Pretext: Heteronyms

  1. Pretext: Heteronyms - Press release
  2. Fernando Pessoa: The Man Who Never Was
Fernando Pessoa: The Man Who Never Was

4 Performances scripted by Richard Appignanesi. Directed by Andrew Lucre

7-10 December 1995, 7.30pm

Rear Window, Clink Street Studios, 1 Clink Street, Soho Wharf, London SE1

“I do not know who I am, what soul I have. When I speak with sincerity, I do not know with what sincerity I am speaking. I am varyingly someone other than an “I” of whom I do not know if he exists (or if he is those others). I feel beliefs which I do not hold. I am ravished by passions I repudiate. My constant study of myself is constantly pointing out to me breaches of faith by my soul towards some character which perhaps I never had nor does it think I have. I feel multiple. I am like a room with innumerable fantastic mirrors that distort by false reflections one single pre-existing reality which is not there in any of them and is there in them all.” Fernando Pessoa

Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) was Portugal’s greatest modern poet. He created heteronyms—other personalities, each with a distinct history and different styles of writing, who often disagreed with each other in dialogue. “No man should leave twenty different books unless he can write like twenty different men.” Using performers, images, sound, and hitherto un-translated material, this event explores the quick-sands of assumptions, representation and biography.