29+ quotes from Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Quotes from Kafka on the Shore

Haruki Murakami ·  480 pages

Rating: (215.6K votes)


“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“If you remember me, then I don't care if everyone else forgets.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

An you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You'll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“It's like Tolstoy said. Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That's part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads - at least that's where I imagine it - there's a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in awhile, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you'll live forever in your own private library.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Listen up - there's no war that will end all wars.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Taking crazy things seriously is a serious waste of time.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“In everybody’s life there’s a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can’t go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That’s how we survive.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Closing your eyes isn't going to change anything. Nothing's going to disappear just because you can't see what's going on. In fact, things will even be worse the next time you open your eyes. That's the kind of world we live in. Keep your eyes wide open. Only a coward closes his eyes. Closing your eyes and plugging up your ears won't make time stand still.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Not just beautiful, though--the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they're watching me.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Narrow minds devoid of imagination. Intolerance, theories cut off from reality, empty terminology, usurped ideals, inflexible systems. Those are the things that really frighten me. What I absolutely fear and loathe.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“A certain type of perfection can only be realized through a limitless accumulation of the imperfect.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Chance encounters are what keep us going.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“What do you think? I'm not a starfish or a pepper tree. I'm a living, breathing human being. Of course I've been in love.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Being with her I feel a pain, like a frozen knife stuck in my chest. An awful pain, but the funny thing is I'm thankful for it. It's like that frozen pain and my very existence are one.
The pain is an anchor, mooring me here.
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“It's hard to tell the difference between sea and sky, between voyager and sea. Between reality and the workings of the heart.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“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.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Most things are forgotten over time. Even the war itself, the life-and-death struggle people went through is now like something from the distant past. We’re so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past are no longer in orbit around our minds. There are just too many things we have to think about everyday, too many new things we have to learn. But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. They remain with us forever, like a touchstone.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“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.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“According to Aristophanes in Plato's The Banquet, in the ancient world of legend there were three types of people.
In ancient times people weren't simply male or female, but one of three types : male/male, male/female or female/female. In other words, each person was made out of the components of two people. Everyone was happy with this arrangment and never really gave it much thought. But then God took a knife and cut everyone in half, right down the middle. So after that the world was divided just into male and female, the upshot being that people spend their time running around trying to locate their missing half.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Each person feels pain in his own way, each has his own scars.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“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.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“Adults constantly raise the bar on smart children, precisely because they're able to handle it. The children get overwhelmed by the tasks in front of them and gradually lose the sort of openness and sense of accomplishment they innately have. When they're treated like that, children start to crawl inside a shell and keep everything inside. It takes a lot of time and effort to get them to open up again. Kids' hearts are malleable, but once they gel it's hard to get them back the way they were.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“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.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“The sense of tragedy - according to Aristotle - comes, ironically enough, not from the protagonist's weak points but from his good qualities. Do you know what I'm getting at? People are drawn deeper into tragedy not by their defects but by their virtues.
...
[But] we accept irony through a device called metaphor. And through that we grow and become deeper human beings.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


“That’s how stories happen — with a turning point, an unexpected twist. There’s only one kind of happiness, but misfortune comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s like Tolstoy said. Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from Kafka on the Shore


About the author

Haruki Murakami
Born place: in Kyoto, Japan
Born date January 12, 1949
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