Discover some other popular persons who live / lived in Portugal.
Was a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher, described as one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest poets in the Portuguese language. He also wrote in and translated from English and French.
He is considered one of the most important Portuguese poets of all time, his value being compared to that of Camões. American critic Harold Bloom wrote in his book, “The Western Canon”, that Pessoa, along with Pablo Neruda, are the most representative poets of the 20th century. As Octavio Paz said, the poet has no biography. His biography is his work. His secret, moreover, is written even in the name he bears: Pessoa means “person” in Portuguese and the name comes from “persona”, the mask of the Roman poets. His story can be reduced to the unreality of daily life and the reality of his fictions. These fictions are personified by poets Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro de Campos, Ricardo Reis and especially, Fernando Pessoa himself.
Pessoa remained fatherless since he was just a little kid. His mother remarried and in 1896, she moved with her children to Durban in South Africa, where her second husband was appointed as consul of Portugal. The young Fernando received an English education and the Saxon influence will be constant in his thoughts and his works. In 1905, he returned to Lisbon and two years later, in 1907, he abandoned the Faculty of Letters of Lisbon in order to open a printing, “Empreza Ibis”. This business would prove to be a failure in 1910, a word that will often be repeated in his life. Then he started working as a foreign correspondent, a modest job what will almost ensure his basic needs for life. The young Portuguese rejected with a shy pride the proposal to enter through the doors of a university career. In 1912, he aspired to the position of archivist in a library, but was rejected. But in his life there wasn’t any rebellion, just a modesty similar to contempt.
Fernando Pessoa will never leave Lisbon from that moment on. About the Anglomaniac, shortsighted, polite, shy, dressed in black, reticent and familiar, cosmopolitan preaching nationalism, humorist that never laughs Portuguese, Pierre Hourcade, who knew him towards the end of his life, wrote: “When I broke up with him I never dared to turn my head. I was afraid not to see it spreading, melting into air”. Fernando Pessoa died in Lisbon in 1935, following a cirrhosis crisis. He left nehind two “plaquettes” of poems in English, a slim book of Portuguese poetry and a trunk full of manuscripts. “The Book of Disquiet”, written around 1931, is one of his most valuable manuscripts.
His real character is a vague one, resigned in an insignificant external existence whose escape would be purely imaginative. Fernando Pessoa started writing in English in 1901. Between 1903 and 1906, he wrote only in English, under the name of “Search”, in an adventure to find the shadows of the great Victorian lyrical. After 1906, he will alternate from English to Portuguese, cantoning his fundamental writings within the limits of his own language. However, he continued to write and publish rather more in English while in Lisbon. Combined, these texts make up the volume XI, “Poemas Ingleses”, from “Obras Completas de Fernando Pessoa”, Publisher Attica, Lisbon, 1974.
Fernado Pessoa had ties to occultism and mysticism, with the Masons and with the Rosicrucians (although he wasn’t known as a concrete member of any lodge or fraternity of these organizations), and publicly defended the initiatory organizations in the newspaper “Diary of Lisbon” of 4 February 1935 against the attacks of Salazar’s “Estado Novo” dictatorship. One of his best known hermetic poems and appreciated in esoteric circles is named “No Túmulo de Christian Rosenkreutz”. He used to request and produced himself astrological consultations, including his certainty about his date and time of birth.
Pessoa’s work has passed through different phases, but it is basically a search for a certain lost type of patriotism, with an eye headed towards esotericism: the homeland had an existential and spiritual value, it was an inner dimension from which the man went into exile. The Portuguese writer was deeply influenced, in different moments, by religious doctrines such as “Theosophy” and by secret societies such as the Freemasons. His poetry has a certain mythical, heroic air, almost like an epic poem, but of course not in the original acception of the term, and sometimes tragic.
Discover some other popular persons who live / lived in Portugal.
Was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India, between 1497-1499 was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route, connecting the Atlantic and the Indian oceans and, in this way, the West and the Orient. Vasco da Gama was born in Sines, […]
Was a Portuguese politician and economist who served as Prime Minister of Portugal for 36 years, from 1932 to 1968. Salazar founded and led the Estado Novo (“New State”), the corporatist authoritarian government that ruled Portugal until 1974. After the 28 May 1926 coup d’état, with President Óscar Carmona’s support, Salazar entered public life, initially […]
Is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. He is a forward and serves as captain for Portugal. In 2008, he won his first Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He then won the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2013 and 2014. In […]
Was a Portuguese nobleman, military commander, navigator and explorer regarded as the discoverer of Brazil. Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral’s early life are unclear, it is known that he came from a minor noble family and received a […]
Was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu (1433-1470) by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal. His name is associated with a period of Portuguese civilization distinguished by significant achievements both in political affairs and the arts. In spite of its small size and population in comparison to the great land powers of Europe, […]
Was a Portuguese explorer who organised the Castilian expedition to the East Indies from 1519 to 1522, resulting in the first circumnavigation of the Earth. In the spring of 1480, at Sabrosa, in northern Portugal, Fernão de Magalhães was born. He was a Portuguese-Spanish navigator and explorer and was the first European to transverse the […]
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