Voices: Jorge Louraço, Antonio Cardiello, Rita Patrício, Jerónimo Pizarro, Richard Zenith, Teresa Rita Lopes, Pablo Javier Pérez López, Fernando Cabral Martins, António Durães and Sofia Saldanha.



WHITMAN, Walt, Poem. London : Review od reviews office 1894? (The Masterpiece Library The Penny Poets ; XXVII), p. 7-32.


Fernando Pessoa, Lisbon: What the Tourist Should See. Exeter: Shearsman Books, 2008.


The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa, Edited and translated by Richard Zenith. New York: Grove Press, 2001, p. 256.


Pessoa, Fernando, “The shepherd in love lost his staff”, The A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems, Edited and Translated by Richard Zenith. London: Penguin Books, 2006; The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa, Edited and translated by Richard Zenith. New York: Grove Press, 2001.


6. I Am Large, I Contain Multitudes


Praça da Figueira /Baixa



Sofia: You should now be in Praça da Figueira.


Market trader




At the beginning of the 20th century there was a market here. Pessoa describes it in his book "Lisbon What The Tourist Should See”.


Fernando Pessoa: “This market is very popular and lively: it is built in iron with a glass roof, and is made up of a large number of small shops and stalls, facing the streets and the inside of the building. The best time to see it is in the morning, when it offers an animated scene.”


Market, fado music


Sofia: Imagine. A woman is plucking a chicken, another skinning a rabbit. It is the wheel of life with characters in it. Sailors in white come and go. Cars, trams and bicycles are circling the square. A policeman signals with his hat and gives directions with the help of a whistle. Prices and products are discussed. Ideas are exchanged.


Antonio Cardiello: Fernando Pessoa obviously reaches a critical-literary maturity, really in a particular period, well the post-Orpheu period. But at the same time he is incorporating a lot of knowledge from 5, 4 years or even earlier in Durban which he was accumulating. There are the tragic Greeks, the pre-Socratic philosophers, Enlightenment philosophy, the evolutionists, idealism, French decadent symbolism, there’s German romanticism, theosophy, esoterism, astrology. There is a whole series of authors and knowledge and all this information that in fact he finds, during 15 years he was amending, and digesting, absorbing and then they came to the fore.


Rita Patrício: The more immediate form of Pessoa's work what we call the heteronyms, the heteronymy, gives a spectacular and very impressive view of what is the consciousness of the entire twentieth century. That is he crisis of the subject, the inability of the individual to recognize their unity, their fullness, the inability of a person to look in the mirror without seeing themselves as a strange.


Street sounds




Jerónimo Pizarro: Fernando Pessoa says that practically this phenomenon of the heteronyms, the word he uses is heteronimism, the word heteronymy is used later by the critics, it is a phenomenon that begins in childhood, in early childhood with Chevalier de Pas, this gentleman of denial and with other characters and the generic idea was a work written in the name of ‘myself’ Pessoa, and a part written in the name of other people, heteronyms, semi-heteronyms and all kinds of fictitious authors.




Richard Zenith: Fernando Pessoa defined himself above all as a dramatic poet, didn’t he?


Teresa Rita Lopes: He said that one of the heteronyms was a drama, because it was a dramatic monologue and all together they constituted another drama.


Bird singing


Pablo Javier Pérez López: The Drama in People goes beyond the tragedy, because it is a living tragedy in the sense that there are authors within the author, including Pessoa himself who also forms part of them as a heteronym. There is Pessoa the author and Pessoa the heteronymous.


Teresa Rita Lopes: Of the real heteronyms that is each with his own life and style there are in fact only three.


Street sounds


Richard Zenith: Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis and Álvaro de Campos.


Antonio Cardiello: These four heteronyms, considering Fernando Pessoa himself the heteronym of himself, each one represents an aspect of his aesthetic and his poetic-philosophical project. Each one had something new, something original and was a key piece.




Jerónimo Pizarro: Fernando Pessoa presents Álvaro de Campos in the magazine Orpheu in 1915, then he presents Caeiro and Reis in Athena in 1924, 1925.


Bird singing


Fernando Cabral Martins: They are three strong personalities, three personalities of a poet with a work, a biography. They have their own personal history and above all there is a relationship established between them. One is the master and then there are two disciples, two disciples completely opposite and different from each other, one a classicist and the other a modernist.


Pablo Javier Pérez López: Ricardo Reis is more stoic, Álvaro de Campos is more Nietzschean, in the sense of violence, the concept, the struggle against the prejudices of society, the struggle against the great philosophical and academic names and Pessoa himself represents a bit of his own struggle between Plato and Homer, the struggle between rationality and instinct.


Countryside sounds, dog barking, sheep, birds


Fernando Cabral Martins: The master completely escapes the definitions. Alberto Caeiro is the desire to return to the roots, to the original.


Pablo Javier Pérez López: He represents paganism itself, Pessoa himself said, he exists to recover the primitive Greek way of philosophizing through poetry. And this is Alberto Caeiro.




Fernando Cabral Martins: And that's why he's the master, isn’t it? Because he was able to return to the source and brings a knowledge that can quench the thirst of the moderns, this water is called Sensationism.


River flowing




Rita Patrício: Pessoa from an early age began to try and theorize about the art he wanted to create. And multiplied it into isms, intersectionism, paulism, then sensationism. What is the basic principle of sensationism? It's the idea that sensation is the basis of all consciousness, we are sensations that are thought by our consciousness.




Fernando Pessoa: “I placed all my power of dramatic depersonalization in Caeiro; I placed all my mental discipline, clothed in its own special music, in Ricardo Reis; and in Álvaro de Campos I placed all the emotion that I deny myself and don't put into life.”


River flowing, countryside sounds


Sofia: Pessoa explained heteronyms in a letter to Adolfo Casais Monteiro, one of the directors of the literary magazine Presença. This now famous letter is dated January 13, 1935. And it is where Fernando Pessoa speaks of the mythical triumphal day.


Closing a drawer, footsteps on wooden floor, pencil writing


Fernando Pessoa: “it was March 8th, 1914 – I walked over to a high chest of drawers, took a sheet of paper, and began to write standing up, as I do whenever I can. And I wrote thirty-something poems at once, in a kind of ecstasy I'm unable to describe. It was the triumphal day of my life, and I can never have another one like it.”


Sheep bells




Jerónimo Pizarro: Now we know that the story wasn’t quite like that. That it had to be wrongly told, because it was a poetic story and the plain truth wasn’t good enough for the young Caeiro, master but young Caeiro, who died before his time. Caeiro who does not have to think to write. The spontaneous Caeiro that is a myth and is a myth that Fernando Pessoa had to preserve in 1935.


Sofia: But this spontaneity was never going to be straight forward. The simple universe of the master is transformed by love.


Sheep bells, flock of sheep


Alberto Caeiro: The shepherd in love lost his staff,

And the sheep scattered over the slope,

And so lost was he in thought that he didn’t even play his flute.

No one came or went. He never found his staff.

Other men, cursing him, rounded up the sheep.

He had not, after all, been loved.


Sofia: There is a very important document for the explanation of heteronyms. The "Notes for the memory of my master Caeiro". It is signed by Álvaro de Campos. In these notes, encounters between heteronyms are described. It also features António Mora, a philosopher.


Street sounds


Fernando Cabral Martins: António Mora is another important figure. Just like Raphael Baldaya who is an astrologer who made astrological predictions and gave astrology consultations. Just as there is a Thomas Cross who dedicated himself to making riddles, to solving riddles and just like others there is this Pêro Botelho, only a biography and this has to do with a dimension of the heteronym that is merely playful, it is neither literary nor poetic.


Birds, street sounds




Richard Zenith: I think that heteronomy, the classification of what is and what is not a heteronym or if there are pre-heteronyms or sub-heteronyms, I don't think that really matters.


Cat meowing


Richard Zenith: I also think it is very difficult to separate Fernando Pessoa’s life from his work, there is a continuity between the two.


Street sounds, birds


Sofia: In 1929 another figure appears. In the letter of 1935 Pessoa describes this figure as a semi-heteronym. His name is Bernardo Soares. He’s a bookkeeper’s assistant who lives and works at Rua dos Douradores, our next stop. When you are there you can start the next episode.


Praça da Figueira /Baixa
Praça da Figueira /Baixa
Praça da Figueira /Baixa
Praça da Figueira /Baixa