Quote of the Week by Greg Bover

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

Attributed to Haruki Murakami (1949- )

Although often quoted from Murakami’s essay “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running,” this saying is much older and has its roots in Zen Buddhist tradition, which holds that one’s attitude toward the vicissitudes of life is all that any of us really has any chance of controlling. Murakami, who is often compared to Kurt Vonnegut, did not begin writing until his late 20’s, but has won widespread acclaim for his humorous and surrealistic novels including The Wild Sheep Chase and Kafka on the Shore. Infused with diverse musical references, Murakami’s beautifully written work is representative of the cultural tumult in modern Japan, and is just plain-old fun to read. He has been a writer-in-residence at both Princeton and Tufts universities and participates in triathlons and ultra-marathons. His most recent novel is the excellent 1Q84.

Greg Bover

Gregory R. Bover

VP Operations, Project Manager

C. B. Fisk, Inc

978 283 1909



  • lovely! having intimate knowledge of both, that phrase relieves each. keep em coming, greg.


  • I’ve heard a few Haruki Murakami stories on NPR’s “Selected Shorts”, and they are always interesting and thought provoking… and a little weird. I like them!


  • Lindle & Darlene Willnow

    I read 1Q84 last year and it was a fascinating read. Not a weekend read by any stretch but a wonderful tale of two fated lovers living in an alternate (though very similar) universe. Mix in cult religions, ghost writing, assassins, and the fight against violence on women and you’ve got a good book.


    • You may be interested to know that 1Q84 is a bilingual pun. The number 9 in Japanese (transliterated “kyu” ) is pronounced very much like the English letter “Q.” So in Japanese the title of the book is pronounced “ichi kyu hachi yon” which is also 1984. Murakami did a lot of translating before he got to be such a famous novelist and plays with the two languages often. One of the striking things about being in Japan is just how much English is used in advertising and everyday speech. One of the three alphabets used there is just for words of foriegn origin.


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