Je vous connais, beau masque

English translation: The mask that reveals the self

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:Je vous connais, beau masque
English translation:The mask that reveals the self
Entered by: Hermeneutica

06:17 May 5, 2005
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Anthropology / folklore, museography
French term or phrase: Je vous connais, beau masque
Hi Friends,

me again with another weird one.

The full phrase is "je vous connais, beau masque"
The context: Text introducing an exhibition of masks of the world. The other introductory phrase is "Je est un autre" [Rimbaud].

Now the problem is how to render this appropriately in EN. Please bear in mind that:

1. I fully understand what this means: literally, "beautiful mask"
metaphorically, "I know who you are / I can see through you / I know there is a duplicity to you", as "masque" here is metonymy for "masked one", the person behind the mask, but also as the new [as masked] entity; but fundamentally, repartee at a masked ball prior to the midnight unmasking.

2. There doesn't seem to be a clear origin for the phrase as a quotation, as opposed to the Rimbaud mentioned above.

3. A literal translation would be "I know you, beautiful mask" [so don't waste your time giving me this one :) ]

4. The problem is that "je te/vous connais, beau masque" strikes a chord of meaning in a French speaking audience, as the expression has been incorporated into everyday language. However, a literal EN translation does no such thing for me.

So, I'm looking for what the real/a better equivalent might be in EN, ideally still containing the word "mask" [because of being an intro to the exhibition] or at least something that retains the notion of duplicity and/or presumed recognition due to expectation/familiarity.

Thank you veryvery much, and I need the answer in the course of the day/evening as this MUST be finally delivered tomorrow morning early to the client [currently already at proofing stage]

Dee
Hermeneutica
Switzerland
Local time: 10:44
The mask that reveals
Explanation:
It is the mask that reveals the realty, a paradox Shakespeare revels in.
Marxism, as Perry Anderson reminds us, grasps the relationship of capitalism ...
www.tribuneindia.com/2001/20011202/spectrum/book1.htm

As the mask that reveals the actual self, comedy strips pretence. The actual
self is the mortal self, and the sane (ie rational) reaction to the self ...
www.tumblong.uts.edu.au/crossroads/forum2.cfm

Selected response from:

Dylan Edwards
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:44
Grading comment
This fit my context best, and has the same "feel" of a set phrase as the original beau masque. Thanks very much!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +4what the mask cannot hide
Dr Sue Levy (X)
5Yo yo yo, masked man. How's it shakin'?
Pierre Renault
5As simply as this ...
Bono
3 +2Options ...
suezen
4I see through your mask
Gayle Wallimann
4Life is a masquerade
Graham macLachlan
4The mask that reveals
Dylan Edwards
4The loathsome mask has fallen, the man remains
Miguel Falquez-Certain


Discussion entries: 6





  

Answers


24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Je vous connais, beau masque URGENTISH
what the mask cannot hide


Explanation:
Famous poem by African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar

We Wear the Mask.
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile
And mouth with myriad subtleties,

Why should the world be over-wise.
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but oh great Christ, our cries
To Thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile,
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask !


Dr Sue Levy (X)
Local time: 10:44
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Michel A.: I love it
46 mins
  -> thanks Michel :-))

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
56 mins
  -> thanks Vicky :-)

agree  French Foodie: Beautiful!
4 hrs
  -> thanks Mara :-))

agree  Can Altinbay: Very nice
7 hrs
  -> thanks Can, but it's not what Asker is looking for :-)
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
I see through your mask


Explanation:
Another suggestion that is used quite often.

Gayle Wallimann
Local time: 10:44
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
The mask that reveals


Explanation:
It is the mask that reveals the realty, a paradox Shakespeare revels in.
Marxism, as Perry Anderson reminds us, grasps the relationship of capitalism ...
www.tribuneindia.com/2001/20011202/spectrum/book1.htm

As the mask that reveals the actual self, comedy strips pretence. The actual
self is the mortal self, and the sane (ie rational) reaction to the self ...
www.tumblong.uts.edu.au/crossroads/forum2.cfm



Dylan Edwards
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:44
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
This fit my context best, and has the same "feel" of a set phrase as the original beau masque. Thanks very much!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Je vous connais, beau masque URGENTISH
Options ...


Explanation:
At last I have unmasked you
the mask has fallen
behind the mask



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 19 mins (2005-05-05 06:36:18 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Your beauty lies unmasked ...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 hrs 21 mins (2005-05-05 12:38:43 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

There\'s always Shelley ...
The loathsome mask has fallen, the man remains ....

suezen
Local time: 10:44
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Aisha Maniar: I like "behind the mask"
3 hrs
  -> thanks Aisha

agree  Can Altinbay: "Behind the mask" is as "set" a phrase as any.
7 hrs
  -> thanks Can
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
The loathsome mask has fallen, the man remains


Explanation:
Shelley, Queen Mab.
Also: No mask like open truth to cover lies. Congreve
Thou know'st the mask of night is on my face. Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare.

Miguel Falquez-Certain
United States
Local time: 04:44
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Yo yo yo, masked man. How's it shakin'?


Explanation:
<sigh>
The comments appear to get cut off when they're more than (255 characters?) but there's not notice that this is or will be done...
</sigh>

I cannot think that most ordinary people would not get the obvious and very clear allegory. There are three possibilities I see: a mask as a mask, the smiling/scowling theather masks, the Mask (the comic book character). I cannot think of any others.

Those PHD's may say its a set expression, but until they can nail the source down, all they have is a phrase that **appears** to be a set expression. And the phrase "je te/vous connais, beau whatever" is so typical, it would certainly appear to be a set expression when it is not.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 hrs 8 mins (2005-05-05 15:25:10 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OK, OK, the titled answer was not intended as a suggestion.

Something, somewhere tells me that there\'s a phrase like
Hello mask, its me again

Maybe it\'ll work.



Pierre Renault
Local time: 04:44
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in EnglishEnglish
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Je vous connais, beau masque URGENTISH
Life is a masquerade


Explanation:
What you're really looking for is a good 'mask' quote... this one is a classic: even Satchmo used it!


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 hrs 28 mins (2005-05-05 18:45:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry, too quick, Louis Armstrong turned the quotation round to suit himself so \'masquerade\' became \'cabaret\'...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 hrs 47 mins (2005-05-05 19:04:34 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Where does it come from? No idea. It may well be a paraphrasis of Shakespeare\'s famous \"all the world\'s a stage\'. It\'s valid in your context and is instantly recognizable in spite of its enigmatic origin.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 hrs 54 mins (2005-05-05 19:11:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Life is a masquerade where Death, it would appear, is master of
the ceremonies.
James Branch Cabell, 1879–1958

Graham macLachlan
Local time: 10:44
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Pierre Renault: Life is a cabaret, Satchmo? That line is from "Cabaret", a Kurt Weil play...
1 day 10 hrs
  -> well, well, you learn things everyday
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18 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
As simply as this ...


Explanation:
I know you, masked stranger.

Its origins:
There are a couple of plays in which this has been used in France. The exact origin while often attributed to Molière, in fact goes back to the comedia del arte.

I can't remember the name of the character involved right now though (it's years I've studied that and it's late in the night). But let us call him Sir X for now, went to a party where his much younger lover would be seen, wearing a mask to hide from her and find out if the girl was as good and a virgin as she pretended to him. The lady's chamber maid, being wittier than him, going to him with this line and suggesting many a pleasure to come (so that the line is to be used in a fairly rowdy sort of way), to try and prove him that her mistress was a good girl and he was a very naughty old man. Her ladyship actually having some fun with another man all the while but that's another matter.

Molière took the line on for some of his lesser and better known plays, altering it as he became more famous.

You find a hint to it in Gustave III or Le bal Masqué too. Alexandre Dumas half used it as well, and so did Michel Zévaco. And I'm sure many others. But the origin of it lies with the comedia del' arte. So I'm not certain what most frequent line for it can be found in English, but Shakespeare might have it. I recall he wrote something similar if not that exact quote.

In the end, something you like and with a flavour of sensuality and sexuality, translating the cleverness and naughtiness alike of a soubrette finding out the tricks of her ladyship's imposed husband-to-be, would do if you want to carry the original meaning.

I'm not sure which area of the world your text is aimed at. And this kind of play has very varied translations depending on "national wit preferences" and periods. So good luck to you on this!

Bono
Local time: 10:44
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in EnglishEnglish
Grading comment
Not what I needed, but much appreciated additional background. I knew about Dumas, and there is an instance in Grimm's Chouette, but since it itself is a translation from DE, I did not feel it was "valid". Thanks very much again.
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The asker has declined this answer
Comment: Not what I needed, but much appreciated additional background. I knew about Dumas, and there is an instance in Grimm's Chouette, but since it itself is a translation from DE, I did not feel it was "valid". Thanks very much again.



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