Carnival: A Mass Plays Mas’
[Part 1 of 2]
***Draft: Not for Quotation, Citation or Distribution***
Carnival seeks to regain a lost Paradise ; it plays to recover the world that predated the Fall.
Carnival reveals the two faces behind a wire-mesh mask :”the Agony of Exile”and the “Joy of a Certain Return”.
Carnival is Wilson Harris‘ “infinite rehearsal”; it is calypsonian Lord Shorty’s “Endless Vibrations.”
Carnival is the surfacing of the submerged!
“Carnival is that time when every joke is allowed,” say the Italians. “Life is a Carnaval”, sings Celia Cruz [1925-2003] in “La Vida es un Carnaval”.Carnival is life and life is a cosmic theatre; it is also a gestural literature that writhes bodies into tongues after the fashion of St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), the saintly preacher who prayed and played his sermons.
Carnival is transmission and transgression. Carnival and the carnivalesque are hugely indebted to the drama of religious worship. In fact, according to Emmanuel Le Roy Ladure [see Carnival in Romans] ,“the Catholic Church was once upon a time a “leading participant in the [ French Carnival] ceremonies”.
“Drama springs from religious liturgy”, allowed poet T.S. Eliot.
(c) Caldwell Taylor
Caldwell Taylor is writer and cultural commentator. The former teacher and diplomat is a graduate of Windsor Law School .