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


    If something came out of the deal, it couldn't make things any worse for us than they already were, I thought. But I couldn't have been more wrong. Hell has no true bottom.


    A certain kind of shittiness, a certain kind of stagnation, a certain kind of darkness, goes on propagating itself by its own power in its own self-contained cycle. And once it passes a certain point, no one can stop it-even if the person himself wants to stop it.


    Hatred is like a long, dark shadow. Not even the person it falls upon knows where it comes from, in most cases. It is like a two-edged sword. When you cut the other person, you cut yourself. The more violently you hack at the other person, the more violently you hack at yourself. It can often be fatal. But it is not easy to dispose of. Please be careful, Mr.Okada. It is very dangerous. Once it has taken root in your heart, hatred is the most difficult think in the world to shake off.


    Thanks to the long days of rain, the blades of grass glowed with a deep-green luster, and they gave off the smell of wildness unique to things that sink their roots into the earth.

    I'm going to take you out of here ... I'm going to take you home, to the world where you belong, where cats with bent tails live, and there are little backyards, and alarm clocks ring in the morning.

    Well, finally, the events I've been through have been tremendously complicated. All kinds of characters have come on the scene, and strange things have happened one after another, to the point where, if I try to think about them in order, I lose track.


    Noboru Wataya is a person who belongs to a world that is the exact opposite of yours... In a world where you are losing everything, Mr.Okada, Noboru Wataya is gaining everything. In a world where you are rejected, he is accepted. And the opposite is just as true. Which is why he hates you so intensely.


    The darkness behind my closed eyelids was like the cloud-covered sky, but the gray was somewhat deeper. Every few minutes, someone would come and paint over the gray with a different-textured gray - one with a touch of gold or green or red. I was impressed with the variety of grays that existed. Human beings were so strange. All you had to do was sit still for ten minutes, and you could see this amazing variety of grays.

    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.


    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


    Pablo Neruda - O. Henry - Thomas Paine - Rudyard Kipling - Oliver Wendell Holmes - Michael Cunningham - Ivo Andric - Henry Drummond - Bram Stoker - Arthur C. Clarke


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