Quotes from “South of the Border, West of the Sun” by Haruki Murakami

I was no longer alone, yet at the same time I felt a deep loneliness I’d never known before
No matter what happened, she’d manage a smile
She was probably too cool, too self-possessed. Some of our classmates must have thought her cold and haughty. But I detected something else—something warm and fragile just below the surface. Something very much like a child playing hide-and-seek, hidden deep within her, yet hoping to be found.
Just like with people, with bars there’s a time to leave them alone and a time for change.
But our interests were worlds apart.
But I didn’t understand then. That I could hurt somebody so badly she would never recover. That a person can, just by living, damage another human being beyond repair.
She looked at me so long it made me uneasy.
Being a bird, I imagined, must be wonderful. All birds had to do was fly in the sky. No need to worry about contraception.
It looked like it might rain at any minute. We were all alone. It was completely still. I’d never known the roof to be so silent.
She smiled perplexedly and nodded. She had a million different variations on a smile
A truly beautiful smile. The kind of smile that made you want to wrap up the whole picture for safekeeping
I did have my own little philosophy of doing business: I wore the kind of clothes I wanted my customers to wear. Doing so, I found, put the staff just that much more on their toes and created the sort of elevated mood I was aiming for
The last thing I wanted was for Izumi to see the article. How would she feel if she saw me, blithely living a happy life, seemingly unscarred by our past?
Everyone just keeps on disappearing. Some things just vanish, like they were cut away. Others fade slowly into the mist. And all that remains is a desert
What I liked best was seeing ideas that had sprung up in my head materialize into something real
I loved the process of starting from scratch, creating something, seeing it through till it was absolutely perfect
You could work for a hundred years in a company and never end up doing this well. In order to succeed, you need luck and brains. Those are the basics. But that’s not enough. You need capital. Not enough capital, and your hands are tied. But above all, you need the knack. Without it, all those other things will get you nowhere.”
I was living someone else’s life, not my own. How much of this person I called myself was really me? And how much was not?
These hands clutching the steering wheel—what percentage of them could I really call my own? The scenery outside—how much of it was real? The more I thought about it, the less I seemed to understand
Like a drooping flag on a windless day, the gigantic shock waves that had convulsed society for a time were swallowed up by a colorless, mundane workaday world
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