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Updated Up To 18/01/2017
Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2012) : 149-61
Fernando Pessoa's Lisbon
Toponymy vs. Heteronymy
Georges Elia Sarfati
Rubric A: Authorship
Rubric B: Portugese Literature


Lisbon holds a special place in Fernando Pessoa’s corpus because this text, uncharacteristically not signed by a heteronym, undertakes a quest for identity which fully coincides with that of his city. Lisbon establishes a reflexive relationship between the poet and his work, in so far as his meticulously evoked image extends over the most developed area of his poetics, that is, his personal mythology. The Portugese capital emerges as a personified city to which Pessoa gives a voice for the sake of constituting it as a language being, like Joyce’s Dublin or Kafka’s Prague. Lisbon signals the temptation of encyclopedic literature, which relates back to the impossiblity of capturing the other in any way but as visions coming across names of places.

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