Haruki Murakami

{EN} South of the Border, West of the Sun – Haruki Murakami

1. “Parents who don’t get along very well end up having only one child. It made me so sad when I heard that.”

2. “The me that’s here now has been brought up without any brothers or sisters. If I did have brothers or sisters I wouldn’t be the me I am. So it’s unnatural for the me that’s here before you to think about what it’d be like to have brothers or sisters…”

3. “After a certain length of time has passed, things harden up. Like cement hardening in a bucket. And we can’t go back anymore. What you want to say is that the cement that makes you up has hardened, so the you you are now can’t be anyone else.”

4. “At first I was optimistic: I could pull it off. But in the end, no matter where I went, I could never change. Over and over I made the same mistake, hurt other people, and hurt myself in the bargain.”

5. ““What’s wrong with new novels?”

“I guess I’m afraid of being disappointed. Reading trashy novels makes me feel I’m wasting time. It wasn’t always that way. I used to have lots of time, so even though I knew they were junk, I still felt something good would come from reading them. Now it’s different. Must be getting old.””

6. “All I can call it is talent. It’s like art. There’s a line only certain people can cross. So once you find someone with talent, you’d best take good care of them and never let them go. Not to mention pay them well.”

7. “I let go of her hand and felt that I was about to drift away somewhere.”

8. “If I could cry, it might make things easier. But what would I cry over? Who would I cry for? I was too self-centered to cry for other people, too old to cry for myself.”

9. ““When I grew up and could read the English lyrics, I was disappointed. It was just a song about Mexico. I’d always thought something great lay south of the border.””

10. ““But what is there, west of the sun?” I asked. She again shook her head. “I don’t know. Maybe nothing. Or maybe something. At any rate, it’s different from south of the border.””

11. “Probably is a word you may find south of the border. But never, ever west of the sun.”

12. “I always feel like I’m struggling to become someone else. Like I’m trying to find a new place, grab hold of a new life, a new personality. I guess it’s part of growing up, yet it’s also an attempt to reinvent myself. By becoming a different me, I could free myself of everything. I seriously believed I could escape myself–as long as I made the effort. But I always hit a dead end. No matter where I go, I still end up me. What’s missing never changes. The scenery may change, but I’m still the same old incomplete person. The same missing elements torture me with a hunger that I can never satisfy. I guess that lack itself is as close as I’ll come to defining myself. For your sake, I’d like to become a new person. It may not be easy, but if I give it my best shot, perhaps I can manage to change. The truth is, though, if put in the same situation again, I might very well do the same thing all over. I might very well hurt you all over again. I can’t promise anything. That’s what I meant when I said I had no right. I just don’t have the confidence to win over that force in me.”

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