I, Thou & Meow

From I & Thou by Martin Buber:

Sometimes I look into a cat's eyes. The domesticated animal has not as it were received from us (as we sometimes imagine) the gift of the truly "speaking" glance, but only--at the price of its primitive disinterestedness--the capacity to turn its glance to us prodigious beings. But with this capacity there enters the glance, in its dawn and continuing in its rising, a quality of amazement and of inquiry that is wholly lacking in the original glance with all its anxiety. The beginning of this cat's glance, lighting up under the touch of my glance, indisputably questioned me: "It is possible that you think of me? Do you really not just want me to have fun? Do I concern you? Do I exist in your sight? Do I really exist? What is it that comes from you? What is it that surrounds me? What is it that comes to me? What is it?" . . . The animal's glance, speech of disquietude, rose in its greatness--and set at once.

This Thursday my friend the Suburban Christian is going to help me and several of my colleagues at our publishing house understand how that passing moment with a cat relates to the industry of publishing, selling, buying and reading books. Stay tuned here, there and at Strangely Dim for a report of the discussion.


Anonymous said…
I have a lot of respect for Buber's work, so I'm looking forward to this discussion (although, to be honest, I have no idea how this passage relates to publishing).

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