The ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche – in particular the will to power – are patent in the psychology and writings of Álvaro de Campos, who was supposedly born on the philosopher’s birthday, October 15th. Prose pieces such as “Notes for a non-Aristotelian Aesthetics,” with its definition of art as “a struggle to dominate others” and its notion of an aesthetics founded on power rather than on beauty, and the “Ultimatum,” with its explicit invocation of the Superman, make the naval engineer read at times like a Pessoan Zarathustra. I propose, however, that Nietzsche’s influence is more pervasive, informing Fernando Pessoa’s entire literary project, concerned as it was with personal transformation, on the one hand, and domination of other people – namely us his readers – on the other. Self-enlargement and self-proliferation were an ontological as well as aesthetic program, both realized and theorized by the creator of heteronyms.


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pp. 139-149
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