Fernando Pessoa - Short Story Writers, Life Achievements and Childhood

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Fernando Pessoa's Personal Details

Fernando Pessoa was a Portuguese poet, writer, philosopher, literary critic, publisher and translator.

InformationDetail
BirthdayJune 13, 1888
Died onNovember 30, 1935
NationalityPortuguese
FamousWriters, Poets, Short Story Writers
SiblingsJorge Nogueira de Seabra Pessoa
Known asFernando António Nogueira Pessoa
Birth PlaceLisbon, Portugal
EpitaphsFui o que não sou
GenderMale
FatherJoaquim de Seabra Pessoa
MotherMaria Madalena Pinheiro Nogueira
Sun SignGemini
Born inLisbon, Portugal
Died at Age47

// Famous Short Story Writers

Fernando Pessoa's photo

Who is Fernando Pessoa?

Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa was a noted literary figure of the 20th century Portugal and is known to be the greatest poet of the Portuguese language. He was a multi-talented literary personality involved with writing, literary criticism, publishing, translating, and practicing astrology and occult all his life. Pessoa was born in Portugal but spent most of his youth in South Africa with his mother and his stepfather. He went to University of Cape Town and fell in love with the English language, the language in which he exhibited a lot of command and fluency. He shifted back to Portugal in 1905 and his literary journey started from there. He translated commercial and literary material for various magazines and started his own publishing house on two different occasions. Pessoa was a unique writer who used to write under heteronyms and had at least 72 heteronyms apart from ‘Fernando Pessoa’. He preferred writing like this as it gave him a chance to write outside his own personality and create something exceptional. He was also interested in practicing spirituality and occultism and was known to be a medium (one who purportedly mediates communication between spirits of the dead and other human beings) and wrote down his experiences as a medium in many of his writings. He also practiced astrology and used to charge for making horoscopes. Most of his work was only published after he died and while he was still alive, he got an opportunity to get only one book published in Portuguese, "Mensagem".

// Famous Writers

Childhood & Early Life

Fernando Pessoa was born in Lisbon, Portugal, to Joaquim de Seabra Pessoa and Maria Madalena Pinheiro Nogueira. His father died of tuberculosis when he was only 2 years old and his mother remarried.

Pessoa sailed with his mother to South Africa to join his step father, who was a military officer from Portugal stationed in Durban. He went to St. Joseph Convent School, later shifting to Durban High School in 1899.

He attended the University of Cape Town for higher studies and because he was so fluent in English language by this time, he won the Queen Victoria Memorial Prize for best paper in English.

Career

In 1904, when Pessoa was merely 16, his first published poem appeared in ‘The Natal Mercury’ under the pseudonym of ‘C. R. Anon’. In the same year his essay ‘Macaulay’ was published in ‘The Durban High School Magazine’.

He returned back to Lisbon in 1905 to study diplomacy. But due to his poor health and unstable political situation in the country, he had to discontinue his studies. He took it as a challenge and self educated himself.

In 1907, he invested money that he received in inheritance by establishing his publishing company ‘Empreza Ibis’ but it got closed down within 3 years. During this time Pessoa got greatly influenced by many writers and poets of the 20th century.

Pessoa took part in "semi-spiritualist sessions" and his interest in spiritualism was aroused in 1914-1915. He got more and more interested in the subject while translating the theosophist books. He used to have experiences as a ‘medium’.

He collaborated with a group of artists and poets in 1915 and started a literary magazine, ‘Orpheu’. The magazine tried to bring modernist literature to Portugal and Pessoa’s work was also published. It got shut down due to funding problems.

In 1915, with his deep interest in astrology, Pessoa formed the heteronym ‘Raphael Baldaya’, an astrologist, and planned to write under his name "System of Astrology" and "Introduction to the Study of Occultism". He also started making horoscopes for money.

From then onwards until 1935, Pessoa continually contributed in many literary compilations in the capacity of a writer, translator and a literary critic. Some of these magazines were: ‘A Aguia’, ‘A Renascenca’, ‘Presenca’, ‘Fama’, etc.

In 1921, he started another publishing house with his friends, ‘Olisipo’. He created it because his collection of English verse ‘The Mad Fiddler’ was refused to get published by British publishers and Pessoa thought of publishing it on his own.

Pessoa created the “semi-heteronym” Bernardo Soares, and wrote fictional journal for a period of 20 years, which became ‘The Book of Disquietude’. He had written thousands of texts under at least 72 heteronyms besides ‘Fernando Pessoa’.

He called it his "heteronymic" project, in which he wrote outside his own personality. It was the work of a complete individuality made up by him, just as a character in a drama would be like.

Major Works

Most of Pessoa's poems, whether heteronymic or under his own name appeared in literary magazines. He published his first book of English poems, ‘Antino�s (1918)’, ‘Sonnets (1918)’ and ‘English Poems (1921)’. His work only gained readership after his death.

Personal Life & Legacy

Pessoa’s family returned to Lisbon from Pretoria after the death of his stepfather and they lived in fifteen different places around the city, moving from one rented room to another due to their financial troubles, from 1905 to 1921.

He died of cirrhosis in 1935, at the age of forty-seven. Pessoa's remains were moved to the Hieronymites Monastery, in Lisbon, where Vasco da Gama, Lu�s de Cam�es, and Alexandre Herculano are also buried, in 1988.

Trivia

It is said that this notable Portuguese author could see "magnetic auras" which is similar to radiographic images.

Pessoa designed more than 1,500 astrological charts, of well-known people like William Shakespeare, Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Chopin, Robespierre, Napoleon I, Benito Mussolini, Wilhelm II, Leopold II of Belgium, Victor Emmanuel III, Alfonso XIII, or the Kings Sebastian and Charles of Portugal, and Salazar.

Pessoa was a fan of esotericism, occultism, hermetism and alchemy. Along with spiritualism and astrology, he also practiced rosicrucianism, neopaganism and freemasonry, experiences from which he included in his literary work.

He left a lot of unpublished manuscripts and fragments—some 25,000 texts, that are still being edited and translated.

// Famous Poets

Fernando Pessoa awards

YearNameAward

Other

1903 - Queen Victoria Prize
1934 - Antero de Quental Award

Fernando Pessoa biography timelines

  • // 13th Jun 1888
    Fernando Pessoa was born in Lisbon, Portugal, to Joaquim de Seabra Pessoa and Maria Madalena Pinheiro Nogueira. His father died of tuberculosis when he was only 2 years old and his mother remarried.
  • // 1904
    In 1904, when Pessoa was merely 16, his first published poem appeared in ‘The Natal Mercury’ under the pseudonym of ‘C. R. Anon’. In the same year his essay ‘Macaulay’ was published in ‘The Durban High School Magazine’.
  • // 1905
    He returned back to Lisbon in 1905 to study diplomacy. But due to his poor health and unstable political situation in the country, he had to discontinue his studies. He took it as a challenge and self educated himself.
  • // 1905 To 1921
    Pessoa’s family returned to Lisbon from Pretoria after the death of his stepfather and they lived in fifteen different places around the city, moving from one rented room to another due to their financial troubles, from 1905 to 1921.
  • // 1907
    In 1907, he invested money that he received in inheritance by establishing his publishing company ‘Empreza Ibis’ but it got closed down within 3 years. During this time Pessoa got greatly influenced by many writers and poets of the 20th century.
  • // 1914 To 1915
    Pessoa took part in "semi-spiritualist sessions" and his interest in spiritualism was aroused in 1914-1915. He got more and more interested in the subject while translating the theosophist books. He used to have experiences as a ‘medium’.
  • // 1915
    He collaborated with a group of artists and poets in 1915 and started a literary magazine, ‘Orpheu’. The magazine tried to bring modernist literature to Portugal and Pessoa’s work was also published. It got shut down due to funding problems.
  • // 1915
    In 1915, with his deep interest in astrology, Pessoa formed the heteronym ‘Raphael Baldaya’, an astrologist, and planned to write under his name "System of Astrology" and "Introduction to the Study of Occultism". He also started making horoscopes for money.
  • // 1918 To 1921
    Most of Pessoa's poems, whether heteronymic or under his own name appeared in literary magazines. He published his first book of English poems, ‘Antino�s (1918)’, ‘Sonnets (1918)’ and ‘English Poems (1921)’. His work only gained readership after his death.
  • // 1921
    In 1921, he started another publishing house with his friends, ‘Olisipo’. He created it because his collection of English verse ‘The Mad Fiddler’ was refused to get published by British publishers and Pessoa thought of publishing it on his own.
  • // 30th Nov 1935
    He died of cirrhosis in 1935, at the age of forty-seven. Pessoa's remains were moved to the Hieronymites Monastery, in Lisbon, where Vasco da Gama, Lu�s de Cam�es, and Alexandre Herculano are also buried, in 1988.

// Famous Portuguese

Fernando Pessoa's FAQ

  • What is Fernando Pessoa birthday?

    Fernando Pessoa was born at 1888-06-13

  • When was Fernando Pessoa died?

    Fernando Pessoa was died at 1935-11-30

  • Where was Fernando Pessoa died?

    Fernando Pessoa was died in Lisbon, Portugal

  • Which age was Fernando Pessoa died?

    Fernando Pessoa was died at age 47

  • Where is Fernando Pessoa's birth place?

    Fernando Pessoa was born in Lisbon, Portugal

  • What is Fernando Pessoa nationalities?

    Fernando Pessoa's nationalities is Portuguese

  • Who is Fernando Pessoa siblings?

    Fernando Pessoa's siblings is Jorge Nogueira de Seabra Pessoa

  • Who is Fernando Pessoa's father?

    Fernando Pessoa's father is Joaquim de Seabra Pessoa

  • Who is Fernando Pessoa's mother?

    Fernando Pessoa's mother is Maria Madalena Pinheiro Nogueira

  • What is Fernando Pessoa's sun sign?

    Fernando Pessoa is Gemini