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Posts Tagged ‘give him a mask’


“Man is least himself,” wrote Oscar Wilde in The Critic as Artist,* “when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”

Wilde was speaking of Shakespeare, who, in Wilde’s view, revealed more of himself in his plays than he did in his sonnets. Over the years I have often recalled Wilde’s maxim, and I have had occasion to test it against my experience, both as a teacher of imaginative writing and as the author of poems, essays, and a verse novella. And by and large I have found Wilde’s notion to be true, though perhaps not in the way he intended. (more…)

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