When Caesars Dance, Masks Multiply: Celebrating the Soul’s Otherness and Dionysian Initiation in Carole Maso’s Ghost Dance

Insaf Khémiri


With reference to Carole Maso’s Ghost Dance and focusing on one specific character, the Italian American grandfather, Angelo, the present paper tried to study the archetypal images of Caesars which fed the self-centred patriarchal Western ‘ego’ and, thus, poisoned the character’s soul, hindered his freedom, and affected his relationships. While the first part dealt with the four manifestations of ‘Caesar’: the Christian God, the patriarchal Father, the white Anglo-centric man, and the Italian ‘master,’ the second part attempted to highlight the importance of masks in freeing the ‘ego’ from the dominance of Caesars. The soul selects ‘its’ own society by discovering other images, gods, spirits, and ghosts and the character’s freedom depended on the ‘remythologization’ of these multiple facets of the psyche.


Archetypes, the Dionysian, Otherness, Shamanism.

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