Haruki Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore” Quotes (83 Quotes)


    Time weighs down on you like an old, ambiguous dream. You keep on moving, trying to sleep through it. But even if you go to the ends of the earth, you won't be able to escape it. Still, you have to go there- to the edge of the world. There's something you can't do unless you get there.


    When I open them, most of the books have the smell of an earlier time leaking out between the pages - a special odor of the knowledge and emotions that for ages have been calmly resting between the covers. Breathing it in, I glance through a few pages before returning each book to its shelf.


    When someone is trying very hard to get something, they don't. And when they're running away from something as hard as they can, it usually catches up with them.


    You are a major dimwit. Is your brain made out of jello, you spineless twit? A leaf? What do you think I am, one of those magical raccoons? I'm a concept, get it? Con-cept! Concepts and raccoons aren't exactly the same, now are they? What a dumb thing to say...

    You can't look too far ahead. Do that and you'll lose sight of what you're doing and stumble. I'm not saying you should focus solely on the details right in front of you, mind you. You've got to look ahead a bit or else you'll bump into something. You've got to conform to the proper order and at the same time keep an eye out for what's ahead. That's critical, no matter what you're doing.

    Your heart is like a great river after a long spell of rain, spilling over its banks. All signposts that once stood on the ground are gone, inundated and carried away by that rush of water. And still the rain beats down on the surface of the river. Every time you see a flood like that on the news you tell yourself: That's it. That's my heart.

    You're afraid of imagination and even more afraid of dreams. Afraid of the resposibility that begins in dreams. But you have to sleep and dreams are a part of sleep. When you're awake you can suppress imagination but you can't supress dreams.



    Time passes slowly. Nobody says a word, everyone lost in quiet reading. One person sits at a desk jotting down notes, but the rest are sitting there silently, not moving, totally absorbed. Just like me.

    Beethoven, he learned, was a proud man who believed absolutely in his own abilities and never bothered to flatter the nobility. Believing that art itself, and the proper expression of emotions, was the most SUBLIME thing in the world, he thought political power and wealth only served one purpose: to make art possible.


    It feels like everything's been decided in advance that I'm following a path somebody else has already mapped out for me. It doesn't matter how much I think things over, how much effort I put into it. In fact, the harder I try, the more I lose my sense of who I am. It's like my identity's an orbit that I've strayed far away from, and that really hurts. But more than that, it scares me. Just thinking about it makes me flinch.


    Beyond the edge of the world there's a space where emptiness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop. And, hovering about, there are signs no one has ever read, chords no one has ever heard.


    It must be though on you not being able to read, but it's not the end of the world. You might not be able to read, but there are things only you can do. That's what you gotta focus on - your strengths.



    I go back to the reading room, where I sink down in the sofa and into the world of The Arabian Nights. Slowly, like a movie fadeout, the real world evaporates. I'm alone, inside the world of the story. My favourite feeling in the world.


    The end of my penis is still a bit sore and stings a little when I take a leak. The tip's red. My fresh-from-the-foreskin cock is still plenty young and tender. Condensed sexual fantasies, Prince's slippery voice, quotes from all kinds of books-the whole confused mess swirls around in my brain, and my head feels like it's about to burst.

    But intolerant,narrow minds with no imagination are like parasites that transform the host,change form,and continue to thrive. They're a lost cause, and I don't want anyone like that coming in here.

    I know I'm a little different from everyone else, but I'm still human being. That's what I'd like you to realize. I'm just a regular person, not some monster. I feel the same things everyone else does, act the same way. Sometimes, though, that small difference feels like an abyss. But I guess there's not much I can do about it.


    The journey I'm taking is inside me. Just like blood travels down veins, what I'm seeing is my inner self and what seems threatening is just the echo of the fear in my heart.


    I stare at this ceaseless, rushing crowd and imagine a time a hundred years from now. In a hundred years everybody here-me included-will have disappeared from the face of the earth and turned into ashes or dust. A weird thought, but everything in front of me starts to seem unreal, like a gust of wind could blow it all away.


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