Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What’s in a Name?


What comfort do I find in being not known? Perhaps I lose the compulsion to be more than what I am, and be only me when I do not have a name to the face. This isn’t a factor when I deal with people who don’t know the RL me – with them I am the real me, and with no trouble with the name-person conflict. It is only with people I already know who have this preconceived notion of who I am, that I feel the need to live up to what they think I am.

Consider this tendency of mine. None – well, almost none – of my characters in a story revolving around only them ever have a name. It is only when there are so many characters that to tag to identify which one I speak of names. They are redundant.

Quite frequently the name and the person don’t match. Or even the place. Consider “Nimrodel” – what if it was applied to a boring person with no interests in life beyond her books? It wouldn’t go. Easier, to leave things unnamed, and get on with the story.

It also cuts down on conflicts. As X, I am Y’s something, which dictates that I react to Z a certain way. Not being X gives me the freedom to just be me, minus constraints, and do what I would have done, had I not been Y’s something. It is that individuality that I cherish, that freedom. Because, sometimes I think I do not have the guts to say that I am X and I am this way, and deal with it. It hurts too many others whose pain is my pain.

I would have been unable to say what I just did with my name known. There is an ego and a pride involved with me with my name that denies all weakness. I can do away with without the name. Probably this does not make sense to others, but to me it does.

Shrouded she lurks unknown
Comfortable in clear darkness
Perhaps it hides the flaws.

Besides, one day, I’ll be known all over the world, and then I don’t want to be mobbed for an autograph. *sticks out tongue* Unfair perhaps, is that I know other’s names, and who they are… but hey, life is unfair.


Blogger Kini said...

Dare I say anything Madame?

A strong case for anonymity. But there still is a catch. What you have done in this post is idealize the concept of society. Pure crystalline individualism doesn't exist in a real system. Reality is amorphous, grey and filled with social expectations.

When you engage in dialogue with another human being there are always expectations that are attached with them and in most of the cases there is nothing you can do to forbid them.

For example, how would you negate the expectations in another's mind caused because of the mood and environment heor she is in?

As for life being unfair, I'm much too aware of that little fact and have learnt its nuances the hard way, but using it as a justification to maintain the upper hand in a repartee is not in the spirit of conversation.

Name-tags, expectations and all the bells and whistles of society will always remain, and though we're all entitled to our 15 seconds of peace and escapism in writing, lasting self-realisation and preservation of identity can only be achieved when one can come to terms with both oneself and with society.

There is a quote i quite like.

" Anyone can be calm in a cave, or when asleep. The challenge is to step out in the struggle, the maelstrom that is the daily world and still retain one's composure."

6:04 am GMT-7  
Blogger Camphor said...

Yup. You may dare. You have Our permission for it.

lol. Seriously, though... I like my idealism. I'd be a cynic without it. My all time greatest fears:
1. I lose my brain.
2. I lose my hands.
3. I become a cynical bitch.
Sorta why at least out of RL I keep in mind an idealised society. With no expections from anyone but myself.

But... All right, since you put it as "using it as a justification to maintain the upper hand in a repartee is not in the spirit of conversation." and in my idealised world, I'd like to have fairness... you only have to ask. *sigh*

6:34 am GMT-7  
Blogger Kini said...

How about we have a debate on anonymity on yahoo msngr...


You have the freedom to choose. Anonymity or otherwise.

*Raises one eye-brow expectantly*

The gauntlet has been set down.:)

7:55 am GMT-7  
Blogger Camphor said...

My yahoo ID.

*grins* I wish there was an equivalent of "grins boyishly" for a female. All these other terms just don't fit.

*picks up gauntlet and examines* I guess the challenge is taken.

9:51 pm GMT-7  

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