29+ quotes from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Quotes from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Haruki Murakami ·  607 pages

Rating: (171.6K votes)


“But even so, every now and then I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drink, the very air I breathe, would feel like long, sharp needles. The pages of a book in my hands would take on the threatening metallic gleam of razor blades. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another?
We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close can we come to that person's essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can’t buy.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“Memories and thoughts age, just as people do. But certain thoughts can never age, and certain memories can never fade.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“Here's what I think, Mr. Wind-Up Bird," said May Kasahara. "Everybody's born with some different thing at the core of their existence. And that thing, whatever it is, becomes like a heat source that runs each person from the inside. I have one too, of course. Like everybody else. But sometimes it gets out of hand. It swells or shrinks inside me, and it shakes me up. What I'd really like to do is find a way to communicate that feeling to another person. But I can't seem to do it. They just don't get it. Of course, the problem could be that I'm not explaining it very well, but I think it's because they're not listening very well. They pretend to be listening, but they're not, really. So I get worked up sometimes, and I do some crazy things.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“I realize full well how hard it must be to go on living alone in a place from which someone has left you, but there is nothing so cruel in this world as the desolation of having nothing to hope for.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“In a place far away from anyone or anywhere, I drifted off for a moment.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“I'm not so weird to me.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“For both of us, it had simply been too enormous an experience. We shared it by not talking about it. Does this make any sense?”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“Have you ever had that feeling—that you’d like to go to a whole different place and become a whole different self?”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“To know one’s own state is not a simple matter. One cannot look directly at one’s own face with one’s own eyes, for example. One has no choice but to look at one’s reflection in the mirror. Through experience, we come to believe that the image is correct, but that is all.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“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.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“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.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“I'd be smiling and chatting away, and my mind would be floating around somewhere else, like a balloon with a broken string.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“When you are used to the kind of life -of never getting anything you want- you stop knowing what it is you want.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“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.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“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.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“It’s like when you put instant rice pudding mix in a bowl in the microwave and push the button, and you take the cover off when it rings, and there you’ve got ricing pudding. I mean, what happens in between the time when you push the switch and when the microwave rings? You can’t tell what’s going on under the cover. Maybe the instant rice pudding first turns into macaroni gratin in the darkness when nobody’s looking and only then turns back into rice pudding. We think it’s only natural to get rice pudding after we put rice pudding mix in the microwave and the bell rings, but to me, that is just a presumption. I would be kind of relieved if, every once in a while, after you put rice pudding mix in the microwave and it rang and you opened the top, you got macaroni gratin. I suppose I’d be shocked, of course, but I don’t know, I think I’d be kind of relieved too. Or at least I think I wouldn’t be so upset, because that would feel, in some ways, a whole lot more real.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“What we see before us is just one tiny part of the world. We get in the habit of thinking, this is the world, but that's not true at all. The real world is a much darker and deeper place than this, and much of it is occupied by jellyfish and things.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“Everybody's born with some different thing at the core of their existence. And that thing, whatever it is, becomes like a heat source that runs each person from the inside. I have one too, of course. Like everybody else. But sometimes it gets out of hand. It swells or shrinks inside me, and it shakes me up. What I'd really like to do is find a way to communicate that feeling to another person.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“Results aside, the ability to have complete faith in another human being is one of the finest qualities a person can possess.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“Somewhere, far, far away, there's a shitty island. An island without a name. An island not worth giving a name. A shitty island with a shitty shape. On this shitty island grow palm trees that also have shitty shapes. And the palm trees produce coconuts that give off a shitty smell. Shitty monkeys live in the trees, and they love to eat these shitty-smelling coconuts, after which they shit the world's foulest shit. The shit falls on the ground and builds up shitty mounds, making the shitty palm trees that grown on them even shittier. It's an endless cycle.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“I laughed. “You’re too young to be so … pessimistic,” I said, using the English word.
“Pessi-what?”
“Pessimistic. It means looking only at the dark side of things.”
“Pessimistic … pessimistic …” She repeated the English to herself over and over, and then she looked up at me with a fierce glare. “I’m only sixteen,” she said, “and I don’t know much about the world, but I do know one thing for sure. If I’m pessimistic, then the adults in this world who are not pessimistic are a bunch of idiots.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“You might think you made a new world or a new self, but your old self is always gonna be there, just below the surface, and if something happens, it'll stick its head out and say 'Hi.' You don't seem to realize that. You were made somewhere else.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“Nothing so consumes a person as meaningless exertion”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“Between the end of that strange summer and the approach of winter, my life went on without change. Each day would dawn without incident and end as it had begun. It rained a lot in September. October had several warm, sweaty days. Aside from the weather, there was hardly anything to distinguish one day from the next. I worked at concentrating my attention on the real and useful. I would go to the pool almost every day for a long swim, take walks, make myself three meals.

But even so, every now and then I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drank, the very air I breathed, would feel like long, sharp needles. The pages of a book in my hands would take on the threatening metallic gleam of razor blades. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“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.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“This person, this self, this me, finally, was made somewhere else. Everything had come from somewhere else, and it would all go somewhere else. I was nothing but a pathway for the person known as me.”
― Haruki Murakami, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


“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, quote from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


About the author

Haruki Murakami
Born place: in Kyoto, Japan
Born date January 12, 1949
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“Those who will not learn
in plenty to keep their place
must learn it by their need
when they have had their way
and the fields spurn their seed.
We have failed Thy grace.
Lord, I flinch and pray,
send Thy necessity.
"We Who Prayed and Wept", p. 211.”
― Wendell Berry, quote from The Collected Poems, 1957-1982


“I was nearly unnerved at my proximity to a nameless thing at the bottom of a pit.”
― H.P. Lovecraft, quote from At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror


“I think fiction allows us to sit for a while with people we would rather not meet.”
― Uwem Akpan, quote from Say You're One of Them


“You're not seriously going?" Troy asks.
"Of course I'm going," I say. "What other choice do I have?"
"Um...not going.”
― Tera Lynn Childs, quote from Goddess Boot Camp


“Hal answered him. “We’re as sure as we can be. The guard captain said he found a ball of yellow glass. What else could it be?” Jesper shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe a ball of yellow glass?”
― John Flanagan, quote from The Hunters


Interesting books

The Elephant Tree
(15.6K)
The Mighty Storm
(65.6K)
The Mighty Storm
by Samantha Towle
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72
(17.3K)
Fear and Loathing on...
by Hunter S. Thompson
The Paul Street Boys
(7.6K)
The Paul Street Boys
by Ferenc Molnár
The Sea Wolf
(20.6K)
The Sea Wolf
by Jack London
Transcendence
(13.5K)
Transcendence
by Shay Savage

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.