and the face-Anna Deavere Smith after
All those forgotten faces! There hasn't been a new one added for quite some years. Whoever enters my life no goes and fetches a face from the pile of old ones. I help Him find one. He is not himself, he is like someone out of the heap
Elias Canetti, The Agonony of Flies
If you were beside another and looking into his eyes—as I one day looked into somebody's eyes—you might as well be a beggar before a door never to be opened to you; for he who does enter there will never be you, but someone unknown to you with his own different and impenetrable world …
Luigi Pirandello, Henry IV
It is the power of allegory, and its demonic force as well, to say something quite different from and even contrary to what seems to be intended through it.
Jacques Derrida, Memoires: for Paul de Man
A tale told out of (Hebrew) school: Rabbinic tradition relates the story of the angel Gabriel's descent to earth in order to show one man what awaits him after death. Emissary and man enter a splendid room with a sumptuously prepared table—the choicest delicacies, the rarest china. Around the table's perimeter sit several souls, mesmerized by the feast but unable to partake: strapped to wooden slats, their arms cannot bend to feed themselves. “This is gehinnom” (Hell) says the angel Gabriel. He turns, shows his charge the door, and escorts him into an adjoining room; upon entering, the angel announces, “This is pardes” (Paradise). It is the identical room, the identical table, the identical display of food. The same guests sit around its perimeter,