Fernando Pessoa

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Portuguese poet Pessoa (1888-1935) who was largely unknown in his lifetime but who, in 1994, Harold Bloom included in his list of the 26 most significant western writers since the Middle Ages. Pessoa wrote in his own name but mainly in the names of characters he created, each with a distinctive voice and biography, which he called heteronyms rather than pseudonyms, notably Ricardo Reis, Alberto Caeiro, Alvaro de Campos and one who was closer to Pessoa’s own identity, Bernardo Soares. Most of Pessoa’s works were unpublished at his death, discovered in a trunk; as more and more was printed and translated, his fame and status grew.

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  • Claudia Pazos-Alonso No other episodes
    Professor of Portuguese and Gender Studies and Senior Research Fellow at Wadham College, University of Oxford
  • Juliet Perkins No other episodes
    Visiting Senior Research Fellow in Portuguese Studies at King's College London
  • Paulo de Medeiros No other episodes
    Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick

Reading list

  • Pessoa's Geometry of the Abyss: Modernity and the Book of Disquiet
    Paulo de Medeiros (Routledge, 2013) Google Books →
  • Fernando Pessoa as English Reader and Writer
    Patricio Ferrari and Jeronimo Pizarro (eds) (Tagus Press at UMass Dartmouth, 2015) Google Books →
  • Pessoa in an Intertextual Web: Influence and Innovation
    David Frier (ed.) (Legenda, 2012) Google Books →
  • Fernando Pessoa, Modernity Without Frontiers: Influences, Dialogues, Responses
    Mariana Gray de Castro (ed.) (Tamesis, 2013) Google Books →
  • Fernando Pessoa: Message
    Jonathan Griffin (trans.) (The Menard Press/King's College London, 1992)
  • Adverse Genres in Fernando Pessoa
    David K. Jackson (Oxford University Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • Embodying Pessoa: Corporeality, Gender, Sexuality
    Anna Klobucka and Mark Sabine (eds.) (University of Toronto Press, 2007) Google Books →
  • Fernando Pessoa: Voices of a Nomadic Soul
    Zbigniew Kotowicz (The Menard Press, 1996) Google Books →
  • The Cambridge Companion to European Modernism
    Pericles Lewis (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 2011) Google Books →
  • A Centenary Pessoa
    Eugenio Lisboa and L.C. Taylor (eds) (Carcanet Press, 1995)
  • The Tobacconist's. Tabacaria: A poem by Fernando Pessoa
    Suzette Macedo (trans.) (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 1987)
  • Three Persons on One: A Centenary Tribute to Fernando Pessoa
    Bernard McGuirk (ed.) (University of Nottingham, 1988) Google Books →
  • A Companion to Portuguese Literature
    Stephen Parkinson, Claudia Pazos Alonso and T.F. Earle (eds) (Tamesis, 2009) Google Books →
  • The Book of Disquiet: Complete edition
    Fernando Pessoa (trans. Margaret Jull Costa) (Serpent's Tail, 2017) Google Books →
  • The Book of Disquiet
    Fernando Pessoa (trans. Richard Zenith) (Penguin, 2002) Google Books →
  • I Have More Souls Than One
    Fernando Pessoa (Penguin, 2018) Google Books →
  • A Little Larger Than the Universe: Selected Poems
    Fernando Pessoa (trans. Richard Zenith) (Penguin, 2006)
  • The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa
    Fernando Pessoa (trans. Richard Zenith) (Grove Press/Atlantic Monthly Press, 2002) Google Books →
  • The Complete Works of Alberto Caeiro: Bilingual edition
    Fernando Pessoa (trans. Margaret Jull Costa) (W. W. Norton & Company, 2020) Google Books →
  • Fernando Pessoa: A Critical Introduction
    Jeronimo Pizarro (Sussex Academic Press, 2020) Google Books →
  • Atlantic Poets: Fernando Pessoa's turn in Anglo-American Modernism
    Irene Ramalho Santos (Dartmouth College Press, 2002) Google Books →
  • Fernando Pessoa: Selected Poems
    Peter Rickard (ed. and trans.) (Edinburgh University Press, 1971)
  • An Introduction to Fernando Pessoa: Modernism and the Paradoxes of Authorship
    Darlene J. Sadlier (University Press of Florida, 1998) Google Books →
  • The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
    Jose Saramago (trans. Giovanni Pontiero) (Harvill Press, 1991) Google Books →
  • Yeats and Pessoa: Parallel Poetic Styles
    Patricia Silva McNeill (Legenda, 2010) Google Books →

Related episodes

Programme ID: m000q0yj

Episode page: bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000q0yj

Auto-category: 800 (Literature)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, Fernando Pessoa, 1888 to 1935, is one of the greatest Portuguese poets and some say one of the greatest in the whole Western tradition.