How many people fit in Pessoa? No matter how much we study the most universal of our poets, we will never truly know how many people lived in it. There were more than history can tell, many of them at A Brasileira.
Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa was born on June 13, 1888, in Lisbon. The early death of his father, when Fernando Pessoa was only 5 years old, made him a shy personality, a refugee in his imagination and genius. At the age of 7 he traveled to Durban, South Africa, where he lived for 9 years with his family and returned to Portugal in 1905, the year A Brasileira do Chiado settled in that historic district.
Throughout his life he was transfigured into multiple identities, escaping through them from everyday life. In his poetry, the genius, who was many, unfolded in more than a hundred pseudonyms and alter-egos with occupations as different as a translator, a writer, an essayist, a philosopher, a doctor, an astrologer and even a friar, each with its own and very distinct ideological vision. Despite having been fragmented into many literary personalities guided by fiction-who would come to enrich his literary legacy, heteronymy is the great mark of his work. Endowed with biography, the poet justified his three heteronyms as “a trace of hysteria that exists in me. (…) The mental origin of my heteronyms lies in my organic and constant tendency towards depersonalization and simulation”.
Fernando Pessoa, who had the desire to be extraordinary, died on November 30, 1935, at the age of 47, in the same city where he was born. Much of his work was only known after his death, when the famous wooden chest was opened, providing the world with literary treasures of incalculable wealth.
The link to A Brasileira do Chiado
A setting for intellectual, artistic and literary gatherings, Brasileira do Chiado has always been a privileged space where the illustrious liked – and still enjoy – getting together. The assiduity of Fernando Pessoa, who made A Brasileira his home and where he loved to be inspired by yet another poem and delight in a Steak à Café, motivated the inauguration, in 1988 – on the occasion of the centenary of his birth, his bronze statue, one of the most photographed in Lisbon.
In A Brasileira, Fernando Pessoa continues to push the boundaries of his work from the place where he created so many, and so striking, poems. Proudly Portuguese, the poet who silently occupies the terrace will forever have his captive place in Brasileira do Chiado, like no one else.
glasses for personal use
The glasses Fernando Pessoa used to write the write Mensagem, acquired at auction from the poet’s family, are on display at A Brasileira do Chiado so that his many admirers can contemplate them and through them travel to the first decades of the 20th century in the lull of language. Portuguese, the homeland of Pessoa.
“Give me the glasses…” – murmured Fernando Pessoa, squinting his misty eyes. These were the last words of the poet, who left on November 30, 1935, at the age of 47.
Message is a book of 44 poems by Fernando Pessoa – of which we present a rare first edition from 1934 – and the only work that the poet published in Portuguese during his lifetime. This literary treasure portrays Portugal’s glorious past, trying to make sense of the grandeur of Portuguese achievements at the time of the Discoveries, glorifying their symbolic value and believing that the revival of their words would bring the nation the splendor of yesteryear.
Due to the magnitude and relevance of this work, A Brasileira published, in 2021, the work Message in bilingual editions and in 5 languages (Portuguese, English, French, Spanish and Mandarin), for sale exclusively at the Café.
Created in 1915 at the tables of A Brasileira do Chiado by Fernando Pessoa, Mário de Sá-Carneiro, Almada Negreiros and Santa-Rita Pintor, Orpheu Magazine was an avant-garde feature of literature that shocked Portugal at the time and inspired new literary and artistic movements, for its daring language and a disruptive poetic line.
On the day of its launch, Fernando Pessoa reported: “We are the topic of the day in Lisbon / the scandal is huge”. The publication infuriated the conservatives of the time, who ridiculed it in the newspapers, motivating the publication of the Anti-Dantas Manifesto, an attack by Almada Negreiros on a cultural ideology that intended to prevent the freedom to create new aesthetic trends in Portugal.