Carmela Ciuraru on the multiplicitous Fernando Pessoa:

For some authors, the task of writing is a descent into the self. Pessoa ventured in the opposite direction, using his heteronyms as a means of escape and claiming that within his mini-populace, he was the least “real” and compelling of the bunch. The others were constellations swirling around him. In the context of psychoanalysis, a split identity is seen as a wound that needs healing. But in Pessoa’s mind(s), there was nothing disorienting about it. “I’ve divided all my humanness among the various authors whom I’ve served as literary executor,” he explained. “I subsist as a kind of medium of myself, but I’m less real than the others, less substantial, less personal, and easily influenced by them all.”