there is a little bit of identity play in the first book? part? not even sure what the divisions are at this point . . . someone somewhere was writing about the pleasure of titling chapters, but right now each of my “chapters” are little novellas anyway, and i’ve always had a love/hate relationship with titles.
a lot of temptation, too, to be a little more overt about all this. i have some masks in the first book as well, but they’re not really working as hard as they could. but i don’t think you can say too much about how a mask can erase identity, much less replace it; rather like the transformation itself, you see? what is left after turning, what remains, what is indelible to the self, what is affected by new sensations, new appetites, new ways of perceiving?
i was searching around for different masks through the ages and stumbled upon a huge number of porn sites dedicated to those full body-and-head suits like the gimp wore in pulp fiction. that kind of erasure—to use a word i probably shouldn’t, but i can’t remember more than a smattering of critical theory so what the heck—that erasure is blunt and horrifying and very much in keeping with certain characters in this.
where they came from in my head? that’s another question entirely, probably best dealt with on a couch at a large hourly rate.
there are masks and there are masks. there are the ones suited for this time, frothy and half-faced and elaborate, anything from wisps of silk to those theater masks like salieri wore in amadeus. but later, i think, we might have to bring in something from an earlier time, a little more blunt and overt:
the second one is a nice example of tragedy. it has possibilities.