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


    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.

    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.



    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.


    The library was like a second home. Or maybe more like a real home, more than the place I lived in. By going every day I got to know all the lady librarians who worked there. They knew my name and always said hi. I was painfully shy, though, and could barely reply.







    I'm free, I think. I shut my eyes and think hard and deep about how free I am, but I can't really understand what it means. All I know is I'm totally alone. All alone in an unfamiliar place, like some solitary explorer who's lost his compass and his map. Is this what it means to be free? I don't know, and I give up thinking about it.

    Mr. Nakata, this world is a terribly violent place. And nobody can escape the violence. Please keep that in mind. You can't be too cautious. The same holds true for cats and human beings.

    The silence grew deeper, so deep that if you listened carefully you might very well catch the sound of the earth revolving on its axis.

    A deserted library in the morning - there's something about it that really gets to me. All possible words and ideas are there, resting peacefully.




    The strength I'm looking for isn't the type where you win or lose. I'm not after a wall that'll repel power coming from outside. What I want us the kind of strength to be able to absorb that kind of power, to stand up to it.The strength to quietly endure things - unfairness, misfortunes, sadness, mistakes, misunderstandings.

    A strange, terrific force unlike anything I've ever experienced is sprouting in my heart, taking root there, growing. Shut up behind my rib cage, my warm heart expands and contracts independent of my will--over and over.


    If I listen to some utterly perfect performance of an utterly perfect piece while I'm driving, I might want to close my eyes and die right then and there. But listening to the D major, I can feel the limits of what humans are capable of - that a certain type of perfection can only be realized through a limitless accumulation of the imperfect. And personally, I feel that encouraging. Do you know what I'm getting at?

    Nakata's empty inside... Do you know what it means to be completely empty? Being empty is like a vacant house. An unlocked, vacant house. Anybody can come in, anytime they want. That's what scares me the most



    Even chance meetings are the result of karma… Things in life are fated by our previous lives. That even in the smallest events there's no such thing as coincidence.



    There's an essential order you have to follow in everything. It's a way of showing respect, following everything in the correct order.




    People are by and large a product of where they were born and raised. How you think and feel's always linked to the lie of the land, the temperature. The prevailing winds, even.

    Things outside you are projections of what's inside you, and what's inside you is a projection of what's outside. So when you step into the labyrinth outside you, at the same time you're stepping into the labyrinth inside.

    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.






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