Adventures in Reading

Quotes from Murakami’s Norwegian Wood
March 12, 2008, 5:23 pm
Filed under: fiction

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. That’s the world of hicks and slobs. Real people would be ashamed of themselves doing that” (31).

“Without warning, she asked me, ‘Hey, Watanabe, can you explain the difference between the English subjunctive present and the subjunctive past?’
‘I think I can,’ I said.
‘Let me ask you, then, what purpose does stuff like that serve in daily life?’
‘None at all,’ I said. ‘It may not serve any concrete purpose, but it does give you some kind of training to help you grasp things in general more systematically.’
Midori took a moment to give that some serious thought. ‘You’re amazing,’ she said. ‘That never occurred to me before. I always thought of things like the subjunctive case and differential calculus and chemical symbols as totally useless. A pain in the neck. So I’ve always ignored them. Now I have to wonder if my whole life has been a mistake'” (176).

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