Waiting for an elevator to go upstairs, I met a woman talking
to herself. She said to me, "It's an interesting conversation!"
I thought: The brain has two sides, the so-called 'bicameral mind,' the illusion of self-knowledge.

Although providing evidence from various ancient texts from around the world, Julian Jaynes concentrated on the Greek, using the Homeric epic, The Iliad, to hypothesize that a Mycenaean "had no awareness of the world, no internal mind-space to introspect upon." When he heard a god speaking, "as clearly as those diagnosed epileptic or schizophrenic today," in Beatrix Murrell's words, "he didn't know the Voice was his own.

This state of mind was read out of those theocracies in which "lesser men hallucinat(ed) the voices of authorities over them, and those authorities hallucinating yet higher ones." Jaynes then opines that Odysseus, hero of the second Homeric epic, embodies the first modern, individualized mind in the Western canon, signifying the end of the bicamerality.

Several anthropologists and poets have envisioned reading as having begun when the aggressors deliberately destroyed the Oriental Institute in Sarajevo. The loss cannot be measured or ever repaired. In less than two hours, 5,000 unique manuscripts, Turkish, Persian and Arabic, over a hundred plat books from Ottoman times (books that can no longer show that hunters learned to interpret the footprints of prey, "hunting the meaning, which would be the meeting with the Other." Reading remains an act of tracking meaning in a state that assumes the danger of meeting ideas other than those bred on the other side of one's brain; knowing that the corpus, all but its specter, has its ups and downs.