"I spent three straight days after that all but walking on the bottom of the sea. I could hardly hear what people said to me, and they had just as much trouble catching anything I had to say. My whole body felt enveloped in some kind of membrane, cutting off any direct contact between me and the outside world. I couldn’t touch “them” and “they” couldn’t touch me. I was utterly helpless, and as long as I remained in that state, “they” were unable to reach out to me."
"Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that."
"but who can say what’s best? that’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have for happiness where you find it, and not worry too much about other people. my experience tells me that we get no more than two or three chances in a lifetime, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives"
— haruki murakami’s norwegian wood (as translated by jay rubin)
"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 create my characters. Instead, I like to observe people. In my head, I have what you might call a “Character Drawer,” where I keep the essential images of the people I’ve observed. A person is a mystery. If I could, I’d like to follow a person to his or her house, to observe. What kinds of books would she read, what does she wear, with whom does she converse? In such a way, when one character becomes complete, I keep such a character in the “Character Drawer” in my head, and I take the character out whenever I need to. So when I need a character for my novel, I know exactly which drawer to open."
"Telling people her name was always a bother. As soon as the name left her lips, the other person looked puzzled or confused."
"It’s like Tolstoy said. Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story."
— Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore (via cityprompts
"It was merely the small, warm hand of a twelve-year-old girl, yet those five fingers and that palm were like a display case crammed full of everything I wanted to know—and everything I had to know. By taking my hand, she showed me what these things were. That within the real world, a place like this existed. In the space of those ten seconds I became a tiny bird, fluttering into the air, the wind rushing by. From high in the sky I could see a scene far away. It was so far off I couldn’t make it out clearly, yet something was there, and I knew that someday I would travel to that place."
— Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun
"I could disappear from the face of the earth, and the world would go on moving without the slightest twinge. Things were tremendously complicated, to be sure, but one thing was clear: no one needed me."
— Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
"Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could."
— Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum