- Fernando Pessoa
Photo by Victoriano Braga (1914)
Born Fernando António Nogueira de Seabra Pessoa
June 13, 1888
Died November 30, 1935(aged 47)
Pen name Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro de Campos, Ricardo Reis, Bernardo Soares, etc. Occupation Poet, writer, and translator Language Portuguese, English, and French Nationality Portuguese Period 1912–1935 Genres Poetry, essay, theatre, fiction Notable work(s) The Book of Disquiet, Message Notable award(s)
- Queen Victoria Prize (1903)
- Antero de Quental Award (1934)
Fernando Pessoa, born Fernando António Nogueira de Seabra Pessoa (June 13, 1888, Lisbon – November 30, 1935, Lisbon), was a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic and translator described as one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest poets in the Portuguese language.
- 1 Early years in Durban
- 2 Adult life in Lisbon
- 3 Pessoa the flâneur
- 4 Writing a lifetime
- 5 Heteronyms
- 6 Summaries of selected works
- 7 Works
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Early years in Durban
Nothing had ever obliged him to do anything. He had spent his childhood alone. He never joined any group. He never pursued a course of study. He never belonged to a crowd. The circumstances of his life were marked by that strange but rather common phenomenon – perhaps, in fact, it’s true for all lives – of being tailored to the image and likeness of his instincts, which tended towards inertia and withdrawal.
Fernando Pessoa, from the Preface of
The Book of Disquiet, tr. by Richard Zenith.
On 13 July 1893, when Pessoa was five, his father, Joaquim de Seabra Pessôa, died of tuberculosis. The following year, on 2 January, his younger brother Jorge, aged only one, also died. His mother, Maria Madalena Pinheiro Nogueira, married again in December 1895. In the beginning of 1896, he moved with his mother to Durban, capital of the former British Colony of Natal, where his stepfather João Miguel dos Santos Rosa, a military officer, had been appointed Portuguese consul. The young Pessoa received his early education at St. Joseph Convent School, a Catholic grammar school run by Irish and French nuns. He moved to Durban High School in April, 1899, becoming fluent in English and developing an appreciation for English literature. During the Matriculation Examination, held at the time by the then University of the Cape of Good Hope, forerunner of the University of Cape Town, in November 1903, he was awarded the recently-created Queen Victoria Memorial Prize for best paper in English. While preparing to enter university, he also attended the Durban Commercial School during one year, in the evening shift. Meanwhile, he started writing short stories in English, some under the name of David Merrick, many of which he left unfinished.
- Hillier did first usurp the realms of rhyme
- To parody the bard of olden time:
- Haggar then followed and, in shallow verse,
- Proves that to every bad there is a worse.
- Some nameless critic then in furious strain
- Causes the reader cruel pain
- While after metre pure he seems to thirst
- But shows how every worse can have a worst.
Charles Robert Anon,
Natal Mercury, July 6, 1904.
At the age of sixteen, The Natal Mercury (July 6, 1904 edition) published his poem "Hillier did first usurp the realms of rhyme...", under the name of Charles Robert Anon, along with a brief introductory text: "I read with great amusement...". In December, The Durban High School Magazine published his essay "Macaulay". From February to June, 1905, in the section "The Man in the Moon," The Natal Mercury also published at least four sonnets by Fernando Pessoa: "Joseph Chamberlain", "To England I", "To England II" and "Liberty". His poems often carried humorous versions of Anon as the author's name. Pessoa started using pen names quite young. The first one, still in his childhood, was Chevalier de Pas, supposedly a French noble. In addition to David Merrick and Charles Robert Anon, the young writer also signed up, among other pen names, as Horace James Faber and Alexander Search, another meaningful pseudonym.
- The young Pessoa as seen by a schoolfellow
« I cannot tell you exactly how long I knew him, but the period during which I received most of my impressions of him was the whole of the year 1904 when we were at school together. How old he was at this time I don’t know, but judge him to have 15 or 16.»
« He was pale and thin and appeared physically to be very imperfectly developed. He had a narrow and contracted chest and was inclined to stoop. He had a peculiar walk and some defect in his eyesight gave to his eyes also a peculiar appearance, the lids seemed to drop over the eyes.»
« He was regarded as a brilliant clever boy as, in spite of the fact that he had not spoken English in his early years, he had learned it so rapidly and so well that he had a splendid style in that language. Although younger than his schoolfellows of the same class he appeared to have no difficulty in keeping up with and surpassing them in work. For one of his age, he thought much and deeply and in a letter to me once complained of “spiritual and material encumbrances of most especial adverseness”.»
« He took no part in athletic sports of any kind and I think his spare time was spent on reading. We generally considered that he worked far too much and that he would ruin his health by so doing.»— Clifford E. Geerdts, "Letter to Dr. Faustino Antunes", 04.10.1907.
Ten years after his arrival, he sailed for Lisbon via the Suez Canal on board the "Herzog", leaving Durban for good at the age of seventeen. This journey inspired the poems "Opiário" (dedicated to his friend, the poet and writer Mário de Sá-Carneiro) published in March, 1915, in Orpheu nr.1 and "Ode Marítima" (dedicated to the futurist painter Santa Rita Pintor) published in June, 1915, in Orpheu nr.2 by his heteronym Álvaro de Campos.
Adult life in Lisbon
- Once again I see you – Lisbon, the Tagus, and all –
- Useless passerby of you and of me,
- Stranger in this place as in every other,
- Accidental in life as in the soul,
- Phantom wandering the halls of memory,
- To the squealing of rats and the squeaking of boards,
- In the doomed castle where life must be lived...
Fernando Pessoa, from "Lisbon Revisited" (1926),
ed. and tr. by Edwin Honig and Susan M. Brown.
While his family remained in South Africa, Pessoa returned to Lisbon in 1905 to study diplomacy. After a period of illness, and two years of poor results, a student strike put an end to his studies. Pessoa became a self student, a devoted reader that spent a lot of time at the library. In August, 1907, he started working at R.G. Dun & Company, an American mercantile information agency (currently D&B, Dun & Bradstreet). His grandmother died in September and left him a small inheritance, which he spent on setting up his own publishing house, the «Empreza Ibis». The venture was not a success and closed down in 1910, but the name ibis, the sacred bird of Ancient Egypt, would remain an important symbolic reference for him.
Upon his return to Lisbon, Pessoa began to complement his British education with Portuguese culture, as an autodidact. The Republican Revolution of 1910 and associated patriotic atmosphere was certainly of major importance in the formation of the writer. His stepuncle Henrique dos Santos Rosa, a retired general and poet, introduced the young Pessoa to Portuguese poetry, notably the romantics and symbolists of 19th century. In 1912, Fernando Pessoa entered the literary world with a critical essay, published in the cultural journal A Águia, which triggered one of the most important literary debates in the Portuguese intellectual world of the 20th century: the polemic regarding a super-Camões. In 1915 a group of artists and poets, including Fernando Pessoa, Mário de Sá-Carneiro and Almada Negreiros, created the literary magazine Orpheu, which introduced modernist literature to Portugal. Only two issues were published (Jan-Feb-Mar and Apr-May-Jun, 1915), the third failed to appear due to funding difficulties. Lost for many years, this issue was finally recovered and published in 1984. Among other writers and poets, Orpheu published Pessoa, orthonym, and the modernist heteronym, Álvaro de Campos.
Pessoa also founded the literary review Athena (1924–25), which published the heteronym Ricardo Reis. Along with his activity as free-lance commercial translator, Fernando Pessoa undertook intense activity as a writer and literary critic, contributing to journals and magazines such as A Águia (1912–13), A Renascença (1914), Orpheu (1915), Exílio (1916), Centauro (1916), Portugal Futurista (1917), Contemporânea (1922–23), Presença (1927–34) and Sudoeste (1935). He also published as a political analyst and literary critic in journals and newspapers such as Teatro (1913), O Jornal (1915), Centauro (1916), Acção (1919–20), Diário de Lisboa (1924–35), Revista de Comércio e Contabilidade (1926) and Fama (1932–33).
Pessoa the flâneur
Walking on these streets, until the night falls, my life feels to me like the life they have. By day they’re full of meaningless activity; by night, they’re full of meaningless lack of it. By day I am nothing, and by night I am I. There is no difference between me and these streets, save they being streets and I a soul, which perhaps is irrelevant when we consider the essence of things.
Fernando Pessoa, from "A Factless Autobiography"
in The Book of Disquiet, tr. by Richard Zenith.
If Franz Kafka is the writer of Prague, Fernando Pessoa is certainly the writer of Lisbon. After his return to Portugal, when he was seventeen, Pessoa barely left his beloved city, which inspired the poems "Lisbon Revisited" (1923 and 1926), by his heteronym Álvaro de Campos. From 1905 to 1921, when his family returned from Pretoria after the death of his stepfather, he lived in fifteen different places around the city, moving from a rented room to another according to his financial troubles and the troubles of the young Portuguese Republic.
Pessoa had the flâneur's regard, namely through the eyes of Bernardo Soares, another of his heteronyms. This character was supposedly an accountant, working at an office in Douradores Street, where Vasques was the boss. Bernardo Soares also supposedly lived in the same downtown street, a world that Pessoa knew quite well due to his long career as free lance correspondence translator. In fact, from 1907 until his death, in 1935, Pessoa worked in twenty one firms located in Lisbon's downtown, sometimes in two or three of them simultaneously. In The Book of Disquiet, Bernardo Soares describes some of those typical places and its "atmosphere".
Pessoa was a frequent customer at Martinho da Arcada, a centennial coffeehouse in Comercio Square, surrounded by ministries, almost an "office" for his private business and literary concerns, where he used to meet friends in the 1920s. He also frequented other coffee shops, pubs and restaurants, a number of which no longer exist. The statue of Fernando Pessoa (below) can be seen outside A Brasileira, one of the preferred places of the young writers and artists of the group of orpheu during the 1910s. This coffeehouse, in the aristocratic district of Chiado, is quite close to Pessoa's birthplace: 4, Largo de São Carlos (in front of the Opera House), one of the most elegant neighborhoods of Lisbon.
Writing a lifetime
He looked about thirty, thin, rather above average height, exaggeratedly bent over when seated but less so when he stood up, dressed with a certain negligence, which was not entirely negligence. On his pale, uninteresting face an air of suffering did not stir interest, although it was difficult to define what kind of suffering that air — it seemed to suggest several kinds: privation, anguish, and a suffering born from the indifference of having suffered a great deal.
Fernando Pessoa, from the Introduction to
The Book of Disquiet, tr. by Alfred Mac Adam.
In his early years, Pessoa was influenced by major English classic poets as Shakespeare, Milton or Spenser and romantics like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley and Keats. Later, when he returned to Lisbon for good, he was influenced by French symbolists Charles Baudelaire, Maurice Rollinat, Stéphane Mallarmé; mainly by Portuguese poets as Antero de Quental, Gomes Leal, Cesário Verde, António Nobre, Camilo Pessanha or Teixeira de Pascoaes. Later he was also influenced by modernists as Yeats, Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, among many other writers.
During World War I, Pessoa wrote to a number of British publishers in order to print his collection of English verse The Mad Fiddler (unpublished during his lifetime), but it was refused. However, in 1920, the prestigious literary review Athenaeum included one of those poems. Since the British publication failed, in 1918 Pessoa published in Lisbon two slim volumes of English verse: Antinous and 35 Sonnets, received by the British literary press without enthusiasm. Along with two associates, he founded another publishing house, Olisipo, which published in 1921 a further two English poetry volumes: English Poems I–II and English Poems III by Fernando Pessoa.
Pessoa translated into English some Portuguese books and from English the poems "The Raven", "Annabel Lee" and "Ulalume" by Edgar Allan Poe which, along with Walt Whitman, strongly influenced him. He also translated into Portuguese a number of esoteric books by leading Theosophists such as C. W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant.
- The night my body makes of me were torn
- Away from being, and my unbodied shape
- Would, like a ship doubling the final cape,
- Come to that sight of port and shiver of coming
- That God allows to those whose bliss of roaming
- Is no more than the wish to find His peace
- And mingle with it as a scent with the breeze.
Fernando Pessoa, "To One Singing",
in The Mad Fiddler.
Pessoa received a strong influence of occultism and developed an interest in spiritism and astrology. He was an amateur astrologue, elaborating astral charts for friends and even for himself and the heteronyms. His interest in occultism led Pessoa to correspond with Aleister Crowley. Later he helped Crowley plan an elaborate fake suicide when he visited Portugal in 1930. Pessoa translated Crowley's poem "Hymn To Pan" into Portuguese, and the catalogue of Pessoa's library shows that he possessed copies of Crowley's Magick in Theory and Practice and Confessions. Pessoa also wrote on Crowley's doctrine of Thelema in several fragments, including Moral.
Politically, Pessoa considered himself a "mystical nationalist" and, despite his monarchist sympathies, he didn't favour the restoration of the monarchy. He described himself as a liberal and a conservative. He was an outspoken elitist and aligned himself against communism, socialism, fascism and Catholicism. He supported the military coups of 1917 and 1926, and wrote a pamphlet in 1928 supportive of the Military Dictatorship but after the establishment of the New State, in 1933, Pessoa become disenchanted with the regime and wrote critically of Salazar and fascism in general. He also wrote in defense of Freemasonary when it was banned by the Salazar regimen in 1935.
- Here lies who thought himself the best
- Of poets in the world's extent;
- In life he had not joy nor rest.
Alexander Search, 1907.
Pessoa died of cirrhosis in 1935, at the age of forty-seven, with only one book published in Portuguese: "Mensagem" (Message). However, he left a lifetime of unpublished and unfinished work (over 25,000 pages manuscript and typed that have been housed in the Portuguese National Library since 1988). The heavy burden of editing this huge work is still in progress. In 1988 (the centenary of his birth), Pessoa's remains were moved to the Hieronymites Monastery, in Lisbon, where Vasco da Gama, Luís de Camões, and Alexandre Herculano are also buried. Pessoa's portrait was on the 100-escudo banknote.
Pessoa's earliest heteronym, at the age of six, was the Chevalier de Pas. Other childhood heteronyms included Dr. Pancrácio and David Merrick, followed by Charles Robert Anon and Alexander Search, succeeded by others. Translator Richard Zenith notes that Pessoa eventually established at least seventy-two heteronyms. According to Pessoa himself, there were three main heteronyms: Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro de Campos and Ricardo Reis. The heteronyms possess distinct biographies, temperaments, philosophies, appearances and writing styles.
- Fernando Pessoa on the heteronyms
« How do I write in the name of these three? Caeiro, through sheer and unexpected inspiration, without knowing or even suspecting that I’m going to write in his name. Ricardo Reis, after an abstract meditation, which suddenly takes concrete shape in an ode. Campos, when I feel a sudden impulse to write and don’t know what. (My semi-heteronym Bernardo Soares, who in many ways resembles Álvaro de Campos, always appears when I'm sleepy or drowsy, so that my qualities of inhibition and rational thought are suspended; his prose is an endless reverie. He’s a semi-heteronym because his personality, although not my own, doesn’t differ from my own but is a mere mutilation of it. He’s me without my rationalism and emotions. His prose is the same as mine, except for certain formal restraint that reason imposes on my own writing, and his Portuguese is exactly the same – whereas Caeiro writes bad Portuguese, Campos writes it reasonably well but with mistakes such as "me myself" instead of "I myself", etc.., and Reis writes better than I, but with a purism I find excessive...). »— Fernando Pessoa, "Letter to Adolfo Casais Monteiro", 13.01.1935, translated by Richard Zenith.
List of known heteronyms
No. Name Type Notes 1 Fernando Antonio Nogueira Pessoa Himself Commercial correspondent in Lisbon 2 Fernando Pessoa Orthonym Poet and prose writer 3 Fernando Pessoa Autonym Poet and prose writer 4 Fernando Pessoa Heteronym Poet; a pupil of Alberto Caeiro 5 Alberto Caeiro Heteronym Poet; author of O guardador de Rebanhos, O Pastor Amoroso and Poemas inconjuntos; master of heteronyms Fernando Pessoa, Álvaro de Campos, Ricardo Reis, António Mora and Coelho Pacheco 6 Ricardo Reis Heteronym Poet and prose writer, author of Odes and texts on the work of Alberto Caeiro 7 Federico Reis Heteronym / Para-heteronym Essayist; brother of Ricardo Reis, upon whom he writes 8 Álvaro de Campos Heteronym Poet and prose writer; a pupil of Alberto Caeiro 9 António Mora Heteronym Philosopher and sociologist; theorist of Neopaganism; a pupil of Alberto Caeiro 10 Claude Pasteur Heteronym / Semi-heteronym French translator of Cadernos de reconstrução pagã conducted by António Mora 11 Bernardo Soares Heteronym / Semi-heteronym Poet and prose writer; author of The Book of Disquiet 12 Vicente Guedes Heteronym / Semi-heteronym Translator, poet; director of Ibis Press; author of a paper 13 Gervasio Guedes Heteronym / Para-heteronym Author of the text "A Coroação de Jorge Quinto" 14 Alexander Search Heteronym Poet and short story writer 15 Charles James Search Heteronym / Para-heteronym Translator and essayist; brother of Alexander Search 16 Jean-Méluret of Seoul Heteronym / Proto-heteronym French poet and essayist 17 Rafael Baldaya Heteronym Astrologer; author of Tratado da Negação and Princípios de Metaphysica Esotérica 18 Barão de Teive Heteronym Prose writer; author of Educação do Stoica and Daphnis e Chloe 19 Charles Robert Anon Heteronym / Semi-heteronym Poet, philosopher and story writer 20 A. A. Crosse Pseudonym / Proto-heteronym Author and puzzle-solver 21 Thomas Crosse Heteronym / Proto-heteronym English epic character/occultist, popularized in Portuguese culture 22 I. I. Crosse Heteronym / Para-heteronym 23 David Merrick Heteronym / Semi-heteronym Poet, storyteller and playwright 24 Lucas Merrick Heteronym / Para-heteronym Short story writer; perhaps brother David Merrick 25 Pêro Botelho Heteronym / Pseudonym Short story writer and author of letters 26 Abilio Quaresma Heteronym / Character / Meta-heteronym Character inspired by Pêro Botelho and author of short detective stories 27 Inspector Guedes Character / Meta-heteronym? Character inspired by Pêro Botelho and author of short detective stories 28 Uncle Pork Pseudonym / Character Character inspired by Pêro Botelho and author of short detective stories 29 Frederick Wyatt Alias / Heteronym English poet and prose writer 30 Rev. Walter Wyatt Character Possibly brother of Frederick Wyatt 31 Alfred Wyatt Character Another brother of Frederick Wyatt and resident of Paris 32 Maria José Heteronym / Proto-heteronym Wrote and signed "A Carta da Corcunda para o Serralheiro" 33 Chevalier de Pas Pseudonym / Proto-heteronym Author of poems and letters 34 Efbeedee Pasha Heteronym / Proto-heteronym Author of humoristic stories 35 Faustino Antunes / A. Moreira Heteronym / Pseudonym Psychologist and author of Ensaio sobre a Intuição 36 Carlos Otto Heteronym / Proto-heteronym Poet and author of Tratado de Lucta Livre 37 Michael Otto Pseudonym / Para-heteronym Probably brother of Carlos Otto who was entrusted with the translation into English of Tratado de Lucta Livre 38 Sebastian Knight Proto-heteronym / Alias 39 Horace James Faber Heteronym / Semi-heteronym English short story writer and essayist 40 Navas Heteronym / Para-heteronym Translated Horace James Faber in Portuguese 41 Pantaleão Heteronym / Proto-heteronym Poet and prose writer 42 Torquato Fonseca Mendes da Cunha Rey Heteronym / Meta-heteronym Deceased author of a text Pantaleão decided to publish 43 Joaquim Moura Costa Proto-heteronym / Semi-heteronym Satirical poet; Republican activist; member of O Phosphoro 44 Sher Henay Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym Compiler and author of the preface of a sensationalist anthology in English 45 Anthony Gomes Semi-heteronym / Character Philosopher; author of "Historia Cómica do Affonso Çapateiro" 46 Professor Trochee Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym Author of an essay with humorous advice for young poets 47 Willyam Links Esk Character Signed a letter written in English on April 13, 1905 48 António de Seabra Pseudonym / Proto-heteronym Literary critic 49 João Craveiro Pseudonym / Proto-heteronym Journalist; follower of Sidonio Pereira 50 Tagus Pseudonym Collaborator in Natal Mercury (Durban, South Africa) 51 Pipa Gomes Draft heteronym Collaborator in O Phosphoro 52 Ibis Character / Pseudonym Character from Pessoa's childhood accompanying him until the end of his life; also signed poems 53 Dr. Gaudencio Turnips Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym English-Portuguese journalist and humorist; director of O Palrador 54 Pip Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym Poet and author of humorous anecdotes; predecessor of Dr. Pancrácio 55 Dr. Pancrácio Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym Storyteller, poet and creator of charades 56 Luís António Congo Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym Collaborator in O Palrador; columnist and presenter of Eduardo Lança 57 Eduardo Lança Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym Luso-Brazilian poet 58 A. Francisco de Paula Angard Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym Collaborator in O Palrador; author of "Textos scientificos" 59 Pedro da Silva Salles / Zé Pad Proto-heteronym / Alias Author and director of the section of anecdotes at O Palrador 60 José Rodrigues do Valle / Scicio Proto-heteronym / Alias Collaborator in O Palrador; author of charades; literary manager 61 Dr. Caloiro Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym Collaborator in O Palrador; reporter and author of A pesca das pérolas 62 Adolph Moscow Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym Collaborator in O Palrador; novelist and author of Os Rapazes de Barrowby 63 Marvell Kisch Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym Author of a novel announced in O Palrador, called A Riqueza de um Doido 64 Gabriel Keene Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym Author of a novel announced in O Palrador, called Em Dias de Perigo 65 Sableton-Kay Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym Author of a novel announced in O Palrador, called A Lucta Aérea 66 Morris & Theodor Pseudonym Collaborator in O Palrador; author of charades 67 Diabo Azul Pseudonym Collaborator in O Palrador; author of charades 68 Parry Pseudonym Collaborator in O Palrador; author of charades 69 Gallião Pequeno Pseudonym Collaborator in O Palrador; author of charades 70 Urban Accursio Alias Collaborator in O Palrador; author of charades 71 Cecília Pseudonym Collaborator in O Palrador; author of charades 72 José Rasteiro Proto-heteronym / Pseudonym Collaborator in O Palrador; author of proverbs and riddles 73 Nympha Negra Pseudonym Collaborator in O Palrador; author of charades 74 Diniz da Silva Pseudonym / Proto-heteronym Author of the poem "Loucura"; collaborator in Europe 75 Herr Prosit Pseudonym Translator of El estudiante de Salamanca by José Espronceda 76 Henry More Proto-heteronym Author and prose writer 77 Wardour Character? Poet 78 J. M. Hyslop Character? Poet 79 Vadooisf ? Character? Poet 80 Nuno Reis Pseudonym Son of Ricardo Reis 81 João Caeiro Character? Son of Alberto Caeiro and Ana Taveira
- Não tenho ambições nem desejos
- Ser poeta não é uma ambição minha
- É a minha maneira de estar sozinho.
- I have no ambitions nor desires.
- To be a poet is not my ambition,
- It's simply my way of being alone.
Alberto Caeiro, "The Keeper of Herds"
(O Guardador de Rebanhos), tr. Richard Zenith.
Alberto Caeiro was Pessoa's first great heteronym; summarized by Pessoa, writing: He sees things with the eyes only, not with the mind. He does not let any thoughts arise when he looks at a flower... the only thing a stone tells him is that it has nothing at all to tell him... this way of looking at a stone may be described as the totally unpoetic way of looking at it. The stupendous fact about Caeiro is that out of this sentiment, or rather, absence of sentiment, he makes poetry.
What this means, and what makes Caeiro such an original poet is the way he apprehends existence. He does not question anything whatsoever; he calmly accepts the world as it is. The recurrent themes to be found in nearly all of Caeiro's poems are wide-eyed child-like wonder at the infinite variety of nature, as noted by a critic. He is free of metaphysical entanglements. Central to his world-view is the idea that in the world around us, all is surface: things are precisely what they seem, there is no hidden meaning anywhere.
He manages thus to free himself from the anxieties that batter his peers; for Caeiro, things simply exist and we have no right to credit them with more than that. Our unhappiness, he tells us, springs from our unwillingness to limit our horizons. As such, Caeiro attains happiness by not questioning, and by thus avoiding doubts and uncertainties. He apprehends reality solely through his eyes, through his senses. What he teaches us is that if we want to be happy we ought to do the same. Octavio Paz called him the innocent poet. Paz made a shrewd remark on the heteronyms: In each are particles of negation or unreality. Reis believes in form, Campos in sensation, Pessoa in symbols. Caeiro doesn't believe in anything. He exists.
Poetry before Caeiro was essentially interpretative; what poets did was to offer an interpretation of their perceived surroundings; Caeiro does not do this. Instead, he attempts to communicate his senses, and his feelings, without any interpretation whatsoever.
Caeiro attempts to approach Nature from a qualitatively different mode of apprehension; that of simply perceiving (an approach akin to phenomenological approaches to philosophy). Poets before him would make use of intricate metaphors to describe what was before them; not so Caeiro: his self-appointed task is to bring these objects to the reader's attention, as directly and simply as possible. Caeiro sought a direct experience of the objects before him.
As such it is not surprising to find that Caeiro has been called an anti-intellectual, anti-Romantic, anti-subjectivist, anti-metaphysical...an anti-poet, by critics; Caeiro simply—is. He is in this sense very unlike his creator Fernando Pessoa: Pessoa was besieged by metaphysical uncertainties; these were, to a large extent, the cause of his unhappiness; not so Caeiro: his attitude is anti-metaphysical; he avoided uncertainties by adamantly clinging to a certainty: his belief that there is no meaning behind things. Things, for him, simply—are.
Caeiro represents a primal vision of reality, of things. He is the pagan incarnate. Indeed Caeiro was not simply a pagan but paganism itself.
The critic Jane M. Sheets sees the insurgence of Caeiro—who was Pessoa's first major heteronym—as essential in founding the later poetic personas: By means of this artless yet affirmative anti-poet, Caeiro, a short-lived but vital member of his coterie, Pessoa acquired the base of an experienced and universal poetic vision. After Caeiro's tenets had been established, the avowedly poetic voices of Campos, Reis and Pessoa himself spoke with greater assurance.
- Desde que sinta a brisa fresca no meu cabelo
- E ver o sol brilhar forte nas folhas
- Não irei pedir por mais.
- Que melhor coisa podia o destino dar-me?
- Que a passagem sensual da vida em momentos
- De ignorância como este?
- As long as I feel the fresh breeze in my hair
- And see the sun shining strong on the leaves,
- I will not ask for more.
- What better thing could destiny grant me?
- Other than the sensual passing of life in moments
- Of ignorance such as this one?
Reis sums up his philosophy of life in his own words, admonishing: 'See life from a distance. Never question it. There's nothing it can tell you.' Like Caeiro, whom he admires, Reis defers from questioning life. He is a modern pagan who urges one to seize the day and accept fate with tranquility. 'Wise is the one who does not seek', he says; and continues: 'the seeker will find in all things the abyss, and doubt in himself.' In this sense Reis shares essential affinities with Caeiro.
Believing in the Greek gods, yet living in a Christian Europe, Reis feels that his spiritual life is limited, and true happiness cannot be attained. This, added to his belief in Fate as a driving force for all that exists, as such disregarding freedom, leads to his epicureanist philosophy, which entails the avoidance of pain, defending that man should seek tranquility and calm above all else, avoiding emotional extremes.
Where Caeiro wrote freely and spontaneously, with joviality, of his basic, meaningless connection to the world, Reis writes in an austere, cerebral manner, with premeditated rhythm and structure and a particular attention to the correct use of the language, when approaching his subjects of, as characterized by Richard Zenith,'the brevity of life, the vanity of wealth and struggle, the joy of simple pleasures, patience in time of trouble, and avoidance of extremes'.
In his detached, intellectual approach, he is closer to Fernando Pessoa's constant rationalization, as such representing the ortonym's wish for measure and sobriety and a world free of troubles and respite, in stark contrast to Caeiro's spirit and style. As such, where Caeiro's predominant attitude is that of joviality, his sadness being accepted as natural ('My sadness,' Caeiro says, 'is a comfort for it is natural and right.'), Reis is marked by melancholy, saddened by the impermanence of all things.
Álvaro de Campos
- Não sou nada.
- Nunca serei nada.
- Não posso querer ser nada.
- À parte isso, tenho em mim todos os sonhos do mundo.
- I am nothing.
- I will never be anything.
- I cannot wish to be anything.
- Bar that, I have in me all the dreams of the world.
Álvaro de Campos, "The Tobacco Shop"
(Tabacaria), tr. Miguel Peres dos Santos.
Álvaro de Campos manifests, in a way, as an hyperbolic version of Pessoa himself. Of the three heteronyms he is the one who feels most strongly, his motto being 'to feel everything in every way.' 'The best way to travel,' he wrote, 'is to feel.' As such, his poetry is the most emotionally intense and varied, constantly juggling two fundamental impulses: on the one hand a feverish desire to be and feel everything and everyone, declaring that 'in every corner of my soul stands an altar to a different god '(alluding to Walt Whitman's desire to 'contain multitudes'), on the other, a wish for a state of isolation and a sense of nothingness.
As a result, his mood and principles varied between violent, dynamic exultation, as he fervently wishes to experience the entirety of the universe in himself, in all manners possible (a particularly distinctive trait in this state being his futuristic leanings, including the expression of great enthusiasm as to the meaning of city life and its components) and a state of nostalgic melancholy, where life is viewed as, essentially, empty.
One of the poet's constant preoccupations, as part of his dichotomous character, is that of identity: he does not know who he is, or rather, fails at achieving an ideal identity. Wanting to be everything, and inevitably failing, he despairs. Unlike Caeiro, who asks nothing of life, he asks too much. In his poetic meditation 'Tobacco Shop' he asks:
- How should I know what I'll be, I who don't know what I am?
- Be what I think? But I think of being so many things!
- O poeta é um fingidor
- Finge tão completamente
- Que chega a fingir que é dor
- A dor que deveras sente
- The poet is a faker
- Who's so good at his act
- He even fakes the pain
- Of pain he feels in fact.
Fernando Pessoa-himself, "Autopsychography"
(Autopsicografia), tr. Richard Zenith.
'Fernando Pessoa-himself' is not the 'real' Fernando Pessoa. Like Caeiro, Reis and Campos—Pessoa 'himself' embodies only aspects of the poet Fernando Pessoa's personality is not stamped in any given voice; his personality is diffused through the heteronyms. For this reason 'Fernando Pessoa-himself' stands apart from the poet proper.
'Pessoa' shares many essential affinities with his peers, Caeiro and Campos in particular. Lines crop up in his poems that may as well be ascribed to Campos or Caeiro. It is useful to keep this in mind as we read this exposition.
The critic Leland Guyer sums up 'Pessoa': "the poetry of the orthonymic Fernando Pessoa normally possesses a measured, regular form and appreciation of the musicality of verse. It takes on intellectual issues, and it is marked by concern with dreams, the imagination and mystery."
Richard Zenith calls 'Pessoa' '[Pessoa's] most intellectual and analytic poetic persona.' Like Álvaro de Campos, Pessoa-himself was afflicted with an acute identity crisis. Pessoa-himself has been described as indecisive and doubt plagued, as restless. Like Campos he can be melancholic, weary, resigned. The strength of Pessoa-himself's poetry rests in his ability to suggest a sense of loss; of sorrow for what can never be.
A constant theme in Pessoa's poetry is Tédio, or Tedium. The dictionary defines this word simply as 'a condition of being tedious; tediousness or boredom.' This definition does not sufficiently encompass the peculiar brand of tedium experienced by Pessoa-himself. His is more than simple boredom: it is from a world of weariness and disgust with life; a sense of the finality of failure; of the impossibility of having anything to want.
Summaries of selected works
Mensagem in Portuguese (from the Latin "MENS AGitat molEM", which means, "The Mind moves/commands the Matter), is a very unusual twentieth century book: it is a symbolist epic made up of 44 short poems organized in three parts or Cycles:
The first, called "Brasão" (Coat-of-Arms), relates Portuguese historical protagonists to each of the fields and charges in the Portuguese coat-of-arms. The first two poems ("The castles" and "The escutcheons") draw inspiration from the material and spiritual natures of Portugal. Each of the remaining poems associates to each charge a historical personality. Ultimately they all lead to the Golden Age of Discovery.
The second Part, called "Mar Português" (Portuguese Sea), references the country's Age of Portuguese Exploration and to its seaborne Empire that ended with the death of King Sebastian at Ksar-el-Kebir (in 1578). Pessoa brings the reader to the present as if he had woken up from a dream of the past, to fall in a dream of the future: he sees King Sebastian returning and still bent on accomplishing a Universal Empire, like King Arthur heading for Avalon to come back in England's hour of need.
The third Cycle, called "O Encoberto" ("The Hidden One"), is the most disturbing. It refers to Pessoa's vision of a future world of peace and the Fifth Empire. After the Age of Force, (Vis), and Taedium (Otium) will come Science (understanding) through a reawakening of "The Hidden One", or "King Sebastian". The Hidden One represents the fulfillment of the destiny of mankind, designed by God since before Time, and the accomplishment of Portugal.
One of the most famous quotes from Mensagem is the first line from O Infante (belonging to the second Part), which is Deus quer, o homem sonha, a obra nasce (which translates roughly to "God wills it, man dreams it, it is born"). That means 'Only by God's will man does', a full comprehension of man's subjection to God's wealth. Another well-known quote from Mensagem is the first line from Ulysses, "O mito é o nada que é tudo" (a possible translation is "The myth is the nothing that is all"). This poem refers Ulysses, king of Ithaca, as Lisbon's founder (recalling an ancient Greek myth).
In 1912, Fernando Pessoa wrote a set of essays (later collected as The New Portuguese Poetry) for the cultural journal A Águia (The Eagle), founded in Oporto, in December 1910, and run by the republican association Renascença Portuguesa. In the first years of the Portuguese Republic, this cultural association was started by republican intellectuals led by the writer and poet Teixeira de Pascoaes, philosopher Leonardo Coimbra and historian Jaime Cortesão, aiming for the renewal of Portuguese culture through the aesthetic movement called Saudosismo. Pessoa contributed to the journal A Águia with a series of papers: 'The new Portuguese Poetry Sociologically Considered' (nr. 4), 'Relapsing...' (nr. 5) and 'The Psychological Aspect of the new Portuguese Poetry' (nrs. 9,11 and 12). These writings were strongly encomiastic to saudosist literature, namely the poetry of Teixeira de Pascoaes and Mário Beirão. The articles disclose Pessoa as a connoisseur of modern European literature and an expert of recent literary trends. On the other hand, he does not care much for a methodology of analysis or problems in the history of ideas. He states his confidence that Portugal would soon produce a great poet - a super-Camões – pledged to make an important contribution for European culture, and indeed, for humanity.
The philosophical notes of young Fernando Pessoa, mostly written between 1905 and 1912, illustrate his debt to the history of Philosophy more through commentators than through a first-hand protracted reading of the Classics, ancient or modern. The issues he engages with pertain to every philosophical discipline and concern a large profusion of concepts, creating a vast semantic spectrum in texts whose length oscillates between half a dozen lines and half a dozen pages and whose density of analysis is extremely variable; simple paraphrasis, expression of assumptions and original speculation.
Pessoa sorted the philosophical systems thus:
- Relative Spiritualism and relative Materialism privilege "Spirit" or "Matter" as the main pole that organizes data around Experience.
- Absolute Spiritualist and Absolute Materialist "deny all objective reality to one of the elements of Experience".
- The materialistic Pantheism of Spinoza and the spiritualizing Pantheism of Malebranche, "admit that experience is a double manifestation of any thing that in its essence has no matter neither spirit".
- Considering both elements as an illusory manifestation", of a transcendent and true and alone realities, there is Transcendentalism, inclined into matter with Schopenhauer, or into spirit, a position where Bergson could be emplaced.
- A terminal system "the limited and summit of metaphysics" would not radicalize - as poles of experience one of the singled categories - matter, relative, absolute, real, illusory, spirit. Instead, matching all categories, it takes contradiction as "the essence of the universe" and defends that "an affirmation is so more true insofar the more contradiction involves". The transcendent must be conceived beyond categories. There is one only and eternal example of it. It is that cathedral of thought -the philosophy of Hegel.
Such pantheist transcendentalism is used by Pessoa to define the project that "encompasses and exceeds all systems"; to characterize the new poetry of Saudosismo where the "typical contradiction of this system" occurs; to inquire of the particular social and political results of its adoption as the leading cultural paradigm; and, at last, he hints that metaphysics and religiosity strive "to find in everything a beyond".
- Collected Poems of Álvaro de Campos, 2, Chris Daniels, transl, Exeter, UK: Shearsman Books, 2009 [1928–35], ISBN 9781905700257, http://www.shearsman.com/pages/books/catalog/2009/pessoa_campos.html
- Lisbon: What the Tourist Should See, Exeter, UK: Shearsman Books, 2008, ISBN 978190570752, http://www.shearsman.com/pages/books/catalog/2008/pessoa_lisbon.html
- The Collected Poems of Alberto Caeiro, Chris Daniels, transl, Exeter, UK: Shearsman Books, 2007, ISBN 9781905700240, http://www.shearsman.com/pages/books/catalog/2007/pessoa_caeiro.html
- Selected English Poems, Exeter, UK: Shearsman Books, 2007, ISBN 9781905700264, http://www.shearsman.com/pages/books/catalog/2007/pessoa_engl.html
- Message, Jonathan Griffin, transl, Exeter, UK: Shearsman Books, 2007, ISBN 9781905700271, http://www.shearsman.com/pages/books/catalog/2007/pessoa_msg.html
- Selected English Poems , ed. Tony Frazer, Exeter (UK): Shearsman Books, 2007. ISBN 1905700261
- A Centenary Pessoa, tr. Keith Bosley & L. C. Taylor, foreword by Octavio Paz, Carcanet Press, 2006. ISBN 1857547241
- A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems, tr. Richard Zenith, Penguin Classics, 2006. ISBN 0-14-303955-5
- The Education of the Stoic, tr. Richard Zenith, afterword by Antonio Tabucchi, Exact Change, 2004. ISBN 1878972405
- The Book of Disquiet, tr. Richard Zenith, Penguin classics, 2003. ISBN 9780141183046
- The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa, tr. Richard Zenith, Grove Press, 2002. ISBN 0-8021-3914-0
- Sheep's Vigil by a Fervent Person: A Translation of Alberto Caeiro, tr. Eirin Moure, House of Anansi, 2001. ISBN 0887846602
- The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa, Richard Zenith, transl, New York, USA: Grove Press, 2001, ISBN 9780802139146, http://books.google.pt/books?id=yrp9Fu168uYC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
- Selected Poems: with New Supplement tr. Jonathan Griffin, Penguin Classics; 2nd edition, 2000. ISBN 0141184337
- Fernando Pessoa & Co: Selected Poems, tr. Richard Zenith, Grove Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8021-3627-3
- Poems of Fernando Pessoa, Edwin Honig & Susan Brown, transl, San Francisco, USA: City Lights Books, 1998, ISBN 9780872863422, http://books.google.pt/books?id=klT3KN2V2JgC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
- The Keeper of Sheep, bilingual edition, tr. Edwin Honig & Susan M. Brown, Sheep Meadow, 1997. ISBN 1878818457
- Message, tr. Jonathan Griffin, introduction by Helder Macedo, Menard Press, 1992. ISBN 190570027X
- The Book of Disquietude, tr. Richard Zenith, Carcanet Press, 1991. ISBN 0-14-118304-7
- The Book of Disquiet, tr. Iain Watson, Quartet Books, 1991. ISBN 0704301539
- The Book of Disquiet, tr. Alfred Mac Adam, New York NY: Pantheon Books, 1991. ISBN 0679402349
- The Book of Disquiet, tr. Margaret Jull Costa, London, New York NY: Serpent's Tail, 1991, ISBN 1852422041
- Fernando Pessoa: Self-Analysis and Thirty Other Poems, tr. George Monteiro, Gavea-Brown Publications, 1989. ISBN 0943722144
- Always Astonished, tr. Edwin Honig, San Francisco CA: City Lights Books, 1988. ISBN 9780872862289
- Always Astonished: selected prose, Edwin Honig, transl, San Francisco, USA: City Lights Books, 1988, ISBN 9780872862289, http://books.google.pt/books?id=XZYYXErWaB0C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
- Selected Poems, tr. Edwin Honig, Swallow Press, 1971. ISBN B000XU4FE4
- English Poems, 2 vol. (vol. 1 part I – Antinous, part II – Inscriptions; vol. 2 part III – Epithalamium), Lisbon: Olisipo, 1921 (vol. 1, 20 pp.; vol. 2, 16 pp., 24 cm). Portugal: PURL.
- 35 Sonnets, Lisbon: Monteiro & Co., 1918 (20 pp., 20 cm). Portugal: PURL.
- Antinous: a poem, Lisbon: Monteiro & Co., 1918 (16 p., 20 cm). Portugal: PURL.
- The anarchist banker and other Portuguese stories Carcanet Press, 1996
- Portuguese Poetry
- Andrés Fischer Muñoz
- The Book Of Disquietude
- The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
- ^ a b Zenith, Richard (2008), Fotobiografias Século XX: Fernando Pessoa, Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores.
- ^ The Natal Mercury
- ^ Monteiro, Maria da Encarnação (1961), Incidências Inglesas na Poesia de Fernando Pessoa, Coimbra: author ed.
- ^ Jennings, H. D. (1984), Os Dois Exilios, Porto: Centro de Estudos Pessoanos
- ^ Pessoa, Fernando. Escritos Autobiográficos, Automáticos e de Reflexão Pessoal, ed. Richard Zenith. Lisboa: Assírio & Alvim, 2003, pp. 394–398.
- ^ Orpheu nr.1
- ^ Orpheu, Project Gutenberg, http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/23621 .
- ^ This name has a very long literary tradition: the elegiac poem Ibis by Ovid was inspired in the lost poem of the same title by Callimachus.
- ^ Zenith, Richard (2008) (in Portuguese), Fernando Pessoa, Fotobiografias do Século XX, Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores, p. 78 .
- ^ Orpheu, Portuguese National Library, Jan–Mar 1915, http://purl.pt/12089/2/ .
- ^ Saraiva, Arnaldo, ed. (in Portuguese), Orpheu, Lisboa: Edições Ática .
- ^ Zenith, Richard (2008), Fotobiografias do Século XX: Fernando Pessoa. Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores, pp. 194-195.
- ^ Guerreiro, Ricardina (2004), De Luto por Existir: a melancolia de Bernardo Soares à luz de Walter Benjamin. Lisboa: Assírio & Alvim, p. 159.
- ^ Sousa, João Rui de (2010), Fernando Pessoa Empregado de Escritório, 2nd ed. Lisboa: Assírio & Alvim.
- ^ Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Lisbon's Opera House.
- ^ Dias, Marina Tavares (2002), Lisboa nos Passos de Pessoa: uma cidade revisitada através da vida e da obra do poeta [Lisbon in Pessoa's footsteps: a Lisbon tour through the life and poetry of Fernando Pessoa], Lisboa: Quimera .
- ^ Pessoa, Fernando (2006)  (in Portuguese/English), Lisboa: o que o turista deve ver (3rd ed.), Lisboa: Livros Horizonte, http://www.livroshorizonte.pt/catalogo_detalhe.php?idLivro=895
- ^ Pessoa, Fernando (2008), Lisbon: what the tourist should see, Exeter, UK: Shearsman Books, http://www.shearsman.com/pages/books/catalog/2008/pessoa_lisbon.html .
- ^ Terlinden, Anne (1990), Fernando Pessoa, the bilingual Portuguese poet: A Critical Study of "The Mad Fidler", Bruxels: Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis, ISBN 9782802800750, http://books.google.com/?id=pofTVSteuaIC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false .
- ^ Antinous, Portuguese National Library, http://purl.pt/13961/2/ f.
- ^ 35 Sonnets at the Portuguese National Library.
- ^ The Times Literary Supplement, September 19, 1918. Athenaeum, January, 1919.
- ^ Athena nrs. 1 and 3, Lisbon, 1924.
- ^ A Voz do Silêncio (The Voice of Silence) at the Portuguese National Library.
Besant, Annie (1915), Os Ideaes da Theosophia, tr. Fernando Pessoa. Lisboa: Clássica Editora
Leadbeater, C. W. (1915), Compêndio de Theosophia, tr. Fernando Pessoa. Lisboa: Clássica Editora.
Leadbeater, C. W. (1916) Auxiliares Invisíveis, tr. Fernando Pessoa. Lisboa: Clássica Editora.
Leadbeater, C. W. (1916), A Clarividência, tr. Fernando Pessoa. Lisboa: Clássica Editora.
(1916), A Voz do Silêncio: e outros fragmentos selectos do Livro dos Preceitos Aureos, tr. ingleza e anot. por H. P. B., versão portuguesa de Fernando Pessoa. Lisboa: Clássica Editora.
(1916), Luz Sobre o Caminho e o Karma, transcriptos por M. C., com notas, commentarios, traducção de Fernando Pessoa. Lisboa: Clássica Editora.
- ^ The magical world of Fernando Pessoa, Nthposition, http://www.nthposition.com/themagicalworldof.php .
- ^ PASI, Marco (2002), "The Influence of Aleister Crowley on Fernando Pessoa's Esoteric Writings", The Magical Link 9 (5): 4–11.
- ^ Darlene Joy Sadlier An introduction to Fernando Pessoa: modernism and the paradoxes of authorship, University Press of Florida, 1998, pp. 44–7.
- ^ Maconaria.net
- ^ The Book of Disquiet, tr. Richard Zenith, Penguin classics, 2003.
- ^ Letter to Adolfo Casais Monteiro, 13 January 1935.
- ^ Pessoa, Fernando (2003), The Book of Disquiet, tr. Richard Zenith. London: Penguin classics, p. 474.
- ^ PAZ, Octavio (1983), El Desconocido de Si Mismo: Fernando Pessoa in Los Signos en Rotacion y Otros Ensayos, Madrid: Alianza Editorial.
- ^ Pessoa, Fernando, Notas Para Recordação do Meu Mestre Caeiro in Presença nr. 30, Jan.-Feb. 1930, Coimbra.
- ^ Sheets, Jane M., Fernando Pessoa as Anti-Poet: Alberto Caeiro, in Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Vol. XLVI, Nr. 1, January 1969, pp. 39–47.
- ^ Message, Tr. by Jonathan Griffin, Exeter: Shearsman Books, 2007.
- ^ Mensagem 1st. edition, 1934, at the Portuguese National Library.
- ^ Martins, Fernando Cabral (coord.) (2008). Dicionário de Fernando Pessoa e do Modernismo Português. Alfragide: Editorial Caminho.
- ^ The Portuguese Republic was founded by the revolution of October 5, 1910, giving freedom of association and publishing.
- ^ Pessoa, Fernando (1993). Textos de Crítica e de Intervenção. Lisboa: Edições Ática.
- Embodying Pessoa: corporeality, gender, sexuality / Klobucka, Anna and Mark Sabine, eds. 2007 (Portuguese edition 2010).
- Portuguese Writers (Dictionary of Literary Biography) / Rector, Mónica. 2004
- Atlantic Poets: Fernando Pessoa's turn in Anglo-American Modernism Santos, Maria Irene Ramalho Sousa 2003
- Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds / Bloom, Harold. 2002
- Spanish and Portuguese literatures and their times: The Iberian peninsula / Moss, Joyce. 2002
- Stevens, Dana Shawn, "A local habitation and a name heteronymy and nationalism in Fernando Pessoa", PhD Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley. 2001
- Modernism's Gambit: Poetry Problems and Chess Stratagemes in Fernando Pessoa and Jorge Luis Borges / Peña, Karen Patricia. 2000
- Fernando Pessoa and nineteenth-century Anglo-American literature Monteiro, George 2000
- Pessoa's Alberto Caeiro / (Issue of Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth). 2000
- Dreams of dreams: and, The last three days of Fernando Pessoa / Tabucchi, Antonio. 1999
- The presence of Pessoa: English, American, and Southern African literary responses Monteiro, George 1998
- An Introduction to Fernando Pessoa: Modernism and the Paradoxes of Authorship Sadlier, Darlene 1998
- Modern art in Portugal: 1910-1940 : the artist contemporaries of Fernando Pessoa / Serra, Joao. 1998
- A Centenary Pessoa / Pessoa, Fernando. 1997
- Fernando Pessoa: photographic documentation and caption / Lancastre, Maria Jose de. 1997
- Fernando Pessoa: Voices of a Nomadic Soul / Kotowicz, Zbigniew. 1996
- The Western Canon / Bloom, Harold. 1994
- The Continuing Presence of Walt Whitman: the Life after the Life / Martin, Robert. 1992
- Fernando Pessoa: the Bilingual Portuguese Poet Terlinden-Villepin, Anne 1990
- Three Persons on One: A Centenary Tribute to Fernando Pessoa / McGuirk, Bernard. 1988
- Modern Spanish and Portuguese literatures / Marshall J Schneider. 1988
- Fernando Pessoa, a Galaxy of Poets / Carvalho, Maria Helena Rodrigues de. 1985
- Fernando Pessoa's The Mad Fiddler: A Critical Study / Terlinden-Villepin, Anne. 1984
- The Man Who Never Was: Essays on Fernando Pessoa / Monteiro, George. 1982
- Fernando Pessoa: the genesis of the heteronyms / Green, J. C. R. 1982
- Spatial Imagery of Enclosure in the Poetry of Fernando Pessoa / Guyer, Leland Robert. 1979
- The Role of the Other in the Poetry of Fernando Pessoa / Jones, Marilyn Scarantino. 1974
- Selected Poems of Fernando Pessoa / Rickard, Peter. 1972
- Studies in modern Portuguese literature / Faria, Almeida. 1971
- Three Twentieth-Century Portuguese Poets / Parker M., John. 1960
- Riccardi, Mattia, "Dionysus or Apollo? The heteronym Antonio Mora as moment of Nietzsche's reception by Pessoa" in Portuguese Studies 23 (1), 109, 2007.
- Suarez, Jose, "Fernando Pessoa's acknowledged involvement with the occult" in Hispania 90 (2): 245-252, May 2007.
- De Castro, Mariana, "Oscar Wilde, Fernando Pessoa, and the art of lying" in Portuguese Studies 22 (2): 219-+ 2006
- Beyer, Bethany, "Borges and Pessoa: Authorial voices and esoteric reflections", M.A. Dissertation, Brigham Young University., 2006
- Ribeiro, A. S., "A tradition of empire: Fernando Pessoa and Germany" in Portuguese Studies 21: 201-209 2005
- Hale, Michelle, "Ironic multiplicity: Fernando's "pessoas" suspended in Kierkegaardian irony", M. A. Dissertation, Brigham Young University., 2004
- McNeill, Pods, "The aesthetic of fragmentation and the use of personae in the poetry of Fernando Pessoa and W.B. Yeats" in Portuguese Studies 19: 110-121 2003
- Muldoon P., "In the hall of mirrors: 'Autopsychography' by Fernando Pessoa" in New England Review 23 (4), Fal 2002, pp. 38–52
- Bloom, Harold, "Fernando Pessoa", in Genius: a mosaic of one hundred exemplary creative minds: Pub. New York: Warner Books., 2002
- Steiner, George, "A man of many parts" in The Observer, Sunday, 3 June 2001.
- Wallace, James, "Camões, Pessoa, Bloom and the poetry of heteronomy as solution for the anxiety of influence", M.A. Dissertation, Brigham Young University, 2000.
- Bamforth, I., "An Introduction to Fernando Pessoa: Modernism and the paradoxes of authorship" in Parnassus 24 (1), 1999, pp. 286–303.
- Bamforth, I., "The presence of Pessoa: English, American and Southern African literary responses" Parnassus 24 (1), 1999, pp. 286–303.
- Hicks, J., "The Fascist imaginary in Pessoa and Pirandello" in Centennial Review 42 (2): 309-332 SPR 1998
- Mahr, G., "Pessoa, life narrative, and the dissociative process" in Biography 21 (1) Winter 1998, pp. 25–35.
- Haberly, David T., "Fernando Pessoa: Overview" in Reference Guide to World Literature, second ed., edited by Lesley Henderson, St. James Press, 1995.
- Lopes J. M., "Cubism and intersectionism in Fernando Pessoa's 'Chuva Obliqua" in Texte(15-16),1994, pp. 63–95.
- Zenith, Richard, "Pessoa, Fernando and the Theater of his Self" in Performing Arts Journal(44), May 1993, pp. 47–49.
- Anderson, R. N., "The Static Drama of Pessoa, Fernando" in Hispanofila (104): 89-97 January 1992
- Severino, Alexandrino E., "Was Pessoa Ever in South Africa?" in Hispania, Volume 74, Number 3, September 1991
- Brown, S.M., "The Whitman Pessoa Connection" in Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 9 (1): 1-14 SUM 1991.
- Eberstadt, Fernanda, "Proud of His Obscurity", in The New York Times Book Review, Vol 96, September 1, 1991, p. 26.
- Dyer, Geoff, "Heteronyms" in The New Statesman, Vol. 4, December 6, 1991, p. 46.
- Monteiro, George, "The Song of the Reaper-Pessoa and Wordsworth" in Portuguese Studies 5, 1989, pp. 71–80.
- Cruz, Anne J., "Masked Rhetoric: Contextuality in Fernando Pessoa's Poems", in Romance Notes, Vol. XXIX, No. 1, Fall, 1988, pp. 55–60.
- Hollander, John, "Quadrophenia", in New Republic, September 7, 1987, pp. 33–6.
- Rosenthal, David H., "Unpredictable Passions", in The New York Times Book Review, December 13, 1987, p. 32.
- Guyer, Leland, "Fernando Pessoa and the Cubist Perspective", in Hispania, Vol. 70, No. 1, March 1987, pp. 73–78.
- Bunyan, D, "The South-African Pessoa: Fernando 20th Century Portuguese Poet", in English in Africa 14 (1), May 1987, pp. 67–105.
- Seabra, J.A., "Pessoa, Fernando Portuguese Modernist Poet", in Europe 62 (660): 41-53 1984
- Severino, Alexandrino E., "Pessoa, Fernando - A Modern Lusiad", in Hispania 67 (1): 52-60 1984
- Howes, R. W., "Pessoa, Fernando, Poet, Publisher, and Translator", in British Library Journal 9 (2): 161-170 1983
- Sousa, Ronald W., "The Structure of Pessoa's Mensagem", in Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Vol. LIX, No. 1, January 1982, pp. 58–66.
- Severino, Alexandrino E., "Fernando Pessoa's Legacy: The Presença and After", in World Literature Today, Vol. 53, No. 1, Winter, 1979, pp. 5–9.
- Jennings, Hubert D., "In Search of Fernando Pessoa" in Contrast 47 - South African Quarterly, Volume 12 No. 3, June 1979.
- Wood, Michael, "Mod and Great" in The New York Review of Books, Vol. XIX, No. 4, September 21, 1972, pp. 19–22.
- Sheets, Jane M., "Fernando Pessoa as Anti-Poet: Alberto Caeiro", in Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Vol. XLVI, No. 1, January 1969, pp. 39–47.
- Pessoa's Museum, Lisbon, Portugal (Fernando Pessoa House)
- Pessoa's private library (online digital library at Pessoa's Museum)
- Works by or about Fernando Pessoa in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Pessoa's Biography at Shearsman Books
- Tribute to Fernando Pessoa
- Message the only Portuguese book published by Pessoa
- The Magical World of Fernando Pessoa by Gary Lachman
- Fernando Pessoa at Astrotheme
- Arquivo Pessoa
- Poets.org Biography
- Poems of Fernando Pessoa
- Portraits of Fernando Pessoa
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