Mr. Zuss: Mask?
Nickles: Mask. Naturally. You wouldn’t play God in your face, would you?
—Archibald MacLeish, J.B. (1958)
We cannot be exposed to the looks of others, for our very being is night-lustrous and unseeable. Like the Invisible Man, we are only revealed through our clothes and our masks.
—D.H. Lawrence, Aaron’s Rod (1922)
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
—Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist (1891)
Everyone who is profound loves the mask.
—Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
A mask is not primarily what it represents but what it transforms . . . . Like a myth, a mask denies as much as it affirms.
—Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Way of the Masks (1975)
Life is but a mask worn on the face of death. And is death, then, but another mask?
—Joseph Campbell, The Mythic Image (1981)
Richard Sionis: A mask hides the face but frees the soul. A mask speaks the truth.
—Gotham, Season 1, Episode 8 (Fox Broadcasting Co.)
For me, the masks were not just sculptures . . . . They were magical objects . . . intercessors . . . against unknown, threatening spirits.
My heart, reader! My heart! You must comprehend quickly, if you are to comprehend at all, that those masks were not assumed to hide my face, but to hide my heart from my mind, and my mind from my heart.
—John Barth, The Floating Opera (1956)
While we are alive, we cannot escape from masks or names. We are inseparable from our fictions—our features. We are condemned to invent a mask for ourselves and afterward to discover that the mask is our true face.