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The Bloody Chamber - Masks, Mirrors & Clothing

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Lisa Schneider

on 5 March 2013

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Transcript of The Bloody Chamber - Masks, Mirrors & Clothing

The Bloody Chamber Masks, Mirrors & Clothing Mirrors Clothing The Lady of the House of Love The Snow Child The Bloody Chamber Alice-Wolf The Bloody Chambers The Courtship of Mr Lyon The Tiger's Bride Tiger's Bride The Bloody Chamber Masks “He wears a mask with a man’s face painted most beautifully on it.” (58) "And sometimes that face, […] seemed to me like a mask, as if his real face, the face that truly reflected all the life he has led in the world before he met me, before even, I was born, as though that face lay underneath this mask." “I saw within it not my own face but that of my father, as if I had put on his face when I arrived at the Beast’s palace” (66) "I saw him watching me in the gilded mirrors with the assessing eye of a connoisseur inspecting horseflesh." “You could not have said that her freshness was fading but she smiled at herself in mirrors a little too often, these days, and the face that smiled back was not quite the one she had seen contained in the Beast’s agate eyes.” (52) "he passed through the mirror and now, henceforward, lives as if upon the other side of things.” (142) “Wearing an antique bridal gown, the beautiful queen of the vampires sits all alone in her dark, high house…” (107) “she wrapped in the glittering pelts of black foxes; and she wore high, black, shining boots with scarlet heels, and spurs.” (105) “His wedding gift, clasped round my throat. A choker of rubies, two inches wide, like an extraordinarily precious slit throat." “a beautiful face; but one with too much formal symmetry of feature to be entirely human: one profile of his mask is the mirror image of the other, too perfect, uncanny.” (58) “his cardboard carnival head” (68) The Courtship of Mr Lyon “Her tears fell on his face like snow and, under their soft transformation, the bones showed through the pelt, the flesh through the wide, tawny brow. And then it was no longer a lion in her arms but a man, a man with an unkempt mane.” (54) Alice-Wolf “Nothing about her is human except she is not a wolf; it is as if the fur she thought she wore had melted into her skin and become part of it, although it does not exist.” (141) “I took the looking glass from her hand, but it was in the midst of one of its magic fits again and I did not see my own face in it but that of my father; at first I thought he smiled at me. Then I saw he was smiling with pure gratification.” (72) “The valet took the mirror away from me, breathed on it, polished it with the ham of his gloved fist, handed it back to me. Now all I saw was myself…” (67) “She bruised her muzzle on the cold glass and broke her claws trying to tussle with this stranger. She saw, with irritation, then amusement, how it mimicked every gesture of hers …” (145) “The moon and mirrors have this much in common: you cannot see behind them." (145) “This habitual, at last boring, fidelity to her every movement finally woke her up to the regretful possibility that her companion was, in fact, no more than a particularly ingenious variety of the shadow she cast on sunlit grass.” (147) “her relation with the mirror was now far more intimate since she knew she saw herself within it.” (147) " Little by little, there appeared within it, like the image on photographic paper that emerges, first, a formless web of tracery, the prey caught in its own fishing net, then in firmer yet still shadowed outline until at last as vivid as real life itself, as if brought into being by her soft, moist, gentle tongue, finally, the face of the Duke.” (149) “experience seemed to have washed it perfectly smooth, like a stone on a beach whose fissures have been eroded by successive tides.” "I caught sight of myself in the mirror. And I saw myself, suddenly, as he saw me, my pale face, the way the muscles in my neck stuck out like thin wire. I saw how much that cruel necklace became me." "And surrounded by so many mirrors! Mirrors on all the walls, in stately frames of contorted gold, that reflected more white lilies than I'd ever seen in my life before." "Twelve young woman combed out twelve listless sheaves of brown hair in the mirror, soon, there would be none." “How was it she had never noticed before that his agate eyes were equipped with lids, like those of a man? Was it because she had only looked at her own face, reflected there?” (54) “the furs sprang off the Countess’s shoulders and twined round the naked girl.” (105) “Then her boots leapt off the Countess’s feet and on to the girl’s legs.” (105) “Now the Countess was bare as a bone and the girl furred and booted.” (105) “Then the girl began to melt. Soon there was nothing left of her but a feather a bird might have dropped; a bloodstain, like the trace of a fox’s kill on the snow; and the rose she had pulled off the bush. Now the countess had all her clothes on again. With her long hand, she stroked her furs.” (106) "this shape resolved itself into that of, of all things, a hoop-skirted dress of white satin draped here and there with lace, a dress fifty or sixty years out of fashion but once, obviously, intended for a wedding.” (116) "a fabulous lending, a self-articulated garment in which she lived like a ghost in a machine.” (116) “he thought of a child dressing up in her mother’s clothes, perhaps a child putting on the clothes of a dead mother in order to bring her, however briefly, to life again.” (116) “She can’t take off her mother’s wedding dress unless she takes off her dark glasses; she has fumbled the ritual, it is no longer inexorable.” (122) "He made me put on my choker, the family heirloom of one woman who had escaped the blade" "I sprang out of bed and pulled on my old serge skirt and flannel blouse, costume of a student, in which I felt far more at ease with myself than in any of my fine new clothes." "Go and bathe yourself, put on that white dress you wore to hear Tristan and the necklace that prefigures your end." "On the dressing table, coiled like a snake about to strike, lay the ruby choker."
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