Mar 9, 2009

Whatever Lola Wants

Lola is what my two year-old baby sister used to call me. It was her simplified toddler version of my vowelly and complicated name, which was in fact too difficult for her to pronounce. She's in her twenties thirties now, and still calls me that. Lola has just stuck with me over the years and has become my nickname. And somewhat of an alter ego.

Worldly Lolas include the sassy vixen of Cavalleria Rusticana that steals Turiddu from under Santuzza's engagement bed: Then there's cheeky and meretricious Lola cabaret dancer played by Marlene Dietrich in Josef von Sternberg's film The Blue Angel,  Lolas that have inspired femininity and impudent attitude in many a wench. 

I have spent endless hours in movie theaters, fantasizing at the sexy Lolas on the silver screen, wishing some of their magnetism could magically be transmitted by analogy or metaphor. Cinema is full of Lolas, just think of the eponymous films directed by artists such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Bigas Luna or Jacques Demy. The variety of filmic portraits of fictional and historic women named Lola is boundless, there's Action Lola is Tom Tykwer's 1998 Run Lola Run, and the Max Ophüls depiction of the numerous affairs of dancer Lola Montès, most notably with Franz Liszt and Ludwig I, King of Bavaria.

I've come around to loving the name, for its simple sound, sensual feel and exotic musicality. To my surprise, Lola is furthermore a curiously diversified word. For example, I recently found out that Lola is short for omolola in the Yoruba language spoken in West Africa, and means "Child of Wealth." Auspicable, but not quite applicable to moi. Furthermore, Lola Racing Cars is a race car engineering company founded in 1961 in England. I wear one of their vintage T-shirts when I'm feeling particularly Rock 'n' Roll.

Something I really had to apply myself to in order to fully understand, is that Lola is also a "simple" hardware description language designed for illustrating synchronous, digital circuits. The purpose of this particular Lola is to statically describe the structure and functionality of hardware components and of the connections between them. Funny how a Lola text is composed of declarations and statements, which to an unversed ear like mine sound as totally intellectual rather than cybernetic.

If Oscar is the popular Hollywood trophy, and César is his French cousin, the Lola is the popular name for the prestigious German Filmpreis Award. 

More famous nickname homonyms include Lola Rodrìguez de Tiò, the Puerto Rican female activist poet; or the darkly romantic showgirl portrayed in the Barry Manilow hit "Copacabana"; Lola Flores, an Andalusian gypsy singer, dancer and actress; Lola Sharapova-Abdurahimova, one of the first Tajik female violin players; and Lola Martin, America's n°1 Latin porn star.

I began blogging with the idea of writing anonymously, but in the short period since then I have changed my mind. It doesn't feel right somehow. I speak honestly and candidly about myself in my posts, and sometimes in my silly anonymity, it feels like I'm tricking those who read my truths. 

You can still call me Lola, everyone in the family does, as do my closest friends. I like it very much. But if you really want to learn a bit more about me, know that my real name is Eleonora.


  1. Love the bio history of your name. Enjoy the connections.

  2. Meds are wonderful! I still do not know what damage I have to deal with. MRI will be available later in the week.

    I'm not sure what the Italian word is for the juncture of the arm to the shoulder, an area full of fluid and other important functions.

  3. I'm in a haze with these wonderful meds that dull the pain and everything else. I might have already written about it.

  4. Nice to meet you Eleonora! you seem lovely either way, but in your photo you definetly look Lola to me. Gorgeous pic. And a very interesting post.
    x lori

  5. Lola or Eleonora, both are charming. And your picture too, where I can spot some somiglianze, maybe.

    I also started with anonymity. Now my picture is starting to appear instead of the Roman mummy (che però mi piace, mi dà il senso dell'antico.) I might do some further outing, who knows.

    Keep up with the good blogging Lola.


  6. Rosaria - I've done my little research for the day and it turns out you have what we call "sindrome da conflitto della cuffia dei rotatori, una patologia dell'articolazione scapolo-omerale." Now we're talking.

    Lori - thank you, I am blushing! Ciao and come back soon

  7. Manofroma - thank you! Quando decidi di uscire ulteriormente dall'anonimato (il sarcofago della mummia) fammi sapere il tuo nome!
    Un abbraccio Lola/Ele

  8. Ciao Lola. Nice to meet you. Thanks for the comment on my blog- "White lies and purple skies". I wish I had thought of that for a title! Pure genius. :)

  9. Coleen, nice of you to stop by my blog, and thank YOU for the reply to my comment. God & Genius make one fine team, especially when they are both female and mother.
    Ciao e a presto!