Why names?

Ce n’est pas pour rien que les humains portent des noms à la place des matricules: le prénom est la clé de la personne. C’est le cliquetis délicat de sa serrure quand on veut ouvrir sa porte. C’est la musique métallique qui rend le don possible. Le matricule est à la connaissance de l’autre ce que la carte d’identité est à la personne: rien.

Amélie Nothomb, Acide Sulfurique

 

Not for nothing do human beings bear names rather than numbers: the first name is the key to the personality. It is the delicate click of the lock when you want to open the door. It’s the metallic music that makes the gift possible. The number is to knowledge of the other what the identity card is to the person: precisely nothing.

Amélie Nothomb, Sulphuric Acid (translated by Shaun Whiteside)
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