Another Version of the Genesis of the Heteronyms

This may seem merely like a child’s imagination that gives life to dolls. But it was more than that. I intensely conceived those characters with no need of dolls. Distinctly visible in my ongoing dream, they were utterly human realities for me, which any doll—because unreal—would have spoiled. They were people.
And instead of ending with my childhood, this tendency expanded in my adolescence, taking firmer root with each passing year, until it became my natural way of being. Today I have no personality: I’ve divided all my humanness among the various authors whom I’ve served as literary executor. Today I’m the meeting-place of a small humanity that belongs only to me.

This is simply the result of a dramatic temperament taken to the extreme. My dramas, instead of being divided into acts full of action, are divided into souls. That’s what this apparently baffling phenomenon comes down to.
I don’t reject—in fact I’m all for—psychiatric explanations, but it should be understood that all higher mental activity, because it’s abnormal, is equally subject to psychiatric interpretation. I don’t mind admitting that I’m crazy, but I want it to be understood that my craziness is no different from Shakespeare’s, whatever may be the comparative value of the products that issue from the saner side of our crazed minds.
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.

Sonnet X

As to a child, I talked my heart asleep
With empty promise of the coming day,
And it slept rather for my words made sleep
Than from a thought of what their sense did say.
For did it care for sense, would it not wake
And question closer to the morrow’s pleasure?
Would it not edge nearer my words, to take
The promise in the meting of its measure?
So, if it slept, ’twas that it cared but for
The present sleepy use of promised joy,
Thanking the fruit but for the forecome flower
Which the less active senses best enjoy.
Thus with deceit do I detain the heart
Of which deceit’s self knows itself a part

Coast-scene-with-ships-Jonas-Lie-1921

there are metaphors more real than people

There are metaphors more real than the people who walk in the street. There are images tucked away in books that live more vividly than many men and women. There are phrases from literary works that have a positively human personality. There are passages from my own writing that chill me with fright, so distinctly do I feel them as people, so sharply outlined do they appear against the walls of my room, at night, in shadows….. I’ve written sentences whose sound, read out loud or silently (impossible to hide their sound), can only be of something that acquired absolute exteriority and a full-fledged soul