“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware": Rare First Edition in English of Martin Buber's I and Thou
I and Thou.
Item Number: 37046
Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1937.
First edition in English of the author’s masterpiece. Octavo, original wrappers as issued. Translated by Ronald Gregor Smith. Originally published in 1923, in German as Ich und Du. In good condition with some rubbing and browning. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. First editions are rare.
Martin Buber's, I and Thou has long been acclaimed as a classic. Many prominent writers have acknowledged its influence on their work; students of intellectual history consider it a landmark; and the generation born since World War II considers Buber as one of its prophets. "The close association of the relation to God with the relation to one's fellow-men ... is my most essential concern," Buber explains in the Afterword. Before discussing that relationship, in the book's final chapter, Buber explains at length the range and ramifications of the ways people treat one another, and the ways they bear themselves in the natural world. "One should beware altogether of understanding the conversation with God ... as something that occurs merely apart from or above the everyday," Buber explains. "God's address to man penetrates the events in all our lives and all the events in the world around us, everything biographical and everything historical, and turns it into instruction, into demands for you and me." Throughout I and Thou, Buber argues for an ethic that does not use other people (or books, or trees, or God), and does not consider them objects of one's own personal experience. Instead, Buber writes, we must learn to consider everything around us as "You" speaking to "me," and requiring a response.