Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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August 26, 2009
the "inverse Sprezzatura" strategy

Ms. Dowd counsels that pseudonymous bloggers check themselves before giving offense, and mentions almost off-handedly:
The great poet Fernando Pessoa used heteronyms to write in different styles and even to review the work composed under his other names.

However she then fails to pursue the thought to its logical
[or "logical," as in TiR "logic"]
      conclusion, one that the technology itself almost seems to invite.

Bloggers should set up parallel, heteronymous blog sites to critique, review, heckle, ridicule and heap abuse on
[or engage in dialogue, tri-alogue, "try"-alogue, multilogue, or revise & extend . . . ]

            their own posts.

Pessoa, for example, could have had one blog under his own name, and others for Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro de Campos, Ricardo Reis, etc.

A less cumbersome stragegy would be to bracket or parenthesize then insert the critique directly into the texts of the original posts.

[No it wouldn't.]

[Yes it would.]

[No it wouldn't!]

[And so on.]

[update 9/1/09:

Meanwhile, last month's Boston Review drew a momentary but fecund connection between use of pseudonyms and boredom, specifically via dull clerical work:
There are certain similarities here [i.e., with "Flann O'Brien," a/k/a Brian    O'Nolan, a civil servant] to another genius stuck in a boring office job: Fernando Pessoa, the alcoholic Portuguese poet and novelist (1888-1935), who in his writing invented an immense number of noms de plume, which he called heteronyms, not primarily as a means of concealing his identity but mostly to give a different name to each aspect of his literary personality -- the poet, the diarist, the novelist, etc.
The review is "We Laughed, We Cried: Flann O'Brien's Triumph" by Roger Boylan, here.]