words and images
erving goffman begins his work the presentation of self in everyday life with a quotation from santayana. i want to write it down here.the question is: why he begins his book with this quotation?
masks are arrested expressions and admirable echoes of feeling, at once faithful, discreet, and superlative. Living things in contact with the air must acquire cuticle, and it is not urged against cuticles that they are not hearts: yet some philosophers seem to be angry with images for not being things, and words with for not being feelings. words and images are like shells, no less integral parts of nature than are the substances they cover, but better addressed to the eye and more open to observation.
i would not say that substances exist for the sake of appearance, or faces for the sakes of masks, or the passions for the sake of poetry and virtue.nothing arises in nature for the sake of anything else; all these phases and products are involved equally in the round of existence…
soliloquies in england and later soliloques (new york: scribner’s, 1922), pp 131-32