The man without identity

TUESDAY, 1 MAY 2012

I just read through the 2004 piece, “I own seven pairs of underwear …”. Again I found the idea intriguing: What would happen if someone – maybe in his teens (younger is too early, later may be too late) – should say: “I see what’s going on here. And I’m not going to play along.”

This person then denies his given name, and refuses to accept any other name. He refuses to answer any questions about where he comes from. He does not profess any faith. He does not express any ambitions or dreams. He owns nothing; not even the clothes that cover his body (he would have walked around buck-naked, but he got tired of being arrested). He never utters any words, seeing that almost anything he might say would identify him as part of a particular language community.

Is it unavoidable that he will be locked away and be certified as mentally disturbed?

How would his life unfold in the decades after his revolutionary decision?

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