Fernando Pessoa’s Radical Scatters

Viernes 29 de septiembre


septiembre 29, 2023 - 12:00 am


septiembre 29, 2023 - 12:00 am

Genesis Taipei 2023: The draft and its Environs: From the Writer`sDesk to the Desktop

Participa Jeronimo Pizarro, profesor del Departamento de Humanidades y Literatura

Fernando Pessoa’s “Radical Scatters”
Jeronimo Pizarro Universidad de los Andes

In 1988, the Portuguese editor Luiz Fagundes Duarte called for the evolution of the “textual critic” into a “genetic textual critic” who would assemble, organize, and study all the papers containing a given text, with the aim of laying bare the author’s process of composition. Genetic criticism, he wrote, should present “a kind of comet with its tail.” The head of the comet would consist of the fixed text, whether finished, that is, published and in circulation, or “virtual,” that is, a text “that could have come to be such.” The tail of the comet would then be the genetic apparatus. The past three decades have witnessed the publication in Portugal of a host of critical editions of Fernando Pessoa’s work. Duarte’s call to shift critical attention from the head to the tail of Pessoa’s comet has been answered.

Pessoa’s archive at the National Library in Lisbon contains a wealth of both genetic material and virtual texts. Naturally, such wealth drives the ongoing trend toward genetic criticism in Pessoan studies. Over the past two decades that trend has converged with the increasing sophistication of electronic editing tools, resulting in the launch of seven digital platforms dedicated to Pessoa’s works and the manuscripts at their base. Yet, this “digital transformation” of Pessoa’s archive, like the broader wave of genetic criticism that envelops it, has focused almost exclusively on fixed texts. Expanding the focus is necessary because the archive also boasts a trove of fragmentary texts that bear no direct connection to those texts that have dominated scholarly attention. The trove consists of no fewer than 14 folders—133 to 133N—filled with more than 1000 documents. Pessoa scholars, even those of genetic stock, have long neglected these fragments, regarding them as islands of a vast textual continent. To fill this gap, we propose extending Duarte’s appeal for archival study—hitherto limited to genetic material and virtual texts—to embrace those documents that bear Pessoa’s “radical scatters.” Such is the term that Marta L. Werner uses to refer to the fragmentary texts—materially discrete and inherently autonomous—composed by Emily Dickinson in the final decades of her life. The study of Pessoa’s isolated fragments forms a logical extension of the critical refocusing from the head (the fixed text) to the tail (the genetic material) of Pessoa’s archive.

Friday, 29 September 2023

10:30 – 12:00 Parallel Sessions 5
NTNU, School of Continuing Education, Conference Room 213
5A – The Jagged Edge of Creativity and Modernity/
19th-Century Poetry and Beyond
Chair: Patrick Hersant, ITEM/ENS
Julia Holter (ITEM/ENS)
The Birth of Alexander Pushkin’s “Ode to Liberty” in Situ of an Ill-Fated Castle
Wojciech Kruszewski (Catholic University of Lublin)
“Give me a break!” Jan Czeczot as the Editor of Adam Mickiewicz’s First Works
Arleen Ionescu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
Refuge in “Ruins”: Samuel Beckett’s Library vs E. M. Cioran’s Cahiers(remote presentation)
NTNU, School of Continuing Education, Auditorium
5B – The Unfinished
Chair: Anna R. Burzyńska, Jagiellonian University
Jeronimo Pizarro (Universidad de los Andes)
Fernando Pessoa’s Radical Scatters
Daniela Shalom Vagata (Masaryk University)
Ugo Foscolo’s “Hymn to the Graces”: A Case Study