The aesthetic of fragmentation and the use of personae in the poetry of Fernando Pessoa and W. B. Yeats.
The notion of a 'fragmented subject' emerged historically in the latter part of the nineteenth century, reflecting discoveries in the fields of psychology and cultural anthropology. Robert Langbaum has referred to this phenomenon in literature as 'the movement toward depersonalization depersonalization /de·per·son·al·iza·tion/ (de-per?sun-al-i-za´shun) alteration in the perception of self so that the usual sense of one's own reality is temporarily lost or changed; it may be a manifestation of a neurosis or another and abstraction', setting its boundaries between 1875 and 1927. (1) The aesthetics of fragmentation constituted an important influence on W. B. Yeats and Fernando Pessoa This article or section is written like a personal reflection or and may require .
Please [ improve this article] by rewriting this article or section in an . , whose poetic debuts occurred respectively in the late 1880s and early 1900s. (2) By the time he started writing his autobiography in 1914 Yeats was convinced that 'the moment we [artists] attain to greatness of any kind by personal labour and will we become fragmentary'. (3) Around the same time Pessoa was performing his heteronymic experiment. He defends artistic depersonalization enthusiastically: 'No artist should have only one personality. On the contrary, he should have several, each one from like states of mind which would discard the fiction that personality is only one and indivisible'. (4) Although pursuing their individual poetic development, they often addressed questions posed by this new aesthetic in a manner that is comparable in its originality and sophistication so·phis·ti·cate
v. so·phis·ti·cat·ed, so·phis·ti·cat·ing, so·phis·ti·cates
1. To cause to become less natural, especially to make less naive and more worldly.
Poetry is particularly amenable to this type of phenomena, for poetic language intrinsically generates 'discordance' within the Self, engendering an 'unsettled and questionable subject'. (5) Undoubtedly, it is the unsettling un·set·tle
v. un·set·tled, un·set·tling, un·set·tles
1. To displace from a settled condition; disrupt.
2. To make uneasy; disturb.
v.intr. quality of poetic language that renders the subject of enunciation enunciation
n an auxiliary function of teeth, particularly those in the anterior sector of the dental arch; the formation of sounds heterogeneous, as observed by Lacanian theory. Revealing a profound aesthetic intuition, Yeats and Pessoa developed similar techniques of displacement of the subject in their poetry, which implied a rather experimental and innovative use of poetic personae. The techniques addressed in this essay comprise Yeats's 'theory of the mask'--more accurately defined as 'theory of the masks'--and Pessoa's self-coined 'heteronymy'. They represented a departure in conceptual and stylistic terms from the conventional use of the poetic persona, which entailed a differentiation between the poet and the subjective 'I' of the poem, strictly within the boundaries of the poem. The deployment of this poetic device generated in the first instance a division of the enunciating entity or persona, with the consequent emergence of several recurring personae in the Yeatsian and Pessoan poetic universes. Additionally, it altered the function of the persona, extending its action beyond the poem. Both poets were aware of the innovation brought about by these changes, and strove strove
Past tense of strive.
the past tense of strive
strove strive to come to terms with it in their poetic practice and in their aesthetic conceptualization con·cep·tu·al·ize
v. con·cep·tu·al·ized, con·cep·tu·al·iz·ing, con·cep·tu·al·iz·es
To form a concept or concepts of, and especially to interpret in a conceptual way: . Therefore, a new terminology that could address the specificity of the aesthetic process emerged in complementary texts of a theoretical nature.
The emergence of the poetic personae and the negotiation of their status were subject to various changes throughout their poetic careers, allowing us to trace different stages of an ongoing development of the method in their poems, as well as in their poetics po·et·ics
n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
1. Literary criticism that deals with the nature, forms, and laws of poetry.
2. A treatise on or study of poetry or aesthetics.
3. . Hence, in the early stages of their poetry there is a closer identification between the poet and the personae. In Yeats's case, that interdependency is particularly patent in the collection The Wind Among the Reeds, first published as a separate volume in 1899. In this first edition the personae Aedh (Aodh), Mongan, Michael Robartes, and Hanrahan appear recurrently in the love poems. Thus, the function of these personae is akin to that of a pseudonym pseudonym (s`dənĭm) [Gr.,=false name], name assumed, particularly by writers, to conceal identity. A writer's pseudonym is also referred to as a nom de plume (pen name). in fiction, in that they attempt to disguise, rather than identify, the poet from each particular persona. Traditionally this measure has been related to the autobiographical content of the lyrics. The majority of the poems in the collection address the poet's feelings towards Maud Maud: see Matilda, queen of England. Gonne and his affective relationship with Olivia Shakespear. Hence, by resorting to these linguistic masks, the poet could freely express personal subjective feelings in a detached, objective form. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. this reading the personae were decalquages of the poetic 'I', without possessing much individuality.
Unsurprisingly, the poet did not put much stress on the biographical reading. Rather, he contrived an elaborate explanation for his use of these figures, identifying them as 'personages' in the collections of short fiction The Secret Rose and Stories of Red Hanrahan (1897). In the notes to the collection Wind Among the Reeds Yeats states that he had used them there more as 'principles of the mind' than as 'actual personages'. (6) The fact that the poet refers to these figures as 'principles of the mind', in opposition to the term 'personages', which would have conferred on them a greater autonomy, points to their symbolic function. The symbolic function of the personae constitutes a significant aspect of Yeats's deployment of this technique, for they often embody opposing attitudes tested in the poems. On the other hand, by attributing psychological traits and philosophical viewpoints to these imaginary figures he introduces a fictional element to the poetry that transcends both the biographical and the symbolic representations, intimating a later development of the technique in his poetic production.
In subsequent editions Yeats substituted the named personae for general categories such as 'lover' or 'poet', introducing another category of personae that would remain a constant throughout his poetry. To these one should add the figures of the 'hero' and the 'sage', which he had borrowed from Baudelaire's literary poses and from Western literary tradition. These entities possessed an archetypal ar·che·type
1. An original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype: "'Frankenstein' . . . 'Dracula' . . . 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' . . . quality, as well as belonging to an aesthetic typology typology /ty·pol·o·gy/ (ti-pol´ah-je) the study of types; the science of classifying, as bacteria according to type.
the study of types; the science of classifying, as bacteria according to type. dating back to Plato. Their ancient symbolism allied to their anonymity rendered them more adequate, in the poet's view, for the articulation of universal timeless emotions, intellectual concepts and metaphysical questionings. Referring specifically to Responsibilities (1914), Richard Ellmann Richard Ellmann (March 15 1918 – May 13 1987) was a prominent American/British literary critic and biographer of Irish writers such as James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and William Butler Yeats. identifies some of the 'types' that Yeats used as personae in the poems: 'The poet speaks less often in his own voice, but uses beggars, hermits and fools to voice with safety opinions about life and afterlife that he is not prepared to guarantee'. (7) His assessment insightfully postulates that Yeats used these imaginary figures as a medium for self-revelation, an antithetical an·ti·thet·i·cal also an·ti·thet·ic
1. Of, relating to, or marked by antithesis.
2. Being in diametrical opposition. See Synonyms at opposite. though concomitant goal to the mechanism of occultation occultation (ŏk'əltā`shən), in astronomy, eclipse of one celestial body by another, e.g., when the moon lies between a star and the earth. Occultations of stars by the moon are important in astronomy. described above.
These changes in the use of personae herald a new stage in the development of his technique. This consisted in the 'doctrine of the mask', which Yeats was beginning to delineate while he wrote the poems in The Green Helmet and Other Poems (1910) and Responsibilities. According to Ellmann, 'The word that begins to occur constantly in his writings during the first decade of the century is "mask", a word which lent dignity and a kind of traditional sanction to his theories of the pose'. (8) The delineation of this theory was effected in stages, becoming increasingly more complex as the poet realized more clearly what it entailed. At first Yeats's concern was to assert the donning of a mask as a transformation of the personality by an act of will. He claims in Per Amica Silentia Lunae, 'I think that all happiness depends on the energy to assume a mask of some other life; on a rebirth as something not one's self'. (9) His views were still quite close to those of Wilde, as expressed for instance in the essays 'The Decay of Lying' and 'The Truth of Masks', and fictionalized in The Picture of Dorian Gray This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling.
You can assist by [ editing it] now. . (10)
Later, he reinforces the differentiation between the poet and the mask, arguing that poets should be 'seeking an anti-self, a mask that delineates a being in all things the opposite to their natural state'. (11) Bearing this principle in mind one quickly realizes that the common aspect to all the 'types' listed above lies in the fact that they embody lifestyles and literary postures that are diametrically di·a·met·ri·cal also di·a·met·ric
1. Of, relating to, or along a diameter.
2. Exactly opposite; contrary.
di opposite to the poet's own. In A Vision, he establishes just that type of relationship between the 'Daimonic' poet of phase seventeen in the Great Wheel (in which he includes himself) and the figures of phase three, characterized by being 'almost without intellect'. (12) Among these he included 'shepherds', 'goatherds', 'foxhunters' and 'fishermen'. Interestingly, most of these figures appear in the context of ballads, as if, by adopting a form of poetic expression traditionally associated with a simpler content, the poet was accommodating the simplicity of a worldview world·view
n. In both senses also called Weltanschauung.
1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.
2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group. intrinsic to the speaker.
The initial dualism dualism, any philosophical system that seeks to explain all phenomena in terms of two distinct and irreducible principles. It is opposed to monism and pluralism. In Plato's philosophy there is an ultimate dualism of being and becoming, of ideas and matter. imposed by the concept of the 'anti-self' was soon multiplied by a plurality of personae that enacted alternative forms of being. The poet himself achieves this realization: 'Is it simply the doctrine of the Mask? The choosing of some one Mask? [...] Is it becoming mask after mask? [...] a continual change, a phantasmagoria'. (13) The theory of the mask was crucial to the development of Yeats's dialectical poetics, allowing him to convey diverse, often contradictory, ideas and feelings in an uncommitted form. The attempt to give representation to these conflicting forces necessarily involves the continuous creation of various masks, which can express differing viewpoints or emotions through a personal, embodied utterance. Yeatsian masks vary not only in number, but also in category, encompassing the named imaginary figures of the first edition of The Wind Among the Reeds, the universal 'types' from literary tradition identified above, and others. Particularly important in Yeats's early poetry are the mythical masks, borrowed from Celtic lore, such as fairies, elves, and druids druids (dr`ĭdz), priests of ancient Celtic Britain, Ireland, and Gaul and probably of all ancient Celtic peoples, known to have existed at least since the 3d cent. BC. , or from the Irish mythological myth·o·log·i·cal also myth·o·log·ic
1. Of, relating to, or recorded in myths or mythology.
2. Fabulous; imaginary.
myth sagas, such as Oisin and Cuchulain. Aside from these, Yeats would often appropriate the names of actual individuals, usually directly related to his personal life, recasting re·cast
tr.v. re·cast, re·cast·ing, re·casts
1. To mold again: recast a bell.
2. them as personae in his poems.
A further step in Yeats's use of personae in his poetry consisted in the recovery of Michael Robartes and Owen Aherne, and in their transformation into more complex and autonomous actors in his poetic universe. (14) Michael Sidnell argues that 'The cycle of eight poems which concluded The Wild Swans
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China of Coole (1919) was the opening of the new set'. (15) The figure of Robartes assumes primacy in this new stage of Yeats's production since he is first mentioned in the poem 'Ego Dominus Tuus' (1915). His presence in a poem that announces the imminent revelation of the anti-self is significant, suggesting that he could fulfil that role. Thus, the refashioned Robartes appears to be another attempted representation of the poet's anti-self, adding to the ones identified earlier. To render these events even more complex Aherne is resurrected from the early fiction and placed alongside Robartes in 'The Phases of the Moon' (1918), one of the poems of the 'cycle' identified by Sidnell. Ellmann's observation regarding the Aherne figure of the stories of the 1890s--'Aherne is the conventional man, the refusing, abstract self which is counterposed to the daring, mysterious Robartes'--is as relevant as ever in the poetic context. (16) The opposition between them depicted in the early fiction remained in their new roles as poetic personae, justifying the argument that Aherne is Robartes's anti-self.
Hence, this new representation of the anti-self reached a level of complexity unlike previous ones. On the one hand, it displays the characteristic multiplicity of a mise en abime, eventually resulting in the casting of Yeats as a persona, a fictional entity alongside the other personae in the poem, as enacted in 'The Phases of the Moon'. On the other hand, it involves the conferring of autonomy onto the persona, endowing it with a status analogous to that of the poet. In an essay entitled 'A People's Theatre' (1919) Yeats states: 'A certain friend of mine has written upon this subject a couple of intricate poems called "The Phases of the Moon" and "The Double Vision" respectively'. (17) According to Sidnell, the friend he is referring to in this passage is Robartes. He is given authorship not only of these poems, but also of several in the collection Michael Robartes and the Dancer (1922). Despite the fact that Yeats and Robartes appear to share the authorship of some poems with similar occultist themes, there is a simultaneous process of differentiation between them. Though their ideas are similar, Robartes's conduct is in clear opposition to Yeats's, in that the former pursues his occultist beliefs passionately, acting them out in his life, whereas the latter approaches the same aspects intellectually, through the artifice ar·ti·fice
1. An artful or crafty expedient; a stratagem. See Synonyms at wile.
2. Subtle but base deception; trickery.
3. Cleverness or skill; ingenuity. of imagination.
Pessoa's development of the method of composition through personae presents several points of contact with Yeats's own development. From the age of fifteen in 1903, while he was living in South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. , Pessoa had been creating what he called 'literary personalities' to which he attributed English names such as Charles Robert Anon, Alexander Search. Under the names of these imaginary figures he wrote poetic and prose texts in English. As with Yeats these incipient incipient (insip´ēent),
adj beginning, initial, commencing.
beginning to exist; coming into existence. personae have a similar status to that of pseudonyms This article gives a list of pseudonyms, in various categories. Pseudonyms are similar to, but distinct from, secret identities. Artists, sculptors, architects
Alexander Search, who wrote poetry in English, was Pessoa's main 'literary personality', possessing a somewhat ambiguous status. The identification between persona and creator is evident in the confessional nature of Search's poems. His central themes were incapacity The absence of legal ability, competence, or qualifications.
An individual incapacitated by infancy, for example, does not have the legal ability to enter into certain types of agreements, such as marriage or contracts. for action in the real world, isolation within society, and the equating of geniality gen·ial 1
1. Having a pleasant or friendly disposition or manner. See Synonyms at gracious.
2. Conducive to life, growth, or comfort; mild: "the genial sunshine . . . with madness, all of which appeared in Pessoa's own poetry of the period. Indeed, Pessoa referred to Search as his 'twin', perhaps in an attempt to justify the patent similarities in their poetic production. On the other hand, Search was given greater autonomy than the other figures, for Pessoa attributed to him a birth date and sketchy biographical data, foreshadowing fore·shad·ow
tr.v. fore·shad·owed, fore·shad·ow·ing, fore·shad·ows
To present an indication or a suggestion of beforehand; presage.
fore·shad the full-scale phenomenon of the heteronyms. Cristopher Auretta argues that 'Search qua heteronimo fornece uma muito significativa fonte de analise da genese, evolucao e estatuto ficcional da heteronimia em si. [...] As divergencias sao, portanto, de grau, nao de categoria'. (19)
The creation of the heteronyms corresponded to another stage in Pessoa's deployment of personae, and theorization the·o·rize
v. the·o·rized, the·o·riz·ing, the·o·riz·es
To formulate theories or a theory; speculate.
To propose a theory about. of his method of composition. The genesis of the process developed over two years between 1912, when the poet began writing poems with diverse themes and form quite different from those he had produced thus far, and 1914, when he created the first heteronym het·er·o·nym
One of two or more words that have identical spellings but different meanings and pronunciations, such as row (a series of objects arranged in a line), pronounced (r , Alberto Caeiro. This initial heteronym resembles Yeats's anti-self described in the excerpt ex·cerpt
A passage or segment taken from a longer work, such as a literary or musical composition, a document, or a film.
tr.v. ex·cerpt·ed, ex·cerpt·ing, ex·cerpts
1. from Per Amica Silentiae Lunae quoted above. By creating Caeiro Pessoa was expressing a desire to undergo a transformation in personality and adopt a different literary position. J. Prado Coelho has argued as much: 'Um dia ter-se-a esbocado na mente de Pessoa [...] a possibilidade de fingir [...] uma posicao diametralmente oposta a sua. Aprisionado na meditacao e no sonho inuteis, tornar-se-ia, pela imaginacao, o homem liberto do subjectivo, instintivo e contente'. (20) Accordingly, Caeiro's self-depiction as a 'shepherd', the natural 'type' of pastoral tradition, is in contrast to Pessoa's highly intellectualized mind. This initial persona could be compared to the aforementioned type of mask in phase three, the phase of the Yeatsian anti-self, in the diagram of A Vision. In Pessoa one encounters not only the same underlying characteristics, but the same imagery, with the choice of the 'shepherd' as the literary convention that would best embody its opposite, archetypal self.
The way in which the process developed is once again very similar to the development of Yeats's theory of the mask, from a dualistic du·al·ism
1. The condition of being double; duality.
2. Philosophy The view that the world consists of or is explicable as two fundamental entities, such as mind and matter.
3. to a pluralized praxis prax·is
n. pl. prax·es
1. Practical application or exercise of a branch of learning.
2. Habitual or established practice; custom. . Soon after the first creative outburst, Pessoa invented two other personae, Ricardo Reis and Alvaro de Campos Campos (käm`ps), city (1996 pop. 391,299), Rio de Janeiro state, SE Brazil, on the Paraíba River near its mouth. , who represent existential and aesthetic attitudes that diverged from those of their creator. The creation of these personae betrays the same dialectical principle as the one applied in the invention of Caeiro. As disciples of the latter their poetic production displayed similarities to his. But, whereas Caeiro was a mixture of bucolic and philosophical poet, in an oblique reflection In Euclidean geometry, oblique reflections generalize ordinary reflections by not requiring that reflection be done using perpendiculars. If two points are oblique reflections of each other, they will still stay so under affine transformations. of the Romantic aesthetic, Reis represented the neo-classical poet and Campos the modern poet, opposing each other and Caeiro aesthetically. This mixture of influence and rejection resembles the relationship between Robartes and Aherne in the Yeatsian universe. As with Yeats's personae, Pessoa's heteronyms were safely locked inside the existential and aesthetic viewpoints they had been awarded, as can be gathered from their frequent and often fierce exchanges.
Heteronymy was as fundamental to Pessoa's development as a poet as Yeats's 'theory of the mask'. Initially, Pessoa used the term 'pseudonymy' to define his method of poetic composition. For instance, in a letter from 1915 to his friend Cortes-Rodrigues he states, 'Mantenho, e claro, o meu proposito de lancar pseudonimamente a obra de Caeiro-Reis-Campos'. (21) In the latter part of his life, though, he went to great lengths to distinguish these imaginary entities from the conventional category of pseudonyms. He invented the neologism A new word or new meaning for an existing word. The high-tech field routinely creates neologisms, especially new meanings. Years ago, there was no doubt that a "mouse" referred only to a furry, little rodent. 'heteronyms'--etymologically derived from the Greek prefix The beginning or to add to the beginning. To prefix a header onto a packet means to place the header characters in front of the packet. "To prefix" at the beginning is the opposite of "to append" characters at the end. See prepend.
1. hetero hetero prefix, Latin, different ('other') in conjunction with the radical meaning name--in semantic opposition to the term 'orthonym', which he also coined to designate the poetry signed in his own (Greek prefix orto) name. In a bibliographic note published in the periodical Presenca in 1928, he claimed: 'A obra pseudonima e do autor em sua pessoa, salvo no nome Nome (nōm), city (1990 pop. 3,500), W Alaska, on the southern side of Seward Peninsula, on Norton Sound; founded c.1898, when gold was discovered on the beach there. It is the commercial, government, and supply center for NW Alaska, with an airport. que assina; a heteronima e do autor fora da sua pessoa, e de uma individualidade completa fabricada por ele'. (22) His explanation emphasizes the shift in the subject of enunciation from 'self' to 'other' as the main transformation brought about by the process. Hence, in heteronymy the category of the name changes from an element of identification to an element of differentiation.
In order to reinforce this differentiation, Pessoa attributed significant autonomy to his heteronyms, endowing each with a biography, particular traits of character, worldview, and individual style. He repeated and peremptorily per·emp·to·ry
1. Putting an end to all debate or action: a peremptory decree.
2. Not allowing contradiction or refusal; imperative: denied intersections between those figures and himself, as in this excerpt from an unpublished preface to a collected edition of his works: (23)
A cada personalidade mais demorada que o autor destes livros conseguiu viver dentro de si, ele deu uma indole expressiva, e fez dessa personalidade um autor, com um livro, ou livros, com as ideias, as emoces, e a arte dos quais, ele, autor real [...] nada tem, salvo o ter sido, no escreve-las, o medium de figuras que ele pr prio criou. (24)
The argument is paradoxical. On the one hand, Pessoa admits that he was the actual author of the poems, and necessarily experienced the ideas and emotions himself, if only in his own imagination. (25) On the other hand, his reasoning reflects a self-effacing positioning towards the predominant heteronyms in his later years, emphasized by the reference to mediumship. His positioning in this regard is substantially different from Yeats, who admitted to relations of continuity between himself and his poetic personae. One need only recall the famous passage, 'I can only set up a secondary or interior personality created out of the tradition of myself'. (26) Thus, although their method of poetic composition essentially consisted of self-projection, whereby traits of the creator can be traced in his projected fictions, Pessoa and Yeats displayed diametrically opposite reactions to the phenomenon, the one dismissing and the other asserting a narcissistic nar·cis·sism also nar·cism
1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself. See Synonyms at conceit.
2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in identification with the personae.
Despite the links of an umbilical umbilical /um·bil·i·cal/ (um-bil´i-k'l) pertaining to the umbilicus.
1. Of or relating to the navel.
2. Relating to the umbilical region of the abdomen. nature, Yeats invested a substantial amount of mystification mys·ti·fi·ca·tion
1. The act or an instance of mystifying.
2. The fact or condition of being mystified.
3. Something intended to mystify.
Noun 1. in the representation of his personae. Due to his dramatic experiences in the Abbey Theatre Abbey Theatre, Irish theatrical company devoted primarily to indigenous drama. W. B. Yeats was a leader in founding (1902) the Irish National Theatre Society with Lady Gregory, J. M. Synge, and A. E. , his poetry received an influx of dramatic principles, which led to a re-configuration of the poetic persona. This is evident in his account of the process of composition through personae:
Every now and then, when something has stirred my imagination, I begin talking to myself. I speak in my own person and dramatize myself [...]. Occasionally, I write out what I have said in verse [...]. I do not think of my soliloquies as having different literary qualities. They stir my interest, by their appropriateness to the men I imagine myself to be, or by their accurate description of some emotional circumstance, more than by any aesthetic value. When I begin to write I have no object but to find for them some natural speech, rhythm and syntax. (27)
The hybrid quality of this process of composition is evident here. The words 'speak', 'dramatize' and 'soliloquies' assert the dramatic quality of the process. Indeed, we are reminded that we remain in the sphere of the poetic solely through the reference to writing the utterances 'in verse'. However, the generic classification of this type of poetry becomes ambivalent, in that he could be talking of either dramatic poetry or poetic drama. In fact, the latter interpretation has been put forward by the Yeatsian critic Hazard Adams, who argues that 'Yeats practiced poetic drama in his Book of poems, creating a fictive fic·tive
1. Of, relating to, or able to engage in imaginative invention.
2. Of, relating to, or being fiction; fictional.
3. Not genuine; sham. poet who tries to speak from the heart on expressivist principles but gradually learns to be overtly dramatic himself'. (28) Finally, the references to the need for adequacy to the imagined 'character' or mood introduce the question of style.
There is a striking similarity in Pessoa's description of his method of poetic composition in a letter to fellow poet A. Casais Monteiro, from 1935:
Ocorria-me um dito de espirito, absolutamente alheio, por um motivo ou outro, a quem eu sou, ou a quem suponho que sou. Dizia-o, imediatamente, espontaneamente, como sendo de certo amigo meu, cujo nome inventava, cuja hist ria acrescentava, e cuja figura--cara, estatura, traje e gesto--imediatamente eu via diante de mim. (29)
Like Yeats, Pessoa approaches the technique from a performative per·for·ma·tive
Relating to or being an utterance that peforms an act or creates a state of affairs by the fact of its being uttered under appropriate or conventional circumstances, as a justice of the peace uttering perspective, referring to it as an utterance--the former uses the verb 'talk', the latter 'say'--but subsequently transposing it into written verse. Alongside the latter a plausible fictional entity capable of assuming the role of subject is erected, to which dramatic elements, such as names and characterization, are attached in order to heighten its verisimilitude. This type of characterization endowed en·dow
tr.v. en·dowed, en·dow·ing, en·dows
1. To provide with property, income, or a source of income.
a. the poetic persona with a degree of individuation individuation
Determination that an individual identified in one way is numerically identical with or distinct from an individual identified in another way (e.g., Venus, known as “the morning star” in the morning and “the evening star” in the that rendered it closer to the dramatis persona. Both Yeats and Pessoa invented physical and psychological characteristics for some of their main personae in a number of explanatory 'narratives', which function as stage directions for the poetry. In Yeats's case this process was sporadic and perhaps best achieved in the fictional preface he wrote for A Vision about Robartes and Aherne. Pessoa, in turn, invested considerable time and effort in the creation of fictional biographies and bibliographies for each heteronym, as well as in producing critical texts in their name. (30)
The greater autonomy conferred to the personae through dramatic devices introduces the issue of thematic and stylistic variation, already intimated by Yeats in the excerpt quoted above. His thematic variations were somewhat scattered, only achieving a certain amount of consistency, aside from the already mentioned collection Michael Robartes and the Dancer, in the somewhat individualized in·di·vid·u·al·ize
tr.v. in·di·vid·u·al·ized, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·ing, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·es
1. To give individuality to.
2. To consider or treat individually; particularize.
3. cycles of 'Crazy Jane' poems and A Woman Young and Old. In these poems Yeats achieved a degree of 'depersonalization' which allowed him to express the emotions and thoughts of a member of the opposite sex. The thematic range of these poems, therefore, differs significantly from the remaining output of the poet. His use of dramatized personae also brought about noteworthy stylistic variation to Yeats's poetry. Urged by the necessity to devise appropriate forms of expression for his personae, the poet consciously operated stylistic changes in his poetry. These changes did not constitute major departures from his own poetic style, though in some cases they did lead to the introduction of new poetic forms. An instance of the latter can be found in the use Yeats makes of the ballad form in certain poems attributed to a specific category of personae, as mentioned earlier.
The aforementioned changes operating on the conception and use of personae had even greater repercussions repercussions npl → répercussions fpl
repercussions npl → Auswirkungen pl in Pessoa's poetry. The thematic variation provided by the heteronyms, though less diverse than that of Yeats's manifold Masks, was more consistent, with each heteronym focusing on a determined set of themes in his poetic corpus, and more far reaching, involving a higher degree of differentiation and autonomy. Undoubtedly, though, the most impressive effect of heteronymy on Pessoa's poetry consisted in the adoption of diametrically different styles for each heteronym, ranging from the long blank verse blank verse: see pentameter.
Unrhymed verse, specifically unrhymed iambic pentameter, the preeminent dramatic and narrative verse form in English. It is also the standard form for dramatic verse in Italian and German. poems of Caeiro to the classical prosody prosody: see versification.
Study of the elements of language, especially metre, that contribute to rhythmic and acoustic effects in poetry. of Reis's odes, and encompassing Campos's incursions into modern and conventional poetic forms. Their styles did not only differ from one another, but also from the style adopted by Pessoa in the poetry signed under his own name. They were sustained in distinct sets of poems attributed to each heteronym written over several years. Stylistic heterogeneity is considered the most innovative aspect of Pessoa's aesthetic propositions.
Inspired by the heteronymic process Pessoa proposed a scale of progression from 'lyric' to 'dramatic poetry' comprising four degrees, which correspond to four different types of poets:
O primeiro grau da poesia lirica e aquele em que o poeta, concentrado no seu sentimento, exprime esse sentimento. Se ele, porem for uma criatura de sentimentos vari[sz]veis e v[sz]rios, exprimir[sz] como que uma multiplicidade de personagens, unificadas somente pelo temperamento e o estilo. Um passo mais, na escala poetica, e temos o poeta que e uma criatura de sentimentos v[sz]rios e ficticios, mais imaginativo do que sentimental, e vivendo cada estado de alma antes pela inteligencia que pela emocao. Este poeta exprimir-se-[sz] como uma multiplicidade de personagens, unificadas, nao j[sz] pelo temperamento e o estilo, [...] mas tao somente pelo simples estilo. Outro passo na escala de despersonalizacao, ou seja de imaginacao, e temos o poeta que em cada um dos seus estados mentais v[sz]rios [...] se despersonaliza, de sorte que, vivendo analiticamente esse estado de alma, faz dele como que a expressao de um outro personagem, e, sendo assim, o mesmo estilo tende a variar. De-se o passo final, e teremos um poeta que seja v[sz]rios poetas, um poeta dram[sz]tico escrevendo em poesia lirica. Cada grupo de estados de alma mais aproximados insensivelmente se tornar[sz] uma personagem, com estilo pr prio, com sentimentos porventura diferentes, ate opostos, aos tipicos do poeta na sua pessoa viva. (31)
Pessoa refers to this taxonomy as the 'ladder of depersonalization or imagination', seeming to have adopted heterogeneity and mystification (understood as the power to fictionalize fic·tion·al·ize
tr.v. fic·tion·al·ized, fic·tion·al·iz·ing, fic·tion·al·iz·es
To treat as or make into fiction: "has fictionalized his people and their town, but we know they are real" ) as supreme aesthetic values for the assessment of both work and artists. Unsurprisingly, progression through the scale is based partly on thematic but mainly on stylistic differentiation, calling to mind Yeats's argument that 'the self-conquest of the writer who is not a man of action is style'. (32)
Regarding his place on the scale, Pessoa envisaged himself at the top of the 'depersonalization ladder', as his definition of the fourth degree echoes his own heteronymic process. Yeats's place within the typology would seem to fluctuate between the second, considering most of his personae were united through style, and the third degree of depersonalization, through the poetic utterances of his more individualised Adj. 1. individualised - made for or directed or adjusted to a particular individual; "personalized luggage"; "personalized advice"
individualized, personalised, personalized personae, which can display variations in style. Avoiding qualitative assessments, the taxonomy proves helpful in illustrating the similarities and contrasts between the two poets concerning this aspect of their poetic production. It establishes that their methods of poetic composition stemmed from common aesthetic principles, which were developed through similar strategies though not necessarily with the same results. Moreover, this typology illustrates the extent to which the aesthetic positioning and the poetic practice of the two poets was in accordance with one of the most important aesthetic developments of the period, notably 'the movement toward depersonalization and abstraction' mentioned at the beginning of this essay.
(1) Robert Langbaum, The Mysteries of Identity (New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : Oxford University Press, 1977), p. 216.
(2) The period indicated for Pessoa's poetic debut refers to his poetry in English, which he began writing in 1903.
(3) W. B. Yeats, Autobiographies (London: Papermac-Macmillan, 1980), p. 475.
(4) A Centenary Pessoa, ed. by Eugenio Lisboa and L. C. Taylor (Manchester: Carcanet car·ca·net
A jeweled necklace, collar, or headband.
[From Old French carcan, collar, perhaps from Medieval Latin carcannum, perhaps of Germanic origin.] , 1995), p. 134.
(5) Julia Kristeva Julia Kristeva (Bulgarian: Юлия Кръстева) (born 24 June 1941) is a Bulgarian-French philosopher, literary critic, psychoanalyst, feminist, and, most recently, novelist, who , 'From one Identity to an Other', Desire in Language: A Semiotic semiotic /se·mi·ot·ic/ (se?me-ot´ik)
1. pertaining to signs or symptoms.
2. pathognomonic. Approach to Literature and Art, ed. by Leon Roudiez, trans. by Thomas Gora, Alice Jardine, and Leon S. Roudiez (New York; Guildford, Surrey: Columbia University Press Columbia University Press is an academic press based in New York City and affiliated with Columbia University. It is currently directed by James D. Jordan (2004-present) and publishes titles in the humanities and sciences, including the fields of literary and cultural studies, , 1980), pp. 136, 140.
(6) W. B. Yeats, The Variorum Edition of the Poems of W. B. Yeats, ed. by P. Allt and R. K. Alspach (New York: Macmillan, 1957), p. 803.
(7) Richard Ellmann, The Man and the Masks (New York: Norton, 1978), p. 205.
(8) Ellmann, p. 174.
(9) W. B. Yeats, Mythologies (London: Papermac-Macmillan, 1982), p. 334. Though the essay mentioned was published in 1917, Yeats was quoting in this passage from diaries dating back to the early 1900s.
(10) See Suzette Macedo, 'Mentira, fingimento e mascaras: alguns comentarios sobre Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats e Fernando Pessoa', Coloquio Letras, 107 (1989), 26-29.
(11) Yeats, Autobiographies, p. 247.
(12) W. B Yeats, A Vision (London: Papermac-Macmillan, 1981), pp. 108-09.
(13) W. B. Yeats, Memoirs: Autobiography--First Draft: Journal, ed. by Denis Donoghue This article is about Irish literary critic. For the rugby league footballer, see Denis Donoghue (rugby player).
Denis Donoghue (born 1928) is an Irish literary critic. (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1972), p. 138.
(14) These characters had already appeared together in Yeats's early fiction: Robartes and Aherne were characters in Rosa Alchemica, The Tables of the Law and The Adoration of the Magi The Adoration of the Magi is the name traditionally given to a Christian religious scene in which the three Magi, often represented as kings, especially in the West, having found Jesus by following a star, lay before him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh: in the church (1897).
(15) Michael Sidnell, 'Mr Yeats, Michael Robartes and Their Circle', Yeats and the Occult, ed. by George Mills George Mills may refer to:
(16) Ellmann, p. 86.
(17) Sidnell, p. 233, n. 10, quoting Yeats.
(18) 'Introduction', in Pessoa Inedito, ed. by Teresa Rita Lopes (Lisbon: Livros Horizonte, 1993), p. 22.
(19) Cristopher Auretta, 'Alexander Search--the strange intimate', in Pessoa Inedito, p. 87.
(20) Jacinto do Prado Coelho, Diversidade e Unidade em Fernando Pessoa (Lisbon: Verbo, 1982), p. 185. Eduardo Lourenco, Fernando Pessoa Revisitado: Leitura Estruturante do Drama em Gente (Lisbon: Moraes Editores, 1981), p. 38, has also referred to the level of depersonalization achieved through this heteronym: 'a pontos Caeiro se apresentar como o Outro For other uses, see Outro (album).
For other uses, see Outro (computer gaming).
An outro (sometimes "outtro") or extro means the conclusion to a piece of music, literature or television program. It is the opposite of an intro. . [...] Em nenhum dos seus heteronimos Pessoa se sente sen·te
n. pl. li·sen·te
See Table at currency.
[Sotho (Sesotho), from Englishcent.]
Noun 1. [...] mais alienado'.
(21) Fernando Pessoa, Obra Poetica e em Prosa, ed. by Antonio Quadros, 3 vols (Porto: Lello & Irmao, 1986), 11, 178.
(22) Pessoa, Obra Poetica e em Prosa, 111, 1424.
(23) Pessoa, Obra Poetica e em Prosa, 11, 1016, n. 1: 'Fernando Pessoa planeou desde muito novo escrever um Livro ou Obra organicamente estruturada, onde reunisse todos os seus escritos poeticos e prosaicos. O Livro deveria chamar-se Ficcoes do Interludio'. He never published the book, but several outlines and prefaces exist to the different volumes of the planned edition from different stages in his career. This preface is presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. dated from 1930.
(24) Pessoa, Obra Poetica e em Prosa, 11, 1020.
(25) See Coelho, Chapters II, 'Os Motivos Centrais' and III, 'Diversidade e Unidade de Estilo' for a study of thematic and stylistic similarities between orthonym and heteronyms.
(26) Yeats, Autobiographies, p. 463.
(27) Yeats, Autobiographies, p. 532.
(28) 'Introduction' in Hazard Adams, The Book of Yeats's Poems (Tallahassee: Florida State University Florida State University, at Tallahassee; coeducational; chartered 1851, opened 1857. Present name was adopted in 1947. Special research facilities include those in nuclear science and oceanography. , 1990), p. xi.
(29) Pessoa, Obra Poetica e em Prosa, 11, 340.
(30) These texts have been collected under the title 'A Biografia Ficticia e a Escolastica Fingida dos Heteronimos', in Obra Poetica e em Prosa, 11, 1005-137.
(31) Fernando Pessoa, Paginas Intimas e de Auto-Interpretacao, ed. by Georg Rudolf Lind and Jacinto do Prado Coelho (Lisbon: Atica, 1966), pp. 106-07.
(32) Yeats, Autobiographies, p. 516.
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