Mirror, Mask, and Portrait in Fuentes' "Terra Nostra"
Latin American Studies Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Portraits constitute one of the three major classes of facial images. They are flanked by mirror images, usually near-perfect re-presentations of living faces, and by masks, typically meant to replace rather than reflect faces. Recent artists, writers, and theorists have frequently turned to mirrors and masks in considering the nature of portraiture. In Carlos Fuentes' Terra Nostra, all three classes, along with their combinations, provide Fuentes and his characters with a wide range of approaches along which they can explore the possibilities and meanings of representation itself.