- Title Pages
- The Fletcher Jones Foundation
- CHAPTER 1 Casanova’s Carnival
- CHAPTER 2 New World
- CHAPTER 3 Even Odds
- CHAPTER 4 Blood Sport
- CHAPTER 5 Fat Thursday
- CHAPTER 6 Anything Goes?
- CHAPTER 7 City of Masks
- CHAPTER 8 Infernal Associations
- CHAPTER 9 Devil’s Dance
- CHAPTER 10 Unmasking the Heart
- CHAPTER 11 Age of Dissimulation
- CHAPTER 12 Legislating Morality
- CHAPTER 13 Saving Face
- CHAPTER 14 Venetian Incognito
- CHAPTER 15 Democratizing Dress
- CHAPTER 16 Taming the Devil
- CHAPTER 17 Redeemed by the Blood
- CHAPTER 18 Carnival Tales
- CHAPTER 19 The Mask of Sincerity
- CHAPTER 20 Carnival Contained
- CHAPTER 21 Bitter Ash
- Photo Credits
- (p.54) CHAPTER 8 Infernal Associations
- Venice Incognito
James H. Johnson
- University of California Press
This chapter discusses negative connotations linked to the act of masking and carnival. Although masking had become an everyday practice in Venice, it required a lot of great effort for the Venetians to overcome the ancient associations of the mask with sacrilege and the underworld, associations which clung to the mythological and theatrical masks of the Renaissance. Masks to the disapproving were associated with the words: masca which was used to designate witches; lamia which denoted a monster woman; and larva which had diabolical connotations. These etymologies enforced the association that linked the donning of the mask with invoking the spirit world. This connection dates back to the age of the Greeks. Dionysus was then the god identified with masks. Dionysus wore many guises. The attributes of his mask were the same as the qualities of Dionysus himself. Some of these outlived his cult to survive in the frenzy of carnival.
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