Masquerade Quotes (displaying: 1 - 22 of 22 quotes )
Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes'.
Our civilized world is nothing but a great masquerade. You encounter knights, parsons, soldiers, doctors, lawyers, priests, philosophers and a thousand more: but they are not what they appear - they are merely masks... Usually, as I say, there is nothing but industrialists, businessmen and speculators concealed behind all these masks.
Young ladies take their notions of our sex from the novels written by their own, and compared with the monstrosities that masquerade for men in the pages of that nightmare literature, Phytagoras' plucked bird and Frankenstein's demon were fair average specimens of humanity. In these so-called books, the chief lover, or Greek god, as he is admiringly referred to -by the way, they do not say which "Greek god" it is that the gentleman bears such a striking likeness to; it might be hump-backed Vulcan, or double-faced Janus, or even driveling Silenus. He resembles the whole family of them, however, in being a blackguard, and perhaps this is what is meant.
Everyone rushes wherever his instincts impel him, the populace swarms like insects over a corpse, poets pass by without having the time to sculpt their thoughts, hardly have they scribbled their ideas down on sheets of paper than the sheets are blown away; everything glitters and everything resounds in this masquerade, beneath its ephemeral royalties and its cardboard scepters, gold flows, wine cascades, cold debauchery lifts her skirts and jigs around…horror! horror! and then there hangs over it all a veil that each one grabs part of to hide himself the best he can. Derision! Horror – horror!
The sense of literary creation is to portray ordinary objects as they will be reflected in the kindly mirrors of future times; to find in the objects around us the fragrant tenderness that only posterity will discern and appreciate in far-off times when every trifle of our plain everyday life will become exquisite and festive in its own right: the times when a man who might put on the most ordinary jacket of today will be dressed up for an elegant masquerade.
Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.
My angel, oh my angel, perhaps our whole earthly existence is now but a pun to you, or a grotesque rhyme, something like "dental" and "transcendental" (remember?), and the true meaning of reality, of that piercing term, purged of all our strange, dreamy, masquerade interpretations, now sounds so pure and sweet that you, angel, find it amusing that we could have taken the dream so seriously (although you and I did have an inkling of why everything disintegrated at one furtive touch-- words, conventions of everyday life, systems, persons-- so, you know, I think laughter is some chance little ape of truth astray in our world.
Our personality itself, which, stupidly, we take to be our most intimate and deepest possession, our sovereign good, is only a thing, and mutable and accidental in comparison with this other most naked ego; since we can think about it, calculate its interests, even lose sight of them a little, it is therefore no more than a secondary psychological divinity that lives in our looking-glass and answers to our name. It belongs to the order of Penates. It is subject to pain, greedy for incense like false gods; and like them, is food for worms. It expands when praised. It does not resist the power of wine, the charm of words, the sorcery of music. It admires itself and through self-admiration becomes docile and easily led. It is lost in the masquerade and yields itself strangely to the anamorphosis of sleep. And further, it is painfully obliged to recognize that it has equals, to admit that it is inferior to some--a bitter and inexplicable experience for it, this.