Haruki Murakami’s “Norwegian Wood” Quotes (55 Quotes)



    With Naoko gone, I went to sleep on the sofa. I hadn't intended to do so, but I fell into the kind of deep sleep I had not in a long time, filled with a sense of Naoko's presence. In the kitchen were the dishes Naoko ate from, in the bathroom was the toothbrush Naoko used, and in the bedroom was the bed in which Naoko slept. Sleeping soundly in this apartment of hers, I wrung the fatigue from every cell of my body, drop by drop. I dreamed of a butterfly dancing in the half-light.


    My arm was not what she needed, but the arm of someone else. My warmth was not what she needed, but the warmth of someone else.




    If you think about it, an unfair society is a society that makes it possible for you to exploit your abilities to the limit.

    You know what girls are like. They turn twenty or twenty-one and all of a sudden they start having these concrete ideas. They get super realistic. And when that happens, everything that seemed so sweet and lovable about them begins to look ordinary and depressing.

    And as the years have passed, the time has grown longer. The sad truth is that what I could recall in five seconds all too needed ten, then thirty, then a full minute - like shadows lengthening at dusk. Someday, I suppose, the shadows will be swallowed up in darkness.

    Nobody likes being alone that much. I don't go out of my way to make friends, that's all. It just leads to disappointment.

    I don't want our relationship to end like this. You're one of the very few friends I have, and it hurts not being able to see you. When am I going to be able to talk to you? I want you to tell me that much, at least.

    The years nineteen and twenty are a crucial stage in the maturation of character, and if you allow yourself to become warped when you're that age, it will cause you pain when you're older.

    I'm confused. Really confused. And it's a lot deeper than you think. Deeperà darkerà colder. But tell me something. How could you have slept with me that time? How could you have done such a thing? Why didn't you just leave me alone?



    I found a Bill Evans record in the bookcase and was listening to it while drying my hair when I realized that it was the record I had played in Naoko's room on the night of her birthday, the night she cried and I took her in my arms. That had happened only six months earlier, but it felt like something from a much remoter past. Maybe it felt that way because I had thought about it so often-too often, to the point where it had distorted my sense of time.

    Things like that happen all the time in this great big world of ours. It is like taking a boat out on a beautiful lake on a beautiful day and thinking both the sky and the lake are beautiful. Things will go where they are supposed to go if you just let them take their natural course. Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it is time for them to be hurt. Life is like that.


    Death was not the opposite of life. It was already here, within my being, it had always been here, and no struggle would permit me to forget that.


    I have a million things to talk to you about. All I want in this world is you. I want to see you and talk. I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning.





    I read Naoko's letter again and again, and each time I read it I would be filled with the same unbearable sadness I used to feel whenever Naoko stared into my eyes. I had no way to deal with it, no place I could take it to or hide it away. Like the wind passing over my body, it had neither shape nor weight, nor could I wrap myself in it.



    Each day the sun would rise and set, the flag would be raised and lowered. Each Sunday I would have a date with my dead friend's girl. I had no idea what I was doing or what I was going to do.

    So I'm not crazy after all! I thought it looked good myself once I cut it all off. Not one guy likes it, though. They all tell me I look like a first grader or a concentration camp survivor. What's this thing that guys have for girls with long hair? Fascists, the whole bunch of them! Why do guys all think girls with long hair are the classiest, the sweetest, the most feminine? I mean, I myself know at least two hundred and fifty unclassy girls with long hair. Really.


    More Haruki Murakami Quotations (Based on Topics)


    World - Time - Life - Mind - People - Place - Death & Dying - Dreams - Sense & Perception - Thought & Thinking - Friendship - Books - Love - Imagination & Visualization - Education - Night - Age - Body - Spring - View All Haruki Murakami Quotations

    More Haruki Murakami Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
    - Kafka on the Shore
    - Norwegian Wood
    - The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    Related Authors


    O. Henry - William Arthur Ward - Oliver Wendell Holmes - Milan Kundera - Michael Cunningham - Joseph Addison - Edward Fairfax - Ayn Rand - Arthur C. Clarke - Abraham Polonsky


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