Grass on the Wayside by Natsume Soseki


“The lonely years he had spent thus far had been a necessary preparation for the present, he told himself. And whatever he was going through now was a necessary preparation for the future. What he had done and what he was doing was right. Yet sometimes he could not avoid the thought that his life amounted to little more than growing old.”

“They loved him, to be sure, but they did so expectantly, like a rich man who spoils his pretty mistress. Unable to take pleasure merely in being able to reveal their love, they insisted on tangible evidence of its effectiveness.”

“As always, the compassion, the sorrow, the suffering that he felt, he could express only in this terse, commonplace fashion. Only he could know that he was begging her to speak to him, to look at him…. He was only too prone to sentimentality, but to be demonstrative about it was quite beyond him.”

“A calm, leisurely conversation with someone friendly would have helped to soothe his nerves. But to Kenzo, who had customarily gone out of his way to avoid people, a suitable companion was not readily available. And so he smoldered alone.”

“People really didn’t change very much, he thought; they only decayed.”

some of my favorite quotes from Grass on the Wayside

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