hozhai (hozhai) wrote,

What's in a name? -- I asked Neil Gaiman

Читаю «Коралину» Нила Геймана.
Хорошая книжка. Мне нравится. По содержанию близка к фильму, конечно. Но открываются и новые нюансы.
Автор периодически подчёркивает противоречивость значимости имён. В одних случаях указывается на неважность, вторичность имени. И даже знаменитая фраза Шекспира вложена в уста персонажей: «What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet». С другой стороны, в тексте неоднократно звучит идея важности имени. Так, Коралина неизменно огорчается, если кто-то называет её Кэролиной.
Вот несколько отрывков, в которых говорится про имена:
* * *
“Cats don't have names,” it {the cat} said.
“No?” said Coraline.
“No,” said the cat. “Now, you people have names. That's because you don't know who you are. We know who we are, so we don't need names.”
* * *
“Now, Coraline,” said Miss Spink. “What's your name?”
“Coraline,” said Coraline.
* * *
“See?” said the cat. “It wasn't so hard recognising me, was it? Even without names.”
“Well, what if I wanted to call you?”
The cat wrinkled its nose and managed to look unimpressed. “Calling cats,” it confided, “tends to be a rather overrated activity. Might as well call a whirlwind.”
“What if it was dinnertime?” asked Coraline. “Wouldn't you want to be called then?”
“Of course,” said the cat. “But a simple cry of ‘dinner!’ would do nicely. See? No need for names.”
* * *
“Who are you?” whispered Coraline.
“Names, names, names,” said another voice, all faraway and lost. “The names are the first things to go, after the breath has gone, and the beating of the heart. We keep our memories longer than our names. I still keep pictures in my mind of my governess on some May morning, carrying my hoop and stick, and the morning sun behind her, and all the tulips bobbing in the breeze. But I have forgotten the name of my governess, and of the tulips too.”
“I don't think tulips have names,” said Coraline. “They're just tulips.”
“Perhaps,” said the voice sadly. “But I have always thought that these tulips must have had names. They were red, and orange-and-red, and red-and-orange-and-yellow, like the embers in the nursery fire of a winter's evening. I remember them.”
* * *
It had never occurred to Coraline that the crazy old man upstairs actually had a name, she realised. If she'd known his name was Mr Bobo she would have said it every chance she got. How often do you get to say a name like “Mister Bobo” aloud?
Tags: books, observation, quotes

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