Sat 25 Jul, 2015 01:22 pm
I'm writing a short story, and the MacGuffin is a book in Latin written in the late Middle Ages. The book's topic is, for lack of a better word, "perfect pretense": actorly techniques for crafting and playing a character so completely that no one can detect it as an assumed persona. The book's topic would mostly cover character creation for the stage, but would also be applicable to instances of espionage or imitation. (Given the time period it is supposedly written: yes, such a book is probably deeply anachronistic. But it's only a MacGuffin.)
"Liber" and "Persona" seem to be relevant words, according to the usual translation sites, but I'm switched if I can figure out how to arrange them into a title that would be understood in the above way.
Thanks in advance for any help.
Well if you decide how the title would translate to English, I can help with
Yeah, that would make sense, wouldn't it? I guess I've been reading too many MR James' ghost stories, and worry too much about misleading or ambiguous meanings. So I wanted to indicate a subject rather than a simple set of English words.
"On Masks" would the most economical English title; anything similar in Latin, but which can also plausibly be understood as referring to actorly masks or feigned personas, rather than simply Halloween masks.
According to Lewis & Short's A Latin Dictionary, the first definition of
...."A mask, esp. that used by players, which covered the whole head,
....and was varied according to the different characters to be
(The word persona comes from per-sono, to sound through.)
It also came to mean "person" in our sense of the word and is still used
that way in legal Latin.
Typically, the title of a work in Latin about a given subject starts with the
word De (of or about or concerning) followed by the subject.
So I would suggest
De Personis which could mean either Of Masks or Of Persons.
You're welcome, 1Question.