Sunday, May 26, 2013

God cannot be spoken of, he can be spoken to

The above quote by Walter Kaufman is taken from his preface to 'I and Thou' by Martin Buber. I am trying to read it.

I thought for an experiment I would try a 'book cocktail'. I picked two books, 'I and Thou' and 'Independence Day' by Richard Ford and see what happened.

What Kaufman is saying is that we only percieve God in other people, in the moment of interaction.

By chance I had stopped reading 'Independence day' at the critical moment where a days worth of frustration had been building between father and son as they enter the baseball hall of fame. There is a confrontation and the sons runs into the practice field and lines himself up for a fastball. The last thing the father shouts is 'you are too close'. It is a moment of frustration, clashing personalities. The ball shoots out at colossal speed and hits the son in the eye. A crowd of spectators surrounds the two as the ambulance arrives. Family people enjoying a moment to bask in baseball fame are drawn over to watch a family in crisis. 

Ford creates characters, every person he writes about is unique, every person, no matter how fleeting is memorable. I would like to think that Ford read Buber in preparation for 'Independence day'. If he has he is doing better than me, because I am still struggling through the preface(!)

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