Thursday, February 26, 2015

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki -- Haruki Murakami (The B-Quotes Series)

I read this one, my second Murakami, back in January. Outstanding, beautiful book. Murakami is so hard to compare, even to himself... I read Kafka on The Shore last year, and while there's certainly a red thread unique to the author in, presumably, all his works, the beauty of each stands alone and singular.


Not everything was lost in the flow of time. [...] We truly believed in something back then, and we knew we were the kind of people capable of believing in something--with all our hearts. And that kind of hope will never simply vanish.

[...] That if he intensely concentrated his feelings on one fixed point, like a lens focused on paper, bursting it into flames, his heart would suffer a fatal blow. More than anything he hoped for this. But months passed, and contrary to his expectations, his heart didn't stop. The heart apparently doesn't stop that easily.
p. 377

Our lives are like a complex musical score, Tsukuru thought. Filled with all sorts of cryptic writing, sixteenth and thirty-second notes and other strange signs. It's next to impossible to correctly interpret these, and even if you could, and then could transpose them into the correct sounds, there's no guarantee that people would correctly understand, or appreciate, the meaning therein. No guarantee it would make people happy. 

"[...] You don't lack anything. Be confident and be bold. That's all you need. Never let fear and stupid pride make you lose someone who's precious to you."
p. 342

"We survived. You and I. And those who survive have a duty. Our duty is to do our best to keep on living. Even if our lives are not perfect."
p. 334

In reality, though, none of this ever happened. In reality something very different happened. And that fact was more significant now than anything else.
p. 330

The beating of her heart kept time with the slap of the little boat against the pier.

"Important to me, perhaps. But maybe not to her. I came here to find that out."
"It sounds kind of complicated."
"Maybe too complicated for me to explain in English."
Olga laughed. "Some things in life are too complicated to explain in any language."
p. 270

It was a different sense of isolation from what he normally felt in Japan. And not such a bad feeling, he decided. Being alone in two senses of the word was maybe like a double negation of isolation. In other words, it made perfect sense for him, a foreigner, to feel isolated here. There was nothing odd about it at all. [...] He was in exactly the right place.
p. 272-273


  1. I've read a few of his books, and of those, my fav is 'Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World'. His stories are so... surreal (that one in particular). Very unique, but always beautiful :)

  2. Haven't come across that one yet, Ms. Monkey. I'll put it on the to-find list, though :) Yes, indeed; his stories are always kind of toeing the edge of surreality. I love them!

  3. The thing that's so interesting though, is often in his stories, the inciting incident never gets resolved. Like, in The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, it starts with a murder, but then the story wanders off and never returns :) Almost like floating down a river...

  4. I've only read one of his books, but feel in love with it so hard. He's got such a way with words.


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