Masks

Familiarity, what is familiar, conceals human beings and makes them difficult to know by giving them a mask we can recognize, a mask that is merely the lack of something.  And yet familiarity (mine with other people, other people’s with me) is by no means an illusion.  It is real, and is part of reality.  Masks cling to our faces, to our skin; flesh and blood have become masks.  The people we are familiar with (and we ourselves) are what we recognize them to be.  They play the roles I have cast them in and which they have cast for themselves.  And I myself play a role for them and in them (and not only while they are watching), the role of friend, husband, lover, father which they cast me in and which I have cast for myself.

-Henri Lefebvre

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