Fernando Pessoa’s creative process as a “Theater of the Mind”

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Over time, the pair of concepts Emotion and Mind, seeing the latter as the seat of Reason,
occupies a top place in the discussion regarding the creative artistic process, in parallel with others, such as
art/ life, truth/fiction. This paper analyzes how Fernando Pessoa wrote and theorized widely on the subject,
established and practiced different poetics. His poetics and theories may be synthesized in the pair “feeling/
thinking,” which the poem “Autopsychography” develops, pointing to a concept of art as “pretending.” However,
in a kaleidoscope work, this pair of concepts is focused and analyzed from different perspectives; it
assumes multiple variations, meanings, and degrees, according to the different “authors” created by the poet.
As he said, he built a “drama in people, instead of acts,” “a novel without a plot,” or as Teresa Rita Lopes
summarizes, a “novel-drama-in-people.” Pessoa created the characters and became the scene where these variations
confront and interact, where his authors, theorists, and critics act, all “a non-existent coterie” created by
a single author. Indeed, he became “nobody,” and as Bernardo Soares, he confesses, “I’m the naked stage
where various actors act out various plays.” That is, Fernando Pessoa’s work is The Theater of the Mind.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Creating Through Mind and Emotions
EditorsMario Say Ming Kong, Maria do Rosário Monteiro, Maria João Pereira Neto
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherCRC Press | Taylor & Francis
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780429299070
ISBN (Print)9780367279936, 9780367495381
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

PublisherTaylor & Francis


  • Fernando Pessoa
  • Emotion
  • Reason
  • Aesthetics of pretending,
  • Multiplicity


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