Man is in a position, indeed rightly called, to live and show excellence in showing empathy. In your eyes I read your joy as your mourning, your happiness as your pain, and I make it my own, go with you, live with you, cry or laugh with you, mourn or rejoice with you into the history that is yours, dive in and live with it, this your story which shaped you, who put you before you as you are, in all your touchability and vulnerability, dive into your history, in which you when you open it to me, your achievement as your failure, your loving like your hatred, your desires as your loss, your striving like your despair, in everything you are, and in everything I am you I can tell you when I let myself be captivated. I can tell you, if I get to know it, or feel distant.
„Take me by the word,“ and I accept you by taking the words which you give me serieus, take you within your thoughts, in which your access to the world opens up. And even if your stories, your thoughts have been handed down for a long time, even if you come from another time, a different culture, I can still expect them, your story, I can still tell them. How far does the word? But over the centuries. How long do you work? As long as your story is read. As long as there is only one who will read and keep your story.
„I have read a book,“ I say to you, and as I read it, I changed something in the story, and the story changed something in me, because through the story I had not yet known, through the angle of view opened up to me in your history, I will continue. It is not a falsification, it is carried out in me, and I live on, beyond the boundaries of the individual human being, within me, and in every one I add to this story, it causes change and enlargement, brings about new and unforeseen things. Non-literary scholars and non-media, not big publishing directors or cultural critics, nor even the high-ranking committee of the Nobel Prize-giving is to tell you what a good book is, which is a good story. Only you yourself know how to judge. Then written words make sense to you when she addresses you and takes you with you. You decide what you accept and what not. You decide who you are, and whom you do not.
This should be self-evident in a meeting with other people. But why is it not for books? Why do we let so much talk about so-called experts? Why do we let ourselves be disturbed in our own sense, in our own receptivity? Why do we lose confidence in our inner voice so easily? Why do we let ourselves be alienated from ourselves without contradiction? Why are we so quick to let others know? Why are we so quick to deny ourselves and deny ourselves? Why do we allow someone to decide for us what art and what profane literature is? And why must shame and profane literature be bad from the outset?
For nothing created by man with empathy is unworthy to be traced, and if it is only a single thought, a single word in the right place, at the right time, which helps me, it has taken its claim seriously and filled me with life.