Tuesday, February 24, 2004

In response to a bit about "mask" & "persona" by Aaron and subsequent conversation with Allyssa:

I agree with Aaron's point about the history of faces, as a continuum for a face...we may even want to talk about mapping a face...a possible function of a face: so, face-ing...projective.

THE article A: or, the face masked, F{A}:

1. A mask is not a face but an ideology of a face if a mask is an imaginative representation of a real state of a face.

2. An imaginative impulse to shape a face is a sign of a potential for any number of representations of faces.

3. But nothing simple and concrete as a mask IS a face. A mask is not a face (Stein on articles) but one of many moving faces--a transient face. (Aaron's historiography of a face...)

4. A mask is a facing.

5. A mask is manufactured, crafted, technological: capital.

6. One can turn a face into a mask. But one cannot face a mask.

7. You view your mask through its eyeholes and see only its reflection which is, of course, reversed. Left is right and right is left.

8. Your mask is not "your mask" seen on someone else's face.

9. The world would be a scary place and a place is a face not a facing if a mask were, in fact, a face...its ISness...if the being of a face, its look and all, were merely a mask.

10. A face as ideology, that's a mask: the flesh made word. Or in our function with the article A: a mask is ideology, a flesh-made word. Made by the hands not by a face.

11. Or, it is a punctuation mark: a semi-colon suturing together a face residing within a look.

12. A face looking forward; A mask looking back.

Addendum, a filmic example (for Steve Evans' nb) and a play: Hitchcock's North by Northwest is all about FACE--C Grant's face, the face of Mt Rushmore, the face of America in pursuit...Ted Cohen has good stuff about this. And, A Eugene O'Neill play nobody bothers to read anymore, Great God Brown , is all about masks and persona. A good place for beginning the discussion of masks--he was a fan of Freud and Nietzsche, too, both into masks. What happens when I wear your mask? Appropriate your look?

1. On PERSONA...person, in latin...or that one we assume when we write: Pound as Mauberly, Williams as a wanderer or Paterson, Pessoa's heteronyms. Heteronyms and personae: these are not fictions but real personalities--characters and habits of mind. Not masks. Masks are technological and fashioned in response to the ability to alter one's persona. Having multiple personae is not equivalent to being one person with a few handy masks. And a face is part of a persona...Orpheus looked back for a face through a mask not for a mask to a face.

1a. (PER)(SO-NA): (through) (a Chinese wind instrument.)

2. On MASK...earliest use I can find is that a mask is the mesh of a net...worthwhile catch, you bet! A mask is what gathers looks--more or less transparent--absorbs to some greater or lesser degree any number of gazes. Must consider the absorbency, what can pass through a mask, because not simply the mesh of the net, but the openings of such mesh. In Old English, OED states, a mask is the net itself. Every part of the mask is the mask itself--casts a wide net.

And anyway, the mask don't slip off; it is lost or stolen or ignored. There is always an underneath to go under to for getting over through...looking is directed...masks flatten...house by the railroad...flat mask statement.

THE flattens
THE masks
THE facing.


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