AT THE THRESHOLD OF SENSIBILITY: THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF WRITERLY IDENTITY FRAGMENTATION

Expressions of written identity are compound amalgams, as the delicate balance between fictional and real often transcends corporeal standards in necessary and exciting ways— especially when a writer subverts the very conventions of his/her applied language. Therefore, this dissertation is an interdisciplinary, multigenre project that explores the terms of the writer’s own identity in relation to lingual constraints through a process referred to as fragmentation (or the act of depersonalizing the individual by dividing it into multiple entities), because it suggests that this process is essential to challenging the borders of the written self.


The initial chapters of this study define the language oriented issues of writerly identification and propose that a group of Modernist poets, particularly Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, can best help us to interrogate those binds. Using identity and genre theories from several scholarly fields as contextual framework, this critical analysis of a decidedly paradoxical methodology demonstrates how these poets exemplify a brand of identification for which all writers should strive. The second segment compares the Modernist aesthetic to contemporary modes of identity fragmentation regularly enacted through social media (i.e. “Catfishing”); it also showcases the dissertation author’s own written depersonalization through a current collection of poems. The final portion of this project is concerned with future applications of this performance, and thus surveys the student-writer’s identification within the standards, ultimately calling for the inclusion of poesy via Multigenre Writing in core curricula.

 

©2020 by M.P. Nolan