Fernando Pessoa 1888 - 1935


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By 1914 Pessoa had started publishing criticism in prose and poetry. This year is also marked as the birth year of Pessoa’s three main literary personas which he preferred to call heteronyms rather than pseudonyms. These were Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis and Alvaro de Campos. Although throughout his career Pessoa used at least Seventy Eight of his literary figures yet these were the three main heteronyms he returned to from time to time. They all were unique in every manner; they had their own writing style, history, exclusive personality and distinctive physiology. In 1935 Pessoa wrote a letter Adolfo Casais Monteiro explaining how he writes through the names of his three favorite heteronyms.
“How do I write in the name of these three? Caeiro, through sheer and unexpected inspiration, without knowing or even suspecting that I’m going to write in his name. Ricardo Reis, after an abstract meditation, which suddenly takes concrete shape in an ode. Campos, when I feel a sudden impulse to write and don’t know what.” Pessoa is known and praised to have given his heteronyms a full life, entirely different and separate from his own, compared to many other literary personas adopted by noble writers of his era.