4 / the question herE / who is "I" in us

Whoever thinks he is himself is wrong,

Me, I am various and I do not belong to myself.


 Fernando Pessoa

How many pieces of the puzzle?

In Posthumous Fragments, Nietzsche, speaks of the body as an "incredible community of living beings," of a plural entity composed of "spirits", "souls," or "forces" in perpetual interaction. It would form an "aristocracy" in the sense that some of the beings of the body are dominant and others dominated. For him, it is not consciousness that determines the body, but the body that determines the mind. Inside, it wriggles, it flutters.

Power relations are constantly intertwined. At every moment, we prioritize activity provisionally until the new situation, we live in precarious equilibria.


The study of the body’s biological rhythms tends to show that the body is effectively an assembly of different processes more or less well coordinated though biological clocks associated with each process. Each clock is linked to protein cycles: a gene produces a protein, that accumulates until it reaches a threshold and then retroacts on the gene by saturating its receptors and inhibits its own production, which leads to a cyclical oscillation. Thus, the organism is filled with small chemical clocks that act as clocks for different biological processes. These clocks are recalibrated every day by the light cycle and other external information, and they are also linked together through shared proteins, which ultimately results in a fairly coherent overall operation.


Yet the pulse, breathing, appetite and ovulation are basically juxtaposed activities, like the trees of a forest, and follow their own temporality. No wonder every human being has different faces depending on the time of day or the time of year - different biological faces, as well as the temperamental faces that result. As for the brain, it also combines dozens of bio-chemical cycles, and the phases combine or overlap one another, allowing the appearance of very variable forms of consciousness over time. And sometimes so different psychic states that one feels them as different personalities.


The body and the brain are not the only ones to oscillate. The environment sculpts us from the outside. Those who are most directly aware of it are travelers – not tourists who travel while carrying the essentials of their landmarks – travelers, those who are willing to let themselves be transformed. Sylvain Tesson, a great traveler and writer, has been living it intensely: Every time I come back from a trip or an expedition, I feel like I am another person. If the journey does not operate on you this moult, then it will have served nothing; it is only a vain consumption of territories and landscapes. As far as I’m concerned, I think I’m pretty plastic; countries, atmospheres rub off on me.


Besides, I build trips like this, I try to organize them like metamorphoses. Every time, I try to adapt to an environment, to play chameleon. I rode across Central Asia, so I turned into a steppe rider for a while.

I lived on Lake Baikal for six months in a logging cabin, so I lived like a Russian lumberjack.


There is a game here, some artifice, but it’s also a necessity. In order to survive in hostile biotopes, it is better to use the clothing and food, as well as the means of transport of their inhabitants.

Little by little, you realize that what was initially only a masquerade, influences you, produces reflexes in you, tics of thinking, new behaviors.


All this is part of the feeling that the travel is a life apart, with a programmed death, arrival. While some of us travel to have multiple lives, others live for multiple journeys – in their heads. It is in any case the privilege of those who do not feel under house arrest in their character and visit several psychic countries. Leaving their home port without fear, they wander by cabotage sometimes to the antipodes of themselves. But themselves, who was it actually?


Nothing fixed, each one of us can be provided with empty ground and give right to being another, to grow rather than to choke, to collect versions of oneself, the crossroads between one life and another, to work in a team, to ensure a parade, to become many, to change song, register, accent, tone, delirium, pleasures.


multiple personality: exemplary cases

B. Traven, Arnolds, Barker, Hal Croves, Traven Torsvan, Torvan Croves, Artum, Fred Maruth, Rex Marut, Richard Maurhut, Albert Otto Wienecke, Otto Feige, Adolf Rudolph Feige, Martinez, Fred Gaudet, Lainger, Götz Ohly, Anton Rädercheidt, Robert Bek-Gran, Hugo Kronthal, Wilhelm Schneider, Heinz Otto Becker, are pseudonyms of Ret Marut. Arnolds

Albert Einstein, who was asked what book he would take to a deserted island, replied tirelessly, "Any book, as long it is from Traven."



Romain Gary, Émile Ajar, Fosco Sinibaldi, Shatan Bogat, sont are heteronym of Romain Kacew


"If there is something that opens horizons, it is precisely ignorance."

Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis, Alvaro de Campos, Bernardo Soares, are heteronyms of Fernando Pessoa


"Things have no meaning: they have an existence."

R.Mutt, Rrose Sélavy photographed by Man Ray are two pseudonyms of Marcel Duchamp


Art is a game between all men of all epochs.”


To put it in another way


The one who believes, he is himself is mistaken,

I’m diverse and I do not belong to myself.

Fernando Pessoa



For there are in the heart more than ten thousand beings, and I is only one being and there are more, but men will never understand this.

Antonin Artaud



Variety is the only excuse for abundance. No man should leave twenty books, unless he can write like twenty different men.

Fernando Pessoa



In ancient Hebrew, there is no singular for the word face, everyone has many.

Erri De Luca


To start

There are at least three beings in me: a contemplative one, a man of action, and the third one awaits the opportune moment to manifest himself.

Dany Laferrière



I feel like a swarm.

Henri Michaux



I felt that pullulation again, I have I spoken about. It seemed to me that the wet garden that surrounded the house was infinitely saturated with invisible characters. These characters were Albert and me, secretive, busy and multiform in other dimensions of time.

Jorge Luis Borges


A little bit of everything

I was not a single man, but the parade of a composite army where there were, according to the moments, passionate, indifferent, jealous ones.

Marcel Proust



I put in Caeiro all my power of dramatic depersonalization, I put in Ricardo Reis all my intellectual discipline, clothed with the music that is proper to him, I put in Alvaro de Campos all the emotion that I grant neither to life, Or to myself, for that matter.

Fernando Pessoa



The human individual is not an effect but a set of effects, a club or an academy, whose members would continually vary, because some of them resign, others succeed them.

Carlo Emilio Gadda quoted by Adam Thirlwell



She became a woman, one, and she had so many, and I had known them.

Erri De Luca



He would not tolerate her permanence any longer, by coming back, he would require from her to change, and that from tomorrow, at Pierrot’s house, she finally appears like a multi-faceted creature.

Régis Jauffret



I had a thousand lives in front of me and I only took one.

Cees Nooteboom


It's coming

This crowd in me, deep down, barely visible.

Franz Kafka



Our future is not mapped out, we change too much, we are chaotic, and sometimes I think that when we die we will leave behind the myriad corpses of all those people that we have been fully, but for an instant, a week or a few years.

Régis Jauffret



The “successful schizophrenic” is one who does not dramatize his scatterings, but rejoices in them without getting bogged down in them.

Luis de Miranda



I was filled with them. I had stopped being badly filled. Everything was perfect.

Henri Michaux