When it comes to the past, there is no "us," Rémi says. There is no "we." There is only the stoic "I," the narcissistic "me."

Conclusions about the past can come only from within oneself, Rémi says, from he who lived it; he who inhaled the breaths of those he met; he who scraped the skins of his lovers; he who still bears the scars of his misdeeds, because he experienced them, he was there; he and only he can know his history as it is meant to be heard.

To relay the past to another, Rémi says, is but a vulgar exercise in mimicry, a tepid reenactment: a meticulous staging of the same sets with the same actors under the same script in a shot-for-shot remake.