And the Jewish poetry alias
Two weeks ago Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe waxed poetic about his itch to write verse. “As an actor, there is room for a certain amount of creativity, but you’re always ultimately going to be saying somebody else’s words,” he told the Guardian in an interview to promote Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, opening tomorrow. “I don’t think I’d have the stamina, skill or ability to write a novel, but I’d love to write short stories and poetry, because those are my two passions.” It’s odd, or maybe just coy, that he used the conditional case—last week Rubbish, a London fashion magazine, announced on its blog that the 19-year-old has, in fact, published some poems (which include references to Kate Moss, Pete Doherty, and Simon Cowell) under the alias Jacob Gershon. Jacob is Radcliffe’s middle name; Gershon is what the magazine calls the “Jewish version” of his mother’s anglicized maiden name, Marcia Gresham Jacobson. (The poetry itself is, sadly, not available online.)
Though an atheist, Radcliffe digs his Jewish roots. “It means I have a good work ethic, and you get Jewish humour and you’re allowed to tell Jewish jokes. For instance: did you hear how copper wire was invented? Two Jews fighting over a penny. And so on.” To which we must respond: Daniel, Jacob—whatever your stand-up alias name is—please abstain from tackling comedy as your next metier.
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