When he finished copying, did he go back to being himself or were the very structures of his thoughts, their hue and rhythm, subtly changed?

No, you don't become what you copy, because what you see on the page is yourself.

Or another self, that other one lurking in the wings, rarely given the spotlight or the stage. Copying gives him words: his speech is all borrowed line and verse.

And so he and I, the speaking one and the deaf-mute, converse by candlelight, the light shed quietly by words from an author neither of us will ever meet.

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