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Fernando Pessoa: The Bilingual Portuguese Poet

Anne Terlinden

Section 2. Path to Self-Knowledge

Chapter 1. The Return to Childhood and Nature’s Paradise

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We have seen that the deep desire of Pessoa is to keep full control over himself as a Pilgrim of the Absolute. Now our purpose will be to examine how Pessoa manages to carry out his destiny as a Man and as an Artist. An irresistible impulse rises from his inner being, which always pressures him to transcend himself: on the one hand, he accepts the fact that his human limitations prevent him from taking a full hold of the Absolute; on the other, the bitterness springing from those limitations fills him with disgust. He is tempted to find peace of mind by stopping the imprisoning flow of Time. By living in an endless Present, he hopes to have a deeper grasp of Infinity. As a consequence, he would feel in perfect harmony with himself and would not be tortured any more by Time and Thought. For that reason, the poet gives Caeiro first place among the heteronyms, because this poet of Reality preaches a thoughtless and timeless existence that helps him escape from his painful thoughts:


© Presses de l’Université Saint-Louis, 1990

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