travel, love, romance, geekiness, and all random shit of a former UP teacher

my favorite quotes in 1Q84

Let’s start with a love quote:

“You may have to live the rest of your life alone, never being joined with the one person you love in the world. Don’t you find that scary?” (Ayumi) Aomame stared at the red wine in her glass. “Maybe I do,” she said. “But at least I have someone I love.” (191)

Here is a quote for us, travellers:

“I’ve had that kind of experience myself: I’m looking at a map and I see someplace that makes me think, ‘I absolutely have to go to this place, no matter what.’ And most of the time, for some reason, the place is far away and hard to get to. I feel this overwhelming desire to know what kind of scenery the place has, or what people are doing there… It’s curiosity in the purest sense.” (258-9)

Next. Some people have told me that my indifference is driving them crazy, and I find this quote here as the perfect sermon for me:

“…you are neither an angel nor a god. … pure, unadulterated feelings are dangerous in their own way. It is no easy feat for a flesh-and-blood human being to go on living with such feelings. That is why it is necessary for you to fasten your feelings to the earh–firmly, like attaching an anchor to a balloon.” Dowager to Aomame (185)

In this quote, I sense Murakami’s take on the world of literature:

“…I wouldn’t be doing it for the money. I’d be doing it to screw the literary world. Those bastards all huddle together in their gloomy cave and kiss each other’s asses, and lick each other’s wounds, and trip each other up, all the while spewing this pompous crap about the mission of literature.” Komatsu (25)

Here is one quote that can best describe some of the greatest writers in the world:

“Chekhov was both a novelist and a doctor…[He] felt uncomfortable living as a literary star in the city. He was fed up with the atmosphere of the literary world and was put off by the affectations of other writers, who were mainly interested in tripping each other up. He was disgusted by the malicious critics of the day.” (Tengo to Fuka-Eri 259)

A wonderful, wonderful quote for those like me who see history as a narrative. For comparative literature students, this is worth noting for the lesson in historiography:

“[Ayumi:] The ones who did [historic massacre] can always rationalize their actions and even forget what they did. They can turn away from things they don’t want to see. But the surviving victims can never forget. They can’t turn away. Their memories are passed on from parent to child. That’s what the world is, after all: an endless battle of contrasting memories.”

An endless battle of contrasting memories? (Aomame thought 293)

And this:

“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. Which is where religion comes from.” (Sakigake leader to aomame) 441

And most especially this:

“In his novel, George Orwell depicted the future as a dark society dominated by totalitarianism. People are rigidly controlled by a dictator named Big Brother. Information is resricted, and history is constantly being rewritten. The protagonist works in a government office, and I’m pretty sure his job is to rewrite words. Whenever a new history is written, the old histories all have to be thrown out. In the process, words are remade, and the meanings of current words are changed. What with history being rewritten so often, nobody knows what is true anymore. They lose track of who is an enemy and who an ally.” (Tengo)… “Robbing people of their actual history is the same as robbing them of part of themselves. It’s a crime.” (257)

This one, I’m sure, was written for me:

Sakigake leader to Aomame on her fierceness and decisiveness: “You don’t seem to have any need for religion.” (442)

On maturity, which I have been feeling of late:

Autumn quietly deepened… Aomame tried her best to keep her mind clear of any thoughts, but it was impossible not to think of anything. Nature abhors a vacuum. At the very least, thought, she felt that now there was nothing for her to hate. There was no need to hate her classmates and teacher anymore. Aomame was no longer a a helpless child, and no one was forcing her to practice a religion now. There was no need to hate the men who beat up women. The anger she had felt before, like a high tide rising up within her–the overwrought emotions that sometimes made her want to smack her fists against the closest wall… She wasn’t sure why, but those feelings were entirely one. (640)

Last but not the least, a true story:

Ayumi said, “it seems to me that this world has a serious shortage of both logic and kindness.” (192)


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  1. Really great book, I’m finishing now, and hoping to find my favorite quotes on a re-read as well. The descriptions of EVERYTHING are just so eloquent, yet not boring! The massage, the food Tengo makes, the Leader, wow!

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