never understand why they weren't just as obvious to everyone else. He lived in his own special hell.

p. 269 Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it's time for them to be hurt.

South of the Border, West of the Sun

But I didn't understand then. That I could hurt somebody so badly she would never recover. That a person can, just by living, damage another human being beyond repair. 28


I already knew society had gotten to the point where something like Aum had to happen.--Toshaki Toyoda, 38

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

The friend who died in December was the youngest, and the only woman. She was twenty-four, like a revolutionary or a rock star. One cold rainy night just before Christmas, she was flattened in the tragic yet quite ordinary space between a beer-delivery truck and a concrete telephone pole. --New York Mining Disaster, 37

Hard-Boiled Wonderland

On the whole, I think of myself as one of those people who take a convenience-sake view of prevailing world conditions, events, existence in general. Not that I'm such a blasé, convenience-sake sort of guy--although I do have tendencies in that direction--but because more often than not, I've observed that convenient approximations bring you closest to comprehending the true nature of things. 4

As you get older, you don't recover from things so easily. 190

What I talk about when I talk about running

But really as I run, I don't think much of anything worth mentioning.

I just run. I run in a void. Or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to acquire a void. p. 17

Dance, Dance, Dance

Due to some unavoidable circumstances, I had quit an office that a friend and I were running, and for half a year I did almost nothing. I didn't feel like doing anything. The previous autumn all sorts of things had happened in my life. I got divorced. A friend died, very mysteriously. A woman ran out on me, without a word. I met a strange man, found myself caught up in some extraordinary developments. And by the time everything was over, I was overwhelmed by a stillness deeper than anything I'd known. A devastating absence hovered about my apartment. I stayed shut-in for six months. I never went out during the day, except to make the absolute minimum purchases necessary to survive. I'd venture into the city with the first gray of dawn and walk the deserted streets, and when the streets started to fill with people, I holed up back indoors to sleep.

Yuki hung up her fur coat and turned on the heater. Then she brought out a pack of Virginia Slims and lit up with a cool flick of the wrist. I couldn't say I thought much of a thirteen-year-old smoking. Yet there was something positively attractive about that pencil-thin filter poised on her sharp knife-cut lips, her long lashes luxuriating on the updraft. Picture perfect. I held my peace. If I were fifteen years old, I really would have fallen for her. As fatefully as the snow on the roof comes tumbling down in spring. I would have lost my head and been terribly unhappy. It took me back years. Made me feel helpless, a teenage boy pining away again for a girl who could almost have been Yuki.