Haruki Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” Quotes (59 Quotes)


    In terms of evolutionary history, it was only yesterday that men learned to walk around on two legs and get in trouble thinking complicated thoughts. So don't worry, you'll burn out.

    What most moved me in his letter was the sense of frustration that permeated the lieutenent's words: the frustration of never quite being able to depict or explain anything to his full satisfaction.

    A life without pain: it was the very thing I had dreamed of for years, but now that I had it, I couldn't find a place for myself within it. A clear gap separated me from it, and this caused me great confusion. I felt as if I were not anchored to this world - this world that I had hated so passionately until then; this world that I had continued to revile for its unfairness and injustice; this world where at least I knew who I was. Now the world ceased to be the world, and I had ceased to be me.





    It might not be perfect, but the fundamental stance I adopted with regard to my home was to accept it, problems and all, because it was something I myself had chosen. If it had problems, these were almost certainly problems that had originated within me.

    When I finished bathing after dinner, Kumiko was sitting in the living room with the lights out. Hunched down in the dark with her gray shirt on, she looked like a piece of luggage that had been left in the wrong place.


    Once a guy starts using a wig, he has to keep using one. It's, like, his fate. That's why wig makers make such huge profits. I hate to say it, but they're like drug dealers.

    Holding this soft, small living creature in my lap this way, though, and seeing how it slept with complete trust in me, I felt a warm rush in my chest. I put my hand on the cat's chest and felt his heart beating. The pulse was faint and fast, but his heart, like mine, was ticking off the time allotted to his small body with all the restless earnestness of my own.


    It suddenly occurred to me that true believers in hard-driving jazz-Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Cecil Taylor-could never become owners of cleaning shops in malls across from railroad stations.


    A regular wind-up toy world this is, I think. Once a day the wind-up bird has to come and wind the springs of this world. Alone in this fun house, only I grow old, a pale softball of death swelling inside me. Yet even as I sleep somewhere between Saturn and Uranus, wind-up birds everywhere are busy at work fulfilling their appointed rounds.

    One last word of advice, though, Mr. Okada, though you may not want to hear this. There are things in this world it is better not to know about. Of course, those are the very things that people most want to know about. It's strange.

    I don't know -- maybe the world has two different kinds of people, and for one kind the world is this completely logical, rice pudding place, and for the other it's all hit-or-miss macaroni gratin.

    The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you're supposed to go up and down when you're supposed to go down. When you're supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you're supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. When there's no flow, stay still. If you resist the flow, everything dries up. If everything dries up, the world is darkness.

    It was a narrow world, a world that was standing still. But the narrower it became, the more it betook of stillness, the more this world that enveloped me seemed to overflow with things and people that could only be called strange. They had been there all the while, it seemed, waiting in the shadows for me to stop moving. And every time the wind-up bird came to my yard to wind its spring, the world descendedmore deeply into chaos.





    The sky was painted over, a perfect uniform gray. On days like this the clouds probably absorbed the sounds from the surface of the earth. And not just sounds. All kinds of things. Perceptions, for example.

    It was not one of those strong, impulsive feelings that can hit two people like an electric shock when they first meet, but something quieter and gentler, like two tiny lights traveling in tandem through a vast darkness and drawing imperceptibly closer to each other as they go.



    I tell you, Mr. Okada, a cold beer at the end of the day is the best thing life has to offer. Some choosy people say that a too cold beer doesn't taste good, but I couldn't disagree more. The first beer should be so cold you can't even taste it. The second one should be a little less chilled, but I want that first one to be like ice. I want it to be so cold my temples throb with pain. This is my own personal preference of course.


    Kumiko and I felt something for each other from the beginning. It was not one of those strong, impulsive feelings that can hit two people like an electric shock when they first meet, but something quieter and gentler, like two tiny lights traveling in tandem through a vast darkness and drawing imperceptibly closer to each other as they go. As our meetings grew more frequent, I felt not so much that I had met someone new as that I had chanced upon a dear old friend.


    More Haruki Murakami Quotations (Based on Topics)


    World - Time - Life - Mind - People - Place - Death & Dying - Sense & Perception - Dreams - Thought & Thinking - Books - Love - Imagination & Visualization - Friendship - Night - Age - Education - Perfection - Happiness - 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


    Pablo Neruda - Napoleon Hill - Dale Carnegie - William Arthur Ward - Thomas Kuhn - Margaret J. Wheatley - Ivo Andric - Dr. Seuss - Anne Frank - Agatha Christie


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