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What's in a Name?

ByMladen Dolar

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A name always bears a symbolic mandate. As soon as false pretenders appear, questions arise as to the symbolic mandate’s power, its validity and justification. Names refer to genealogies, yet thereby always involve a certain distribution of power. To arrogate a name is to arrogate power. There is a claim to power in every name, in assuming the social role that goes with it, in transmitting symbolic legacy, in social impact, in genealogical inscription. The story of false pretenders entails the moment of bemusement – one’s feeling that, really, one is always a false pretender, as there’s no way one could inhabit a name legitimately, naturally, feeling fully justified bearing the name one bears. No sufficient grounds can ever substantiate it; no name is ever covered by the Leibnizian principle of sufficient reason. The feeling of being an impostor, false pretender to a name, isn’t personal sentiment or idiosyncrasy; it’s a structural feeling accompanying names – their shadow and effect.

Details

Publication Date
Nov 12, 2014
Language
English
ISBN
9781312655430
Category
Art & Photography
Copyright
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
Contributors
By (author): Mladen Dolar

Specifications

Pages
64
Binding
Paperback
Interior Color
Black & White
Dimensions
Pocket Book (4.25 x 6.875 in / 108 x 175 mm)

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