Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fernando Pessoa

Fernando Pessoa

If it is still notorious the symbolist heritage, Fernando Pessoa went further, not only about the creation of new literary and artistic endeavors, but also with regard to the effort of theory and literary criticism. He is an universal poet, giving to his reader a vision unit and simultaneously multiple of Life. It is precisely this attempt to look the world in a multiple form (with a strong substratum of rationalist philosophy and even oriental influence) which lies a plausible explanation for having created the famous heteronyms: Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro de Campos and Ricardo Reis.

Main masterpieces:
  • Mensagem
  • Chuva Oblíqua
  • O Menino de sua Mãe
  • Liberdade
  • Autopsicografia

The heteronymy in Pessoa



Alberto Caeiro

Considered by Fernando Pessoa as the Master of heteronyms and himself, Caeiro expresses and represents the vision distinctly non-human, primitive and "pure" of Nature and even of Man. Without emotion (of subjectivity) and anulled the whole culture (the Reason) that Man has been creating, this heteronym makes from the pure sensation and objectivism (absolute) the "ideas" of existence and his writing. His words, intentionally without rhetoric-stylistic artifices seek to be the unspotted mirror of that naively wise "science of seeing".
As the Master has no metaphysical or social concerns (as with Pessoa and Álvaro de Campos), is the only heteronym who knows the Truth of things because he doesn't think of them. 
But it is precisely because the truth is not transmissible that the drama of Pessoa-Campos becomes understandable.

Main masterpieces:
O Guardaor de Rebanhos; O Pastor Amoroso; Poemas Inconjuntos

Álvaro de Campos

He is the opposite of Caeiro by the ontological drama that expressed, by the greater involvement in Modernism and by expressing an evolutionary trajectory of his poetic work.
Pessoa gave this famous heteronym some biographical data of interest: was born in Tavira in 1890, graduated in marine engineering by Glasgow, and lived in Lisbon inactive. It is usual to see three phases in the evolution of Campos writing: first, the decadent, is the closest to our fin-de-siècle poetry; the second, the modernist, corresponds to the avant-garde experience started with Orpheu; and the third is the negativistic, in which points out the anguish. It is, therefore, the heteronym that has more multiplied on the pursuit of Truth and the Absolute.

Main masterpieces:
Tabacaria; Lisbon Revisited; Poema em Linha Reta; Ode Triunfal; Ode Marítima; Quasi; Manisfesto de Álvaro de Campos

Ricardo Reis

Education in a Jesuit college, training in medicine, expatriation in Brazil for being monarchical, latinist and hellenist, here are the essential biographical data that Fernando Pessoa left us about this heteronym. His poetry (his odes) reveals a poet who continues the "drama" lived by Pessoa. This imitation / recreation of antiquity is a illusory "response", but poetically effective, to the quiet assumption of the human condition.
That is why Destiny, Death, Glory, Love and fugacity of Time are just marks indicating the futility of all. Epicureanism and Stoicism are the substrate of its philosophical poetry.

Main masterpieces:
Vem Sentar-te Comigo Lídia; Segue o teu Destino; Para ser Grande, sê Inteiro

Historical period in literature: 
Modern literature, Modernism period  

Simple but brilliant initiatives to spread a Frame of Portugal

The fado singer Ana Moura gives voice to Fernando Pessoa: from Chiado, Lisbon to Chinatown, Soho and Downtown New York City.

Song: "Fado de Pessoa"
Featuring: Ana Moura
Lyrics by: João Pedro Pais
Micro-film produced on February 24th, 2007


The Brazilian singer Maria Bethânia declaims "O Poema do Menino Jesus" and sings "O doce mistério da vida".



Poem: "Poema do Menino Jesus" (Alberto Caeiro)
Song: "O doce mistério da vida"
Featuring: Maria Bethânia

Other curiosities

Casa Fernando Pessoa in Lisbon

Inaugurated in November 1993, Casa Fernando Pessoa was designed to honor his memory.
The Casa Fernando Pessoa is a multipurpose small universe that can be visited by anyone without any costs.

For more information please visit the homepage Casa_Fernando_Pessoa


Café A Brasileira

A Brasileira is an iconic coffee, founded on November 19, 1905, located at Largo do Chiado, in Lisbon. It has been the scene of many intellectual, artistic and literary gatherings.  
The special attendance of Fernando Pessoa led to the inauguration in the 80s of a statue made of bronze that represents the writer sitting at a table at the terrace cafe. Here you have the opportunity to be in a coffee full of culture. Come visit and enjoy the experience. 

Consulted sources:  

Portal da Literatura Portuguesa
Banco de Poesia de Fernando Pessoa 

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