Abstract

This chapter explores the notion of poetic transfer in the work of the modernist Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) by focusing on his relatively unknown English Poems (1921), a collection composed in English after Pessoa had been exposed to the educational system of the British Empire in colonial South Africa. Using various definitions of the fetish developed by Marx, Freud, and Giorgio Agamben, this chapter analyzes how Pessoa manages to turn the English language into a surprisingly malleable medium through which he alternately masks and expresses his differing libidinal impulses (hetero- and homosexual) by effectively re-creating his voice into a multiplicity of heteronyms or poetic personae belonging to different colonial empires (classical Greece, Renaissance England, and modern Portugal). The chapter explores Pessoa's intensely erotic English Poems as a fetishized translation of the English poetic tradition-as mainly figured in the work of John Keats and Edmund Spenser-through which Pessoa carves out not only his own space within the English poetic tradition but also his hybrid postcolonial version of the English language.

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780823252145
Related ISBN
9780823251780
MARC Record
OCLC
847623353
Pages
232
Launched on MUSE
2013-05-19
Language
English
Open Access
No
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