"But the idea of a 'playful self', of a self that plays with its boundaries and masks, was birthed long before tricksy ad campaigns and postmodern theory. The clear starting point is Renaissance literature, and that list of writers - from Rabelais, Erasmus and Machiavelli, to Shakespeare, Donne and Marvell - who used their art to imagine a self that was not validated by Church, nobility or tradition. And their most favourite strategy was the ludic self - a literary persona that toyed with the very idea of being a single unitary consciousness."
Also, earlier in the chapter, a telling reference to the effect that the opposite of play is not work, it is depression.
And for the record, the chapter explores Brian Sutton-Smith's six rhetorics of play, which are:
- Play as progress
- Play as imagination
- Play as selfhood
- Play as fate and chaos
- Play as shared identity
- Play as contest