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Not just actors may develop an ambiguous identification with another self. So do writers when they take on another persona.
"The other one, the one called Borges, is the one things happen to. I walk through the streets of
"It would be an exaggeration to say that ours is a hostile relationship; I live, let myself go on living, so that Borges may contrive his literature, and this literature justifies me. It is no effort for me to confess that he has achieved some valid pages, but those pages cannot save me, perhaps because what is good belongs to no one, not even to him, but rather to the language and to tradition. Besides, I am destined to perish, definitively, and only some instant of myself can survive in him. Little by little, I am giving over everything to him, though I am quite aware of his perverse custom of falsifying and magnifying things.
"Spinoza knew that all things long to persist in their being; the stone eternally wants to be a stone and the tiger a tiger. I shall remain in Borges, not in myself (if it is true that I am someone), but I recognize myself less in his books than in many others or in the laborious strumming of a guitar. ... Thus my life is a flight and I lose everything and everything belongs to oblivion, or to him. I do not know which of us has written this page."
Each of us may have to come to terms with the other selves we adopt in our different roles. Which is our "real" self -- the one we fashion when talking to our children, to our spouses, to friends, to ourselves? We change roles, we change selves.
The development of the single, integrated personality may be one of the human being's most impressive psychological achievements, along with his adoption of language, and both take place at an impressively early age. Some actors, writers and psychopaths may never achieve it. Just listen to some actors, bereft of their lines on the printed page, when they're interviewed offstage. Some are impressive personalities in their own right. Think of a
To quote an actor and writer named Shakespeare:
What a piece of work is a man
How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty!
In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god!
The beauty of the world.
The paragon of animals.
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?
There are many dimensions to the human personality, and examining them endlessly can be exhausting. And dizzying. Better to let
The human mind may not be able to bear too much self-examination, lest it turn into just an endless, shattered hall of mirrors, each shard reflecting only a partial truth. And like poor