Notes On Attention Paid

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06 What’s in a name?

… interesting article on the problem with naming women artists, who’s histories are all too often tied up with men more famous then they during their lifetimes… and then there are the ways that the patriarchy patronizes women when it names them…

In 2017, French novelist Marie Darrieussecq’s succinct biography of early 20th-century German painter Paula Modersohn-Becker, Being Here Is Everything, was published in English. In it, Darrieussecq calls her subject Paula, while the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who was her friend, is called Rilke. When asked about this disparity in The Paris Review, Darrieussecq was blunt, “It’s the truth about men and women. It still is. It’s hard to have a name when you’re a woman.”1