Voices: Rita Patrício, Fernando Cabral Martins, Teresa Rita Lopes, Jerónimo Pizarro, Richard Zenith, Hugo Curado, Steffen Dix, Luís Barroso, Paulo Bragança and Sofia Saldanha
Pessoa, Fernando, “Triumphal Ode “, A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems, Edited and Translated by Richard Zenith. London: Penguin Books, 2006.
Nós, Os de "orpheu"/ We, the "orpheu" Lot. (Catalog of an exhibition Nós, Os de "orpheu"). Lisboa. Boca - Palavras Que Alimentam, 2015
Edition ** Translated by Jethro Soutar
Páginas Íntimas e de Auto-Interpretação. Fernando Pessoa. (Textos estabelecidos e prefaciados por Georg Rudolf Lind e Jacinto do Prado Coelho.) Lisboa: Ática, 1996. - 390. * Free translation by Eugénia Brito
Em Ouro e Alma — Correspondência com Fernando Pessoa. Ed. Ricardo Vasconcelos e Jerónimo Pizarro. Lisboa: Tinta-da-china, 2015 * Free translation by Eugénia Brito
"Sá-Carneiro”, Poesias Inéditas (1930-1935). Fernando Pessoa. (Nota prévia de Jorge Nemésio.) Lisboa: Ática, 1955 (imp. 1990). - 184. * Free translation by Eugénia Brito
5. It’s in the air that everything tools! It’s there that everything exists!...**
Sofia: You should be at Praça D. Pedro IV. In this square was located Café Irmãos Unidos, one of the places where the Orpheu’s Generation met. The artist Almada Negreiros made a portrait of Pessoa for this place. We can see it later in Casa Fernando Pessoa, in Campo de Ourique, which is one of the stops on our tour. It is in the cafes of Lisbon that Portuguese modernism was defined.
Rita Patrício: Through Pessoa's the correspondence we can see that many gatherings took place in cafes and we notice through the accounts of conversations that went on in the cafes that, in fact, cafes were an important part of the literary circles, the aesthetic discussions, all the social encounters that took place between the protagonists of modernism, their discussions and disagreements.
Sofia: Pessoa was a regular guest in many cafes. In this square alone, besides Café Irmãos Unidos, he used to go to Brasileira do Rossio and Café Martinho do Rossio. Fernando Pessoa probably met Mário de Sá-Carneiro at one of these cafes in downtown Lisbon.
Fernando Cabral Martins: Sá-Carneiro and Pessoa met in 1912.
Teresa Rita Lopes: Maybe late 1911. In 1912 Mário de Sá-Carneiro went to Paris to study law, but of course, I think one can count on the fingers of one hand the times he actually went to college, right?
Fernando Cabral Martins: At that time Paris was experiencing a period of experimentation.
Music from the 10s
Fernando Cabral Martins: And Sá-Carneiro told Pessoa in letters mainly, about this movement and about the avant-garde energy of those years in Paris.
Jerónimo Pizarro: And these letters were from two writers who were trying to construct what we now understand as the first phase of modernism, or first modernism. They were attempting to introduce modern currents into Portuguese literature, they were exchanging literary ideas and texts, and all the literary texts produced during those 3 to 4 years were being shared.
Music from the 10s, cafe
Sofia: This correspondence lasted for four years, but we’ve only seen some of it. Most of the letters Pessoa wrote to Sá-Carneiro were lost in a hotel in Paris.
Richard Zenith: And through this correspondence we can perceive the influence that hey had on each other and truth be told, I believe that the influence was mainly of Mário de Sá-Carneiro on Fernando Pessoa.
Rita Patrício: Both Fernando Pessoa and Mário de Sá-Carneiro look to contemporaneity thinking there was a need for urgent agitation. And the mission of the poets was in this sense an avant-garde, that is to bring Portugal to the same level of the rest of Europe.
Teresa Rita Lopes: One of the ways to keep up with Europe was to create a magazine, there were many magazines at the time.
Music from the 10s
Rita Patrício: Pessoa made his debut not as a poet, but as a literary critic in the Magazine Águia, announcing a supra Camões, that is announcing a figure that would radically modify all Portuguese poetry and would begin a crowning point for Portuguese. This was in 1912 and from then on Pessoa made several attempts to create magazines.
Teresa Rita Lopes: Pessoa when in his times of nationalistic fervour, had thought of creating a magazine called Lusitânia, but after the meeting with Sá-Carneiro they began to think of one that would be called Europe, which later turned out to be Orpheu.
Rita Patrício: Orpheu is an intriguing title for a modern magazine that caused so much scandal in Portugal. Orpheus is the name of a mythical character to which a myth is associated often linked to poetic issues. Orpheus is given the chance of going back to hell and rescue Eurydice, the woman he loves, because she died. He is granted that grace under a condition, to never look back once Eurydice is rescued and can only see her in the light of day. It turns out that Orpheus does not resist. Half way he looks back and Eurydice gets lost forever. The drama of Orpheus is the drama of not resisting the seduction of the past. All newness in Pessoa’s work means, like Orpheus, always looking back. Pessoa would find repugnant any kind of amnesic art.
Sofia: Orpheu - Quarterly Magazine of Literature was published in late March 1915. Two issues were printed. The third issue, for which we still have the unpublished copy, never happened. Mário de Sá-Carneiro’s father, financier of the first editions refused to pay any more money on printing.
Underground cave water sound
Rita Patrício: Orpheu is an intriguing title for a modern magazine that cause so much scandal in Portugal. Orpheus is the name of a mythical character to which a myth is associated often linked to poetic issues. Orpheus is given the chance of going back to hell and rescue Eurydice, the woman he loves who has died. He is granted this grace under a condition, to never look back once Eurydice is rescued and only see her in the light of day. It turns out that Orpheus does not resist the temptation and when half way he looks back and so Eurydice is lost forever. The drama of Orpheus is the drama of not resisting the seduction of the past. All newness in Pessoa’s work means like Orpheus always looking back. Pessoa would find any kind of amnesic art repugnant.
Ricardo Reis: There must be in the smallest poem of a poet something which proves Homer’s existence. *
Underground cave water sound
Steffen Dix: In Pessoa modernism means all styles and all times of antiquity and modernity at the same time.
Rita Patrício: If the entire nineteenth century believed the poet should express himself and the work of art is an expression of his individuality and his subjectivity, modernists draw attention to fiction and how all art has to be fiction, and in that sense the real life of a poet isn’t important.
Jerónimo Pizarro: And Fernando Pessoa complicates this much more. At a certain point he says that only poor writers are completely sincere when they write. And it's true there is this famous poem "The poet is a faker", but the poem is dated 1st April, April fool’s day. So we might be missing the whole joke, because it is the idea of pretending, and yet it is on the day of pretending or deceiving. Pessoa was always joking with us.
Music from the 10s
Álvaro de Campos: How I love all of you, every last one of you!
How I love all of you, in every way possible,
With my eyes, ears, and sense of smell,
With touch (how much it means for me to touch you!)
And with my mind, like an antenna that quivers because of you!
Ah, how all my senses lust for you!
Richard Zenith: In 1914 his heteronyms were born and Sá-Carneiro was very impressed with this miracle, with these other selves Pessoa invented. He wrote a letter to Pessoa to comment on Pessoa's heteronyms, which he finds the most fantastic thing. Pessoa's ability to feel things he did not live. So it is not so much that Pessoa influences Sá-Carneiro it is simply that Sá-Carneiro is Sá-Carneiro, a great poet, but on that particular point he could not follow Fernando Pessoa.
Mário de Sá-Carneiro: Paris, July 13, 1914: "... I… in each line of yours I read, I feel my pride growing: pride because, in any case, I’m the one whose work is nearest to yours - as near as the land and the sun - for counting you in the number of my intimate people and in short: because Fernando Pessoa likes what I write." *
Richard Zenith: Sá Carneiro's suicide was premeditated and it seems that it was in a way written, in its essence, isn’t that how it seems? Because he always wanted to go at the end, didn’t he? In writing and finally in life, too, right?
Sofia: On the day he committed suicide suicide, on April 26, 1916, Sá-Carneiro writes a note to Pessoa:
Mário de Sá-Carneiro: “An immense farewell from your poor Mário de Sá-Carneiro”. *
Richard Zenith: Sá-Carneiro had two good friends at the time and he arranged for a friend to go to his house for some reason, and when his friend arrived Sá-Carneiro had already ingested the strychnine. Then they called the ambulance, took him to hospital, but it was already too late of course.
Sofia: Pessoa received the news of Sá-Carneiro's death in an office here downtown. 18 years after the death of his friend, he evokes in a poem the reunion between the two, in a time and dimension outside this life we know.
Fernando Pessoa: Oh, my greatest friend, never again.
In the buried landscape of this life
I will find such a dear soul
To the things that in my being are the real ones.
No more, no more, and since you left
This closed prison named world,
My heart is inert and dry
And what I am is a dream that is sad.
Sofia: You can now proceed to Praça da Figueira for the next episode.