James H. Johnson

Venice incognito : masks in the Serene republic

University of California press

Berkeley, 2011
bibliothèque insulaire
   
Méditerranée
Venise

parutions 2011

Venice incognito : masks in the Serene republic / James H. Johnson. - Berkeley : University of California press, 2011. - XIV-317 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN 978-0-520-26771-8
DESCRIPTION : « The entire town is disguised », declared a French tourist of eighteenth-century Venice. And, indeed, maskers of all ranks — nobles, clergy, imposters, seducers, con men — could be found mixing at every level of Venetian society. Even a pious nun donned a mask and male attire for her liaison with the libertine Casanova. In Venice Incognito, James H. Johnson offers a spirited analysis of masking in this carnival-loving city. He draws on a wealth of material to explore the world view of maskers, both during and outside of carnival, and reconstructs their logic : covering the face in public was a uniquely Venetian response to one of the most rigid class hierarchies in European history. This vivid account goes beyond common views that masking was about forgetting the past and minding the muse of pleasure to offer fresh insight into the historical construction of identity.

James H. Johnson is a cultural historian who writes and teaches on modern and early modern Europe at Boston University. His research includes eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France, the history of Venice, and music history.
JAMES H. JOHNSON : « Man is least himself when he speaks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth. » Oscar Wilde’s quip is a fair description of how many view the mask: as freedom from constraints, a liberating truth-teller, the way to show who we really are. I had Wilde’s notion in mind when I first started thinking about writing a book on masks. At least in the prosperous parts of the world, masks affirm what social mobility, abundant consumer choice, and technology make possible: perpetual reinvention of the self.

(…)

CONTENTS
Preface

PART ONE. THE CARNIVAL OF VENICE
  • Casanova's Carnival
  • New World
  • Even Odds
  • Blood Sport
  • Fat Thursday
  • Anything Goes ?
PART TWO. THE CULTURE OF MASKING
  • City of Masks
  • Infernal Associations
  • Devil's Dance
  • Unmasking the Heart
  • Age of Dissimulation
PART THREE. THE HONEST MASK
  • Legislating Morality
  • Saving Face
  • Venetian Incognito
  • Democratizing Dress
  • Taming the Devil
PART FOUR. CARNIVAL AND COMMUNITY
  • Redeemed by the Blood
  • Carnival Tales
  • The Mask of Sincerity
  • Carnival Contained
  • Bitter Ash
Epilogue : After the Fall

mise-à-jour : 3 avril 2017
James H. Johnson : Venice incognito
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