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“To be human is not to know one’s self”

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John Lahr, reviewing Michael Frayn’s new play, “Democracy,” in The New Yorker. More:

“The ‘I’ that we confidently broadcast to the world is a fiction — a jerry-built container for the volatile unconscious elements that divide and confound us. In this sense, personal history and public history share the same dynamic principle: both are fables agreed upon.”

“‘Everyone has a range of possibilities and characters in themselves,’ Frayn said recently. ‘And the process of arriving at a common policy is curiously complex. A bit like a Cabinet making decisions… there’s a democracy going on inside of each of us.'”

I am reminded of the great Polish theater director Jerzy Grotowski’s epigram:

“Daily life involves endless pretexts.”

And this, from Shakespeare:

“We know what we are, but not what we may become.”

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