book and alter ego

Today we think of a book as an instrument for justifying, defending, disputing, explicating, or chronicling a doctrine, but in Antiquity a book was seen only as a substitute for the spoken word. Let us remember the passage in Plato where he says that books are like statues: they may seem alive, but when you ask them something they do not reply. To overcome this difficulty, he invented the Platonic-dialogue, which explores all of the possibilities of a subject.

jorge luis borges; “kabbalah” in seven nights

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