Wednesday, February 17, 2010
“My Name” by Richard Brautigan is a truly delicate story about identity hidden the dark. The entire story has a beat that closely resembles that of a Wednesday night Catholic Mass; small descriptions followed by the confirmation “That is my name.” Brautigan appeals to the unconscious moments we encounter in daily life, finding his identity in these moments rather than at the forefront. When one thinks of the name they were given, people often apply a label upon themselves. “I am Pamela” is a true statement, but what Brautigan investigates is how one’s identity exceeds a name. Each scene he describes is that of a secretive content moment, either experienced alone in bed or around a loved one. It seems that when he confirms these moments as “his name” he is telling the reader that he listens during the quiet, in-between moments. He lives outside of himself. I found his voice in this piece to be overwhelmingly calm, understanding, and familiar. Brautigan shows that we are all connected emotionally and personally. I felt that “My Name” described a series of predicaments we can all relate to. Its use of poetry and repetition made his message strong and demonstrated that his identity is not so unclear after all.