"But slowly, abruptly—the thought occurred to me that this story had no witness: I was there—the ‘I’ was already no more than a Who?, a whole crowd of Who?s—so that there would be no one between him and his destiny, so that his face would remain bare and his gaze undivided. I was there, not in order to see him, but so that he wouldn’t see himself, so that it would be me he saw in the mirror, someone other than him—another, a stranger, nearby, gone, the shadow of the other shore, no one—and that in this way he would remain a man until the very end. He wasn’t to split in two. This is the great temptation of those who are approaching their end: they look at themselves and talk to themselves; they turn themselves into a solitude peopled by themselves—the emptiest, the most false. But if I was present, he would be the most alone of all men, without even himself, without the last man which he was—and thus he would be the very last."
Maurice Blanchot, from The Last Man, tr. Lydia Davis