The Painted Veil: the title of the book.
• Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,-- behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o’er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it -- he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
• by Percy Bysshe Shelley What is the veil?
1) a thin piece of cloth worn over a woman’s head and often partly over her face. 2) a layer of smth that prevents you from seeing very far. 3) a lack of knowledge or information that prevents you from discovering the truth (ignorance). But while reading the book we can also understand the word as a CURTAIN. And also in Russian we have three possible variants of translation: узорный покров, разрисованная вуаль и разрисованный занавес. It’s rather difficult to understand exactly which one is closer to what the author implied. The next interesting question is “why is the veil painted?”. What colours? If we speak about a real veil, what colours can we see on it? To my mind, it can only be plain and usually dark. This word has something dark and mysterious in it as a veil is usually worn by widows or at funerals. A curtain is usually a cloth that hides the stage from the audience at the theatre. And its colours are bright. We have one more variant left: our ignorance about Life on the whole. Now let us refer to the poem. The man that “lifts the veil” is Kitty who, having realized that...
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