Murakami in Translation

by Kieran Maynard











- 村上春樹 1979


Excepted from Listen to the Wind Sing (1979) and translated myself.

Once there was a time when everybody wanted to be "cool."

Near the end of high school, I made up my mind to say only half of what I really thought. I forgot why I decided that, but after a few years of trying, I succeeded. Then one day, I discovered that I had become a person who could only say half of what they were thinking.

I don't know what that has to do with being cool, but if an old refrigerator that constantly needs its frost cleaned can be called "cool," then, well, that's me.

It had been a long time since I'd felt the scent of summer. The scent of the sea mist, the faraway fog horn, the touch of a girl's skin, lemon hair conditioner, the evening breeze, those faint wants, and summer dreams...

But as if traced on paper that slipped underhand, anything and everything was ever so slightly and yet irretrievably different from how it was in the past.

Everything passes on. Nobody can hold onto it.

That is how we live.

- Murakami Haruki 1979, translated by Kieran R. Maynard 2022