we discussed Fernando Pessoa and his multiple heteronyms today in class, and that led me to think about the relationship between author, narrative voice and identity
so i wanted to ask you guys about it, in hopes of having new perspectives on the topic
- do you have a pen name/alias or do you write under your legal/“real” name?
- if you do have a pen name: is it only one? do you use different pen names for different sites or pieces? or do you write both under your name and your pen name?
- do you think you have an identity as a writer (separate from your identity as a person)?
- are there parts of your identity as a person that you think seep onto your identity as an author?
Octavio Paz wrote
“Poets don’t have biographies. Their work is their biography. I am, in large measure, the selfsame prose I write, I unroll myself in periods and paragraphs, I make myself punctuation marks… I’ve made myself into the character of a book, a life one reads.”
- Octavio Paz, introduction to A Centenary Pessoa
- do you think what you write affects your identity or who you become later on?
- do you think your readers can get a sense of who you are based on what you write?
if anyone's curious about my answers
in my case, i did have a pen name ages ago: “Cam Boulder” i called myself
then, “Cam” became who i really am, i felt much more of a connection to that “pen name” than i did to my legal name
Cameron (Cam for short) is now the name i go by, my “real” name, despite whatever my birth certificate says
i don’t have any other aliases now, or other pen names
tho i’ve gotta admit, i have considered making an alt account in AO3 so no one knows it’s me who writes what i want to publish there
i do think i have an identity as a writer
what i write is all the things i can never say aloud, be it because of shame or because it doesn’t fit how i present myself
i tend to joke about how what i write is for “longing gays with a short attention span”
no, i’m not joking:
because well what i write, both in fanfic and original fiction, is full of thoughts and feelings i tend to repress, so Writer Cam is a hopeless romantic, someone who feels a lot and thinks about their feelings, instead of ignoring them and shoving them to a corner, which is what “real” Cam does; Writer Cam is everything “real” Cam has never allowed themself to be, their hopes and dreams, in opposition to “real” Cam’s realistic (and sometimes cynical) outlook in life
that said, a lot of “real” Cam seeps into my writing
mostly, my love for languages and learning, and my need to explore and know about things
also my own perspectives in love as an arospec person are definitely there when i try to write romance, even if Writer Cam is a hopeless romantic, they’re a hopeless romantic who views romance through arospec lenses
concerning what Octavio Paz said, i think, rather than affecting me later on, it affects the thoughts that stay with me, that i grow within my mind
and because of that, it affects the perspectives i may have in life, both in that moment and in the future
that said, what i write reflects my life at the moment, even if it’s done subconsciously most of the time
the best way to see it is through the characters i make
if anyone were to go through my repertoire of characters, they’d easily be able to match each character with a specific thought or moment from my life, one that was important at the moment i’ve made said character
so, in a way, my life can be narrated through the lives of my multiple characters, almost like patchwork: selecting little snippets of each character to create a bigger picture, a “Cam”