By Pessoa, Fernando; Lisboa, Eugénio; Taylor, Len Clive
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Extra resources for A centenary Pessoa
The question is repeated down the years and throughout the poems. He does not even know if what he writes is his own. ’ Only from this perspective can the complete significance of the heteronyms be perceived. They are a literary invention and a psychological necessity, but they are something more. In a sense they are what Pessoa could and would have liked to be: in another, deeper sense, what he did not want to be: a personality. In the first movement, they erase the idealism and intellectual convictions of their author; in the second, they show that innocent sagesse, the public square and the philosophical hermitage are illusions.
It was the triumphal day of my life and I will never have another like it. I began with a title, ‘The Keeper of Flocks’. And what followed was the appearance of someone in me whom I immediately called Alberto Caeiro. Excuse me for the absurdity of the expression: my master appeared in me. That was the immediate sensation I had. And it was such that, as soon as the 30 poems were written, on another paper I wrote, also without stopping, ‘Oblique Rain’, by Fernando Pessoa. Immediately and complete… It was the return of Fernando Pessoa-Alberto Caeiro to Fernando Pessoa himself.
In all of them there are particles of negation and unreality: Reis believes in form, Campos in sensation, Pessoa in symbols. Caeiro doesn’t believe in anything: he exists. The sun is life stuffed full of itself; the sun does not look because all his rays’ glances are transformed into heat and light; the sun is not self-conscious because in him thinking and being are one and the same. Caeiro is all that Pessoa is not and, moreover, all that no modern poet can be: man reconciled with nature. Before Christianity, yes, but also before work and before history.
A centenary Pessoa by Pessoa, Fernando; Lisboa, Eugénio; Taylor, Len Clive