Friday, July 04, 2003

Kent Johnson responds to Kasey and Brian Kim Stefans on Ron Silliman's School of Quietude/Post-Avant binary: "I wonder how Ron would figure a Pessoa in his Manichean board game of poetry?"

For the moment I will recuse myself from the debate (although I like the idea of a "Seventeenth Way"). Coincidentally, just the other night it struck me that, aside from Samuel Pepys, Fernando Pessoa would have made the perfect blogger. Consider his brief diurnal entries from The Book of Disquiet (chosen almost at random):


I have to choose what I detest -- either dreaming, which my intelligence hates, or action, which my sensibility loathes; either action, for which I wasn't born, or dreaming, for which no one was born.
Detesting both, I choose neither; but since I must on occasion either dream or act, I mix the two things together.


The only attitude worthy of a superior man is to persist in an activity he recognizes is useless, to observe a discipline he knows is sterile, and to apply certain norms of philosophical and metaphysical thought that he considers utterly inconsequential.


The truly wise man is the one who can keep external events from changing him in any way. To do this, he covers himself with an armour of realities closer to him than the world's facts and through which the facts, modified accordingly, reach him.

Many of his entries are longer than this, of course, though no more than a few pages, and most can be read non-sequentially. And don't many bloggers adopt pseudonyms (or heteronyms, in Pessoanese) or blog on several blogs at once, under variant personalities or avatars?

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