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Fernando Pessoa

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the works and life of one of Portugal's greatest poets, who wrote in his own name and in those of several rounded characters he created.

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, Álvaro 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 Most of Pessoa's works were unpublished at his death, discovered in a trunk; as more and more was printed and translated, his fame and status grew.


Cláudia Pazos-Alonso
Professor of Portuguese and Gender Studies and Senior Research Fellow at Wadham College, University of Oxford

Juliet Perkins
Visiting Senior Research Fellow in Portuguese Studies at King’s College London


Paulo de Medeiros
Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick

Producer: Simon Tillotson

Available now

50 minutes

Last on

Thu 3 Dec 2020 21:30


Juliet Perkins at King's College London

Claudia Pazos-Alonso at the University of Oxford

Paulo de Medeiros at the University of Warwick

Casa Fernando Pessoa

Fernando Pessoa – Poetry International Archives

Pessoa Plural - international peer-reviewed journal dedicated to studies of Fernando Pessoa

‘A man of many parts’ by George Steiner – The Guardian (June 2001)

Fernando Pessoa – Wikipedia


Paulo de Medeiros, Pessoa’s Geometry of the Abyss: Modernity and the Book of Disquiet (Routledge, 2013)

Patricio Ferrari and Jerónimo Pizarro (eds), Fernando Pessoa as English Reader and Writer (Tagus Press at UMass Dartmouth, 2015)

David Frier (ed.), Pessoa in an Intertextual Web: Influence and Innovation (Legenda, 2012)

Mariana Gray de Castro (ed.), Fernando Pessoa, Modernity Without Frontiers: Influences, Dialogues, Responses (Tamesis, 2013)

Jonathan Griffin (trans.), Fernando Pessoa: Message (The Menard Press/King’s College London, 1992)

David K. Jackson, Adverse Genres in Fernando Pessoa (Oxford University Press, 2010)

Anna Klobucka and Mark Sabine (eds.), Embodying Pessoa: Corporeality, Gender, Sexuality (University of Toronto Press, 2007)

Zbigniew Kotowicz, Fernando Pessoa: Voices of a Nomadic Soul (The Menard Press, 1996)

Pericles Lewis (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to European Modernism (Cambridge University Press, 2011), especially the section ‘Portugal’ by Ellen Sapega

Eugenio Lisboa and L.C. Taylor (eds), A Centenary Pessoa (Carcanet Press, 1995)

Suzette Macedo (trans.), The Tobacconist’s. Tabacaria: A poem by Fernando Pessoa (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 1987)

Bernard McGuirk (ed.), Three Persons on One: A Centenary Tribute to Fernando Pessoa (University of Nottingham, 1988)

Stephen Parkinson, Cláudia Pazos Alonso and T.F. Earle (eds), A Companion to Portuguese Literature (Tamesis, 2009), especially ‘Fernando Pessoa and the Modernist Generation’ by Mariana Gray de Castro

Fernando Pessoa (trans. Margaret Jull Costa), The Book of Disquiet: Complete edition (Serpent’s Tail, 2017)

Fernando Pessoa (trans. Richard Zenith), The Book of Disquiet (Penguin, 2002)

Fernando Pessoa, I Have More Souls Than One (Penguin, 2018)

Fernando Pessoa (trans. Richard Zenith), A Little Larger Than the Universe: Selected Poems (Penguin, 2006)

Fernando Pessoa (trans. Richard Zenith), The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa (Grove Press/Atlantic Monthly Press, 2002)

Fernando Pessoa (trans. Margaret Jull Costa), The Complete Works of Alberto Caeiro: Bilingual edition (W. W. Norton & Company, 2020)

Jeronimo Pizarro, Fernando Pessoa: A Critical Introduction (Sussex Academic Press, 2020)

Irene Ramalho Santos, Atlantic Poets: Fernando Pessoa's turn in Anglo-American Modernism (Dartmouth College Press, 2002)

Peter Rickard (ed. and trans.), Fernando Pessoa: Selected Poems (Edinburgh University Press, 1971)

Darlene J. Sadlier, An Introduction to Fernando Pessoa: Modernism and the Paradoxes of Authorship (University Press of Florida, 1998)

José Saramago (trans. Giovanni Pontiero), The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (Harvill Press, 1991)

Patricia Silva McNeill, Yeats and Pessoa: Parallel Poetic Styles (Legenda, 2010)


  • Thu 3 Dec 2020 09:00
  • Thu 3 Dec 2020 21:30

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