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Zamyatin on self-awareness:
"I was walking, keeping step with the others yet separated from them. I was still trembling from the emotion just felt, like a bridge over which a thundering ancient steel train has passed a moment before. I felt myself. To feel one's self, to be conscious of one's personality, is the lot of an eye inflamed by a cinder, or an infected finger, or a bad tooth. A healthy eye, or finger, or tooth is not felt; it is nonexistent, as it were. Is it not clear, then, that consciousness of oneself is a sickness?"

Dostoevsky on the denial of self-awareness:

"And try letting yourself be carried away by your feelings, blindly, without reflection, without a primary cause, repelling consciousness at least for a time; hate or love, if only not to sit and twiddle your thumbs. The day after tomorrow, at the latest, you will begin despising yourself for having knowingly deceived yourself. The result—a soap-bubble and inertia."

Sickness or necessity? Anomaly or norm? Self-consciousness could well be any of those things. It's everything and nothing. It's a blessing and a curse. It's—in a word—inevitable.

Oh, you tricky Russian boys...

4:32 am, June 01, 2005 :: erstwhile

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