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Fernando Pessoa: The Bilingual Portuguese Poet

 | 
Anne Terlinden

Section 1. Outlook on the world

Chapter 1. The Suffering of Living

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For Pessoa the first step, before revealing to the reader his inner universe and his interpretation of the world around him, is to carefully observe this reality which is to become the starling point of this quest. This is what Alvaro de Campos tells us in "Tabacaria": his bedroom’s window gives out into the whole universe. The same theme is already to be found in Alberto Caciro, although treated in an opposite way: dissolving himself into the universe is for Caeiro the real value of Life:

Da minha aldeia vejo quanto da terra se pode ver no Universo...
...a nossa única riqueza é ver
1.
(Caeiro, Da minha aldeia...)

This outlook on the world is far from filling Campos with the same happiness:

Meu coração tem pouca alegria,
E isto diz que é morte aquilo onde estou
2
(Campos, Cruz na porta...)

The mystery and tragedy of human existence cause him great anguish; the universe appears to him absurd, "without any ideal nor hope"3 (Campos, Tabacaria) and the poet tries to answer this enigm by exploring...

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