Rick Moody’s memoir, The Black Veil, draws on Hawthorne’s story, “The Minister’s Black Veil.” We want to see what we feel will disturb us, what others hide. But it’s the veil that disturbs, not what lies beneath it. Under the veil likes a perfectly ordinary face. The veil haunts, and people beg for the minister to remove it. But who doesn’t veil their true nature, the face they see in the mirror, from others? And who is bold enough to lift the veil from another’s face. In Hawthorne’s story, and in Moody’s memoir, no one dares.
Are there things that can only be seen through a veil?
Poe defines art as the reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature through the veil of the soul.