“Georges Poulet, Phenomenology of Reading”

When I
am absorbed in reading,
a second self
takes over,
a self which thinks and feels for me.

Withdrawn in some recess of myself, do I
then silently witness this dispossession?

Do I
derive from it
some comfort or, on the contrary,
a kind of anguish?

However that may be,
someone else holds
the center of the stage,
and the question which imposes itself, which I
am absolutely obliged to ask myself
is this: “Who
is the usurper who occupies the forefront? What
is this mind who all alone by himself fills my consciousness
and who, when I say I,
is indeed that I?

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