By Pessoa, Fernando; Lisboa, Eugénio; Taylor, Len Clive
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Extra info for A centenary Pessoa
His complete works have yet to be published. His public life (one has to call it by some name) passes in shadow. Literature from the suburbs, ill-lighted zone in which move – conspirators or lunatics? – the irresolute shadows of Álvaro de Campos, Ricardo Reis and Fernando Pessoa. For a brief moment, the harsh reflectors of scandal and polemic illuminated them. Afterwards, darkness once more. Near-anonymity and near-celebrity. Everyone knows the name of Fernando Pessoa but few know who he is or what he does.
Cioran recently pointed out that our century, which has invented so many things, has not created the one thing we most lack. It is not surprising therefore that some seek it in the Eastern tradition: Taoism, Zen Buddhism; in fact those doctrines fulfil the same function as the moral philosophies of the end of the ancient world. Reis’s stoicism is one way of not being in the world – without ceasing to be in it. His political ideas have a similar meaning: they are not a programme but a negation of the contemporary state of affairs.
After his return from Africa, he never again leaves Lisbon. First he lives in an old house with a spinster aunt and a mad grandmother; then with another aunt; for a time with his mother, again widowed; the rest of the time, in temporary accommodation. He meets his friends in the street or at the café. Lone drinker in taverns and inns in the old quarter. Other details? In 1916 he plans to set up as an astrologer. A. Aleister Crowley, passing through Lisbon in search of neophytes for his mystical-erotic order.
A centenary Pessoa by Pessoa, Fernando; Lisboa, Eugénio; Taylor, Len Clive