Voices: José Barreto, António de Oliveira Salazar, Teresa Rita Lopes, Pedro Teixeira da Mota, Steffen Dix, Jorge Louraço, Rita Patrício, Pedro Sepúlveda, António Mega Ferreira and Sofia Saldanha


Music: excerpt of Fado do Embuçado  (lyrics by Gabriel de Oliveira, music by José Marques "Piscalarete". Made for Natália dos Anjos  repertoire.)



Pessoa, Fernando, “Fog”, A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems, Edited and Translated by Richard Zenith. London: Penguin Books, 2006;


António de Oliveira Salazar. Da República (1910 - 1935) . Fernando Pessoa. (Recolha de textos de Maria Isabel Rocheta e Maria Paula Mourão. Introdução e organização de Joel Serrão). Lisboa: Ática, 1979.  - p. 349. 1ª publ. in Diário Popular , Lisboa, 30 Maio e 6 Junho 1974 . inc? CF. lello – fotoc

* Free translation by Eugénia Brito



11. The hour has come!


Terreiro do Paço / Baixa

Street sounds


Sofia: You should now be in Terreiro do Paço. Here, on the 1st of February 1908, the King of Portugal D. Carlos and his eldest son, Luis Filipe, were shot dead.


Fado music, carbine shooting


Sofia: The Monarchy fell. The people were divided between republicans and monarchists. Portugal was a country in flux and Pessoa was energised.


Crowd protesting




José Barreto: We cannot find a period in Fernando Pessoa’s life in which he has supported the established power structures. He was always reacting against them. He was always critical and against them.


Crowd applause


Sofia: In 1926 there was a coup in Portugal, which resulted in a military dictatorship. This was then followed by the New State, an authoritarian, conservative regime, founded by António de Oliveira Salazar.


António de Oliveira Salazar addressing the masses


António de Oliveira Salazar: We won't question God and virtue. We won't question our homeland and its history. We won't question the authority and its prestige. We won't question the family and its morals. We won't question the honor of work and our duty to work.


Crowd applause


José Barreto: He is critical towards the Estado Novo and Salazar, but he accepted it. He says "I do not know what it is about the Estado Novo", but he said, "Well, Salazar manages finances well, currency, money has credibility abroad, he recognizes some things and therefore he thought it could be worse. But then he turns completely against the regime in 1935, 34,1935.


Portuguese legion's hymn, portuguese legion marching


Sofia: One of the regime's figures, António Ferro, knew Fernando Pessoa from the times of Orpheu. Ferro was incidentally the editor of the Orpheu magazine's first edition.




Teresa Rita Lopes: António Ferro was in charge of creating in 1933,the National Propaganda Secretariat when Estado Novo was formed,


Sofia: The National Propaganda Secretariat created a literary prize, Antero de Quental Prize, which aimed to award a nationalist book.


José Barreto: Mensagem which was first called Portugal was just one of the several works that Fernando Pessoa had in mind to publish. He had to make another 10 or 12 poems in 1934 to complete the book, so it was relatively easy to finish the book and publish it and win a prize that was more or less already promised.


Teresa Rita Lopes: Only that was one person on the jury that used to be an old friend of his, Mário Beirão, from that period with Águia magazine, who didn't like him anymore and so they didn't give him this prize, they gave it to a monk who wrote a book called Romaria. But António Ferro arranged for another prize, not a second prize, a prize not for the book, but for a poem, and Message was awarded with the same amount, five thousand escudos, which at the time was a lot of money.


Portuguese legion's hymn, birds singing


Pedro Teixeira da Mota: Message is a work that has a lasting quality. It's a work in which Fernando Pessoa worked on from an early stage. There is a very perfect combination of word, rhythm, sound, image and spiritual forces that are evoked from those people and that are within us and which we manifest, so it is a magical work.




Steffen Dix: There is an esoteric strand in it, let's say Pessoa's hope, and he always had this hope, that Portugal would someday return to the glory experienced in the past.




José Barreto: Ferro was aware of the literary value of Fernando Pessoa because there was in the literary republic half a dozen people saying that Pessoa was an extraordinary poet and so on. That's why he knew that Pessoa was highly rated. What was Ferro's intention? Well, he explained it. He wanted to make him the poet of the Estado Novo, the poet and prophet of the Estado Novo. And he wanted to turn Message into that. Let's not forget that Message ends with "The hour has come!" And this happens in the beginning of the Estado Novo.


Sofia: But Pessoa was never interested in being a writer for the regime.


José Barreto: A month after he received the prize he decides to write that bombastic article, which he called “Bomba”, “I prepared a bomb for the first time in my life. I made a bomb and threw it out into the middle of the street”. This was an article praising the number-one enemy of the regime, Freemasonry. That was seen as a huge ingratitude, a boyishness of a man to whom we have just given a prize. From that point on Fernando Pessoa was out.




Sofia: There was a prize-giving ceremony. Pessoa did not attend it. Salazar made a speech.


Voice introducing Salazar's speech, crowd applause




José Barreto: The speech causes a reaction of an enormous rejection of him. Salazar in that speech said that, on one hand, censorship was necessary. And on the other hand, guidelines should be presented to writers and artists. It's one thing to forbid, saying “you cannot write this”, another thing is to say "you have to write this". When he turns against the regime, he will say a very funny thing that "I was not aware that in order to have a good administration we had to sell our souls. I already miss the time when the country was poorly run."


António de Oliveira Salazar addressing the masses


Narrador: That was the turning point.


Fernando Pessoa: António de Oliveira Salazar.

Three names in regular sequence ...

António is António.

Oliveira is a tree.

Salazar is just a name.

It makes sense so far

Yet the meaning of it all is a bit bizarre. *


António de Oliveira Salazar addressing the masses:” All is well as it is and it couldn't be different.”


Street sounds


Pedro Teixeira da Mota: Then in March he wrote that famous biographical note of the 30th March in which he defines himself, and it is where he says he is a liberal, a nationalist liberal and he also says he is a faithful Gnostic Christian, loyal to the secret tradition of Christianity and then in the position of initiated, and he seems to have been initiated in the 3 lower grades of the apparently extinct templar order of Portugal. Therefore, when he says Gnostic Christian, he is also saying that he is completely in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Since he thought it was one of the forces behind the ban on secret associations.




Sofia: In 1928 Pessoa published an essay in Presença Magazine entitled Bibliographic Board. Presença was based in Coimbra. Its editors were José Régio, Adolfo Casais Monteiro and João Gaspar Simões.


Rita Patrício: One of the main goals of Presença magazine was to publish and resurrect, so to speak, the work of Mário de Sá-Carneiro and this is one of the reasons why they contact Fernando Pessoa. Because Pessoa was the depositary of the work and he was therefore in charge of organizing the edition. And from the outset Fernando Pessoa maintained a fairly regular correspondence with these names.


Pedro Sepúlveda: The first study on Pessoa is published when Pessoa was still alive by João Gaspar Simões. It is a chapter of a book called The Mystery of Poetry to which Pessoa reacts in an excited way, he finds it absolutely extraordinary.


Pedro Teixeira da Mota: He almost cried as he writes in a letter, when he received the great praise from Gaspar Simões.


António Mega Ferreira: He was very flattered by it, and above all, somehow he realizes that what he has always believed in begins to gain substance, that is the recognition not only from his generation, but, what really interests him is the recognition of the next generations.




Rita Patrício: So when Pessoa write to the young presencistas he knew that he was writing for the entire twentieth century and even for the twenty-first century and in this sense it is very interesting to see how Pessoa tried to correct and shape the idea that the presencistas were forming of him and of all the first modernism. The second modernism was a very conservative movement when compared to the first. And Pessoa's lesson on pretence, on fictionalization and the playful game he created with the heteronyms is something that really disturbed the second modernism, the whole second Portuguese modernism.


Sofia: Presença magazine published 54 issues between 1927 and 1940. We have finished the first part of our tour. We suggest you take tram number 28, which you can find in Rua da Conceição, which is the street where Sá-Carneiro was born. You get the tram to Campo de Ourique. You can also walk or take a taxi. Our next stop is Casa Fernando Pessoa, it's in Rua Coelho da Rocha.


Terreiro do Paço / Baixa
Terreiro do Paço / Baixa
Terreiro do Paço / Baixa
Terreiro do Paço / Baixa
Terreiro do Paço / Baixa