I Am a Cat by Natsume Soseki


“He has no secret vices, but he is totally abandoned in the way he buys book after book, never to read a single one.”

“He then starts a new line. He seems to have some vague notion that, provided he himself produces a new line, maybe some kind of a Chinese poem will evolve itself.”

“Though a single line would clearly have sufficed, he draws two lines and then three lines. He goes on drawing more and more lines regardless of their crowding into the neighboring line of writing. When he has drawn eight such obliterations, he seems unable to think of anything to add to his opening outburst. So he takes to twirling his mustache, determined to wring some telling sentence from his whiskers.”

“Every evening he makes a point of going to bed with a book which he does not read. Sometimes he makes a positive beast of himself and shuffles in with three or four books tucked under his arms…. It would seem that for my master a book is not a thing to be read, but a device to bring on slumber: a typographical sleeping-pill, a paginated security-blanket.”

some of my favorite quotes from Soseki’s I Am a Cat

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