Monday, September 8, 2008

Impersonal Passion

(About being named after the dead in Jewish practice)... "To any devotee of the greater truth of the external, this is a dispiriting observation. At least I can change my looks, or somewhat, can embroider my skin with tattoos, sport a new moustache, buy myself triumphantly globular breasts, wax away my currently unfashionable chest hair, pluck my eyebrows into a quizzical crescent, and generally wrestle my undoctored appearance to the ground before I raise it up revamped in my preferred image. And it's far easier, more socially manageable, to undertake these acts of vanity than it is to effect that other vanity of changing my given name.

For my name is only formally my property. It stems from other people; they gave it to me, but their imperious gift has arrived with no receipt by which I can discreetly exchange it. The same is true of my looks; and yet I have more latitude, depending on my wealth, to change my appearance than to change my name: why?"

... Impersonal Passion, Denise Riley

No comments: