terça-feira, 9 de outubro de 2007


Fernando António Nogueira de Seabra Pessoa (b. June 13, 1888 in Lisbon, Portugal — d. November 30, 1935 in the same city) was a poet and writer. Critic Harold Bloom referred to him in the book The Western Canon as the most representative poet of the twentieth century, along with Pablo Neruda.

Biographical overview
When Pessoa was five years old, his father died of tuberculosis. A year later, his brother also died and his widowed mother was remarried to the Portuguese consul in Durban, South Africa; the family moved to the city in 1896. The young Pessoa received his early education in Durban and Cape Town, becoming fluent in the English language and developing an appreciation for English poets such as William Shakespeare and John Milton.

He then went back to Lisbon, at the age of seventeen, attending a "Curso Superior de Letras" in a Portuguese university. A student strike soon put an end to his studies, however, and Pessoa chose to study privately at home for a year. His term of study ended and Pessoa found a job working as an assistant for a businessman, where he was charged with writing correspondence and translating documents. In 1914, he and other artists and poets such as Almada Negreiros and Mário de Sá Carneiro, created the literary magazine Orpheu that would introduce modern literature in Portugal. Pessoa died of cirrhosis in 1935, almost unknown to the public and with only one book published: "Mensagem" (Message). In 1985, his remains were moved to the Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon, the same place where there are the tombs of Vasco da Gama, Luís de Camões, and Alexandre Herculano.
Pessoa's image 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; these were eventually succeeded by others, most notably: Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro de Campos, Ricardo Reis and semi-heteronym Bernardo Soares. Translator Richard Zenith notes that Pessoa eventually established at least seventy-two heteronyms.The heteronyms possess distinct temperaments, philosophies, appearances and writing styles. According to Pessoa, the heteronym closest to his personality was Bernardo Soares, the author of Book of Disquiet.

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