Thursday, 9 August 2007


And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With mask, and antique pageantry,

Such sights as youthful poets dream

On summer eves by haunted stream.

John Milton

Lest ye think modern man claim monopoly over gatherings of costumed revelry, such balls were long ago seen as allegories of the World, for each is masked in whatever reality she finds herself, and as much a stranger to the person next to her whether incarnate or disembodied. Maschere is the native costume of social man, whether worn as a suit of worsted or an animal avatar. One must play a role or withdraw from society. Even withdrawn one must be a hermit, an anchorite, a misanthrope, or a wild child, and society will value one all the more for the rareness of the role.

Dreams, books, are each a world; and books, we know,
Are a substantial world, both pure and good:
Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood,
Our pastime and our happiness will grow.

picture thanks to BiblioOdyssey

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