Kafka on the Shore
I've been meaning to read one of Haruki Murakami's books for a few years now. A couple of years ago a co-worker recommended The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles and, more recently, his memoir that overlaps with running sounds interesting. But it was when Jen recommended Kafka on the Shore and sent me the New Yorker review of the book (Jen reads New Yorkers cover to cover in order, I think she may be up to June right now but I could be wrong) that I decided this was the one to start with.
A meditation on life, Chances are you the reader has not become involved in a murder like part of the storyline, there are moments that may reflect your own grappling with a life lived, or at least that's what this book offered me. Thoughtful insights abound resulting from ordinary life moments as well as a few of the extraordinary variety. And Chip Kidd designed the cover.
4- "Distance might not solve anything."
15- "You know how it is. When kids start playing together and get completely absorbed by whatever they're doing, they don't care about things like that anymore."
18- clouds- angle
21- "In traveling, a companion, in life, compassion."
-"'I think it means,' I say, 'that chance encounters are what keep us going."
31- "Like the clouds floating across the sky, I'm all by myself, totally free."
36- odor of books
-"This is exactly the place I've been looking for forever."
37- "people spend their time running around trying to locate their missing other half."
-"my point is that it's really hard for people to live their lives alone."
44- cat and name- "I had one, I know I did, but somewhere along the line I didn't need it anymore. So it slipped my mind."
46- cats- creatures of habit
54- (Kafka) "I think what Kafka does is give a purely mechanical explanation of that complex machines in the story...that's his own device for explaining the kind of lives we lead. Not by talking about our situation, but by talking about the details of the machine."
68- (apartment) "Seedy, all right, but at least it had the feel of real people living real lives."
83- (no kids) "But it's not a good ideas to make decisions so soon. There's no such thing as absolutes."
94- "Was the sound of birds I was hearing real?"
99- clinging to something- Goethe- "Everything's a metaphor"
102-103- (Schubert) "...works that have a certain imperfection to them have an appeal for that very reason- or at least they appeal to certain types of people....You discover something about that work that tugs at your heart- or maybe we should say the work discovers you."
104- "...People soon get tired of things that aren't boring, but not of what is boring."
105- "But solitude comes in different varieties..."
122- (pencilled note, Eichmann bio)- "It's all a question of imagination. Our responsibility begins with the power to imagine. It's just like Yeats said: IN dreams begin responsibilities. Flip this around and you could say that when there's no power to imagine, no responsibility can arise. Just like we see with Eichmann."
127- "...silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear."
141- "...whatever is it you're seeking won't come in the form you're expecting."
174- "People who look normal and live a normal life- they're the ones you have to watch out for."
175- "The more connections, the deeper the meaning."
-"What matters is that you see things with your own eyes."
-"If you try to use your head to think about things, people don't want to have anything to do with you."
176- "Boundaries between things are disappearing all the time."
189- "A theory is a battlefield in your head."
203- record player and record- "If possible I'd like to listen to the record to hear how it originally sounded."
-"All like the ruins of some not-so-distant past."
210- (song) "One by one the words find a home in my heart."
-"Artists are those who can evade the verbose."
-"If the words can't create a prophetic tunnel connecting them to the reader, then the whole thing no longer functions as a poem."
232- Bob Dylan
235- "My grandpa always said asking a question is embarrassing for a moment, but not asking is embarrassing for a lifetime."
240- Colonel Sanders
248- bird- branch- wind- "vision shifts"
253- Bergson- "The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already memory."
255- "A revelation leaps over the borders of the everyday. A life without revelation is no life at all. What you need is to move from reason that observes to reason that acts."
265- "God only exists in people's minds."
-"If you think God's there, He is. If you don't, he isn't."
276- "Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who's in love gets sad when they think of their lover."
278- "All of us are dreaming."
284- "Nakata's like a library without a single book."
292- "People actually prefer not being free."
-Australian Aborigines, fenceless civilization until 17th century
294- "Or maybe I just wanted to keep myself busy, so I set a goal that kept me running around and my mind occupied."
-"If it wasn't for that project, I probably would've withdrawn even further from reality and ended up completely isolated."
299- "the post rain scent in the air"
302- "The world would be a real mess if everybody was a genius. Somebody's got to keep watch, take care of business..."
326- "So when you step into the labyrinth outside you, at the same time you're stepping into the labyrinth inside."
327- "The longer people live, the more they learn to distinguish what's important from what's not."
-"You're in the middle of something wonderful, something so tremendous you may never experience it again. But you can't really understand how wonderful it is. That makes you impatient. And that, in turn, leads you to despair."
334- map- diner
334- "'But what the heck are you looking for?' Hoshino asked after they'd eaten. 'I don't know. But I think-' 'that you'll know it when you see it. And until you see it, you won't know what it is.'"
349- "Believing that art itself, and the proper expression of emotions, was the most sublimed thing in the world, he though political power and wealth only served one purpose: to make art possible."
359-360- "War breeds war."
365- "The process of writing was important. Even though the finished product is completely meaningless."
370- letter- secret
373- "Why does loving somebody mean you have to hurt them just as much? I mean, if that's the way it goes, what's the point of loving someone? Why the hell does it have to be like that?"
377- "Can nothingness increase?"
379- "You changed my life...things look different to me now. ... I've started to see the world through your eyes."
390- Truffant- 400 Blows
392- names- "There's no need to call me, she says. If you need me, I'll be here."
405- hold a book
427 (quiet, power) "People that don't get it never will."
432- "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. 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 the 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 a while..."
-"People need a place they can belong."