Considered a significant figure in postmodern literature, Haruki Murakami is a well-known Japanese novelist, short-story writer, and translator. His deeply imaginative works characterized by elements of surrealism and nihilism, have become international best sellers.

While most authors dream of becoming famous writers from a young age, Murakami didn’t even know that he had the skill. After studying drama, he opened a coffeehouse and jazz bar, and writing was the last thing on his mind.

One day, as he was watching a baseball match, he got the sudden inspiration to write a novel – Hear the Wind Sing – a 200-page novel which he sent to a writing contest for new writers and won the first prize.

Murakami was never a big fan of Japanese literature, even though both his parents taught it. However, he probably inherited the passion for writing from them. The fact that he was rather influenced by Western culture was not well received by the Japanese people, but this didn’t make him change his writing style.

In 2006, Murakami was presented the international literary award, Franz Kafka Prize, and today he is considered to be one of the world’s greatest living novelists.

Here are 25 most insightful Haruki Murakami quotes that will help you deal with life.

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.

Haruki-Murakami-on-reading

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.

I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.

Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.

Taking crazy things seriously is a serious waste of time.

Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can’t buy.

Haruki-Murakami-on-school

The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school.

As time goes on, you’ll understand. What lasts, lasts; what doesn’t, doesn’t. Time solves most things. And what time can’t solve, you have to solve yourself.

Life is not like water. Things in life don’t necessarily flow over the shortest possible route.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

Most people are not looking for provable truths. As you said, truth is often accompanied by intense pain, and almost no one is looking for painful truths. What people need is beautiful, comforting stories that make them feel as if their lives have some meaning.

Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.

In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount.

Whenever I look at the ocean, I always want to talk to people, but when I’m talking to people, I always want to look at the ocean.

What we seek is some kind of compensation for what we put up with.

But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much.

No matter how far you travel, you can never get away from yourself.

You can hide memories, but you can’t erase the history that produced them.

Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.

As we go through life, we gradually discover who we are, but the more we discover, the more we lose ourselves.

If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there’s salvation in life. Even if you can’t get together with that person.

People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely.

Listen up – there’s no war that will end all wars.

Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.


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