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Virtual Subjects, Fugitive SelvesFernando Pessoa and his philosophy$
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Jonardon Ganeri

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198864684

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198864684.001.0001

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(p.149) Postscript
Virtual Subjects, Fugitive Selves

Jonardon Ganeri

Oxford University Press

Among the many fragmentary texts that remain as Pessoa’s literary bequest are notes for what may have been intended as a philosophical novel. Dating from 1914, the following sketch is of particular interest:

I do not know who I am, what soul I have. When I speak with sincerity, I do not know with what sincerity I speak. I am variously other than a self that I do not know exists (if it is those others) … I feel multifaceted. I am like a room with innumerable fantastic mirrors that distort false reflections, a single previous reality that is not in any and is in all. As the pantheist feels as if a wave, star, and flower, I feel as if various beings. I feel myself living other lives, in myself, incompletely, as if my being participated in all men, incompletely in each, individuated by a sum of non-selves synthesized into a dummy self....

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