April 25, 2016

 In Musings


“Derive happiness from yourself, from a good day’s work, from the clearing that it makes in the fog that surrounds us. Think that all those that have succeeded, as they look back on the difficulties of their start in life, exclaim with conviction, “Those were the good old days!” For most of them, success is a prison, and the artist must never be a prisoner. Prisoner? An artist must never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of a reputation, prisoner of success, etc. Did not the Goncourt brothers write that Japanese artists of the great period changed their names several times during their lives? This pleases me: they wanted to protect their freedom.” – Henri Matisse

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  • patsy monk

    Interesting that individuals CHANGE their names. Moving to Florida years ago prompted me to ‘alter’ my name to lower case letters. Gadfree! It still causes stress in others!
    Now I have been bold in holding my ground with the change. Maybe I am an escaped, unfairly held prisoner?

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      Ann Grasso

      In our modern culture, such traditions of name changing to allow more freedoms seems only to work for those trying to escape from either wrong doing or protection. We are required to “sign” for everything, with our legal names. Of course, we can legally change our name, but this is perceived with distrust rather than anonymity to pursue with freedom. May I point to the book, The Unknown Craftsman by Soetsu Yanagi? It is an example of another era where signing ones name to art or craft was thought to be an act lacking in humility.

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