First published in 2013 by Bungeishunjū Ltd., Tokyo

Translated by Philip Gabriel

jh: vránavrána

Harvill Secker, London 2014

See also AfterdarkKafka na pobřežíNorské dřevoNa jih od hranic, na západ od slunceKonec světa & Hard-boiled WonderlandSputnik SweetheartA Wild Sheep ChaseDance Dance DanceThe Wind-up Bird ChronicleHaruki Murakami: 1Q84

Tazaki was the only last name that did not have a color in its meaning. From the very beginning this fact made him feel a little bit left out. Of course, whether or not you had a color as part of your name had nothing to do with your personality. Tsukuru understood this. But still, it disappointed him, and he surprised himself by feeling hurt.

Tsukuru stayed at home that day, too. He lay next to the phone, reading a book, or at least trying to. In the afternoon he called his friends’ homes again. He didn’t feel like it, but he couldn’t just sit around with this baffling, disconcerting feeling, praying for the phone to ring.

You can hide memories, but you can’t erase history.

„Because I have no sense of self. I have no personality, no brilliant color. I have nothing to offer. That’s always been my problem. I feel like an empty vessel. I have a shape, I guess, as a container, but there’s nothing inside. I just can’t see myself as the right person for her. I think that the more time passes, and the more she knows about me, the more disappointed Sara will be, and the more she’ll choose to distance herself from me.“

„You need to have courage, and be confident in yourself. I mean – I used to love you, right? At one time I would have given myself to you. I would have done whatever you wanted me to do. An actual, hot-blooded woman felt that strongly about you once. That’s how valuable you are. You’re not empty – not at all.“

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