Pessoa wrote 25,000 pages using about 80 names other than his own – this is how he describes it himself
Whenever he feels a personality well up inside, he quickly realizes that this new being, though similar, is distinct from him
Is it possible that one person was 80 people?
Although he died in 1935 his main work wasn’t published until 1982, and wasn’t translated into English until 1991. He is considered one of the great poets of the 20th century. And if Badiou is on to something, perhaps he is even more than a great poet. And I’m not seeing much recent work on him in English. If he’s truly neither Platonist nor anti-Platonist that needs to be corrected (I’ve never seen that description applied to anyone before).
Here is how he describes himself in an early fragment
a poet animated by philosophy, not a philosopher with poetic faculties
I am trying to be animated by poetry, as part of my recognition of the importance of interdisciplinarity.
Some might think of one writer in particular who is similar to Pessoa
Whereas Kierkegaard’s pseudonyms existed strictly for the sake of their impact on the reader, as instruments in his project of ‘indirect communication’, Pessoa was stylistically and psychologically multiple
Having 80 selves is a bit different than having one exoteric self and one esoteric self, eh?
Maybe it’s sort of similar to this theme here?
Speaking of this, I don’t know anything about dogecoin, econ is not my most prominent eye, so you’d have to ask someone else about that. It’s bad for philosophy to not keep one’s distance. Mammon is a cyclops.
Anyway, look at this, one of Pessoa’s personas is similar to that interdisciplinary One Mind I spoke of
could hurl insults at everybody who was anybody in Europe, swear at you in large bold type and sketch out a manifesto for a ‘Superphilosophy… with the greatest philosopher being the one who can contain the greatest number of other people’s personal philosophies’—all within a single text
If Badiou is on to something we might need to create a new person within ourselves to even grasp Pessoa because he is so futural. Someone of the literary eminence of Harold Bloom recognized Pessoa too, so this isn’t just a stray opinion of Badiou’s. You want “oracles”, this is one of the ones that’s seen as that.
During Hölderlin’s reclusion, or madness, depending on who you ask, he referred to himself with different names also (“Salvator Rosa”, “Scardanelli”, etc.). Maybe certain poetic geniuses truly do have multiple selves?
I think some people who have experienced certain tryptamines can relate to this
Hölderlin gave implausible dates to these writings as well. The ultimate experience Hölderlin’s poetry describes is a voyage beyond time
And then of course we all know about PKD’s mystical experience. One might speculate that some of the futuristic states that they portray were actually experienced by them personally. So Hölderlin might have experienced “the new god” himself – after all, how else could he have written about it? Dionysus emerges recurrently throughout PKD’s writings as well. Could Dionysus have been the dæmon of Socrates? Were Pessoa’s personalities “elementals”? And for my personal interest at least, was only one of the 80 “neither a Platonist nor an anti-Platonist”? That would be quite the chance occurrence if one of some poet’s split personalities managed that.
Here is Pessoa’s advice
Keep substituting yourself. One you is not enough for you.
At least one of those actors was from the future, is still from the future?
To create, I’ve destroyed myself… I’m the empty stage where various actors act out various plays.
The lawnmowers hate this idea, especially when they see me say it, because they want “history to be ended”. Everyone is perfect, don’t judge anyone, eliminate anyone who causes jealousy in the meantime, and never imagine a future where people are superior in every way to the people who exist now.
Some of Pessoa’s selves “talk to each other”. I wonder if there’s one that’s even more futural that responds to the one Badiou has in mind, one who we couldn’t even understand.
Is it even “Pessoa” that Badiou is talking about?
Who knows what Time is, how it works.
Someone who studied him for over 40 years says this
He would not be, like Joyce, an author-god paring his fingernails above the work, but above an entire literature, with the intention of rewriting and reshaping the Western canon.