Heteronymity I: Imaginary Authorship and Imaginary Autobiography: Pessoa, Joyce, Svevo

Max Saunders

in Self Impression

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579761
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722882 | DOI:
Heteronymity I: Imaginary Authorship and Imaginary Autobiography: Pessoa, Joyce, Svevo

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This chapter develops the earlier discussions of life‐writings by fictional narrators to consider sustained acts of creative impersonation: works entirely (or almost entirely) presented as written by imaginary authors. It discusses Fernando Pessoa's practice of heteronymity. In this context a surprising reading of Joyce's Portrait is proposed, building on the presence in the work of Stephen Dedalus' writings (poem, journal etc.), to suggest that the entire book might be read as not just a case of free indirect style, with Joyce rendering Stephen's consciousness, but as possibly Joyce's impersonation of the autobiographical book Stephen might have written. Italo Svevo's Confessions of Zeno is proposed as a comparable example of a fictionally authored self‐portrait.

Keywords: heteronymity; heteronym; Fernando Pessoa; James Joyce; Italo Svevo; a portrait of the artist as a young man; free indirect style; consciousness; narrator; confessions of Zeno; La coscienza di Zeno; Stephen Dedalus; Atlantic monthly; Künstlerroman; imaginary authorship; fictional creativity; Imaginary portrait; T. S. Eliot; modernism; impersonality; Ulysses; Stephen Hero; irony; parody; Pastiche; Huysmans; Villanelle

Chapter.  23374 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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