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Volume 5, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN: 2040-4344
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4352



This article argues that Portuguese modernist writer Fernando Pessoa reconceptualizes the nation in modernity. For this, the article explores how Pessoa’s heteronyms (poetic personas) reveal a nationhood of ‘invisible translators’ in a transnational space, for the purpose of cultural transformation. In this way, Pessoa advances with a mapping of the nation that includes diasporas, émigrés, exiles and all of those who, in the Portuguese language, contribute to the transformation of culture from beyond the frontiers and territories of nation states. The heteronyms’ translational dialogue in Portuguese acknowledges the transits of nationals in modernity beyond the national narrative of dispersal in the world found in Luís de Vaz Camões Portuguese epic Os Lusíadas. This Camonean narrative persists as the primordial source of identity for the Portuguese nation, as it portrays Portugal’s oceanic expansion. In contrast, Pessoa’s reconceptualization of nationhood in modernity suggests a nationhood of translational Portuguese in the twentieth century.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Fernando Pessoa; heteronyms; modernity; nationhood; Portuguese; translation
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