Literary Criticism

Excellence in Scholarship and Learning


From Lisbon to the World

Fernando Pessoa’s Enduring Literary Presence

In the Series
The Portuguese-Speaking World: Its History, Politics and Culture

George Monteiro, Professor Emeritus of English and of Portuguese Studies at Brown University, has interests in the areas of English-language and Portuguese-language literature and culture. He is the author of The Coffee Exchange, Double Weaver’s Knot, As the Crow Flies, and The Pessoa Chronicles–books of poetry. Among his other books are critical studies of Henry James, Stephen Crane, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, Luis de Camões, and Fernando Pessoa, as well as book-length translations of the poetry of Jorge de Sena, Miguel Torga, Pedro da Silveira, and Fernando Pessoa, and the prose of José Rodrigues Miguéis and José Saramago.

Fernando Pessoa is one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. Until some years ago known in the English-speaking world only among a minority of connaisseurs, his work is finally becoming available in English translations, and more are in the process of reaching the literary public. Born in Lisbon in 1888, Pessoa was only forty-seven when he died, but he left behind a staggering number of unpublished manuscripts that are still being screened and brought to light. George Steiner heralded the day Pessoa discovered his major Portuguese heteronyms, for no country had ever seen the birth of four great poets in a single day. That was a reference to the personae Pessoa created, the famous heteronyms Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro de Campos, and Ricardo Reis, besides the man himself—all poets in their own right with their biographies and even critical exchanges among themselves. Today well over a hundred Pessoa heteronyms are known, including, notably, the semi-heteronym Bernardo Soares, author of The Book of Disquiet, presently available in two English translations.

Lately, another Pessoa is emerging—an English writer, as well as a thinker. Indeed, having been educated in Durban, South Africa, where his stepfather was the consul of Portugal, the poet had a strong English education that shaped his life and thought. George Monteiro has been in the forefront of the uncovering of this side of Pessoa. Author, among many other works, of The Presence of Pessoa: English, American, and Southern African Literary Responses, and Fernando Pessoa and Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Literature, in this volume Monteiro continues to explore and interpret the world of Pessoa to English-speaking readers.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-938-8
Hardback Price: £55.00 / $69.95
Release Date: November 2018
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78976-010-1
Paperback Price: £25.00 / $34.95
Release Date: May/June 2019
Page Extent / Format: 240 pp. 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No



Series Editors’ Preface
Author’s Preface

1. Works and Days
2. Imaginary Poets
3. The Great War 
4. “O Menino”: Follow-Up
5. Campbell’s Discovery
6. A Book That Never Was 
7. Ulysses, Founder
8. Myth is the Message
9. Pessoa’s Critics
10. The First Symposium
11. Notes for a Review
12. The Bat and the Raven
13. Ofélia’s Lovers
14. Poe Spiritualized 
15. Álvaro de Campos: Note
16. “The Bishop” and Edwin Honig
17. Translating Nathaniel Hawthorne
18. Pessoa’s Enduring Presence

Reviewed by Paulo De Medeiros, University of Warwick, in the Bulletin of Spanish Studies: Hispanic Studies and Researches on Spain, Portugal and Latin America (XCVII, 2020)
George Monteiro’s (1932–2019) many insights into the work of Pessoa, driven by his wide-ranging knowledge and his exact scholarly habit, not only marked Pessoa criticism in general but also allowed many who otherwise would have had no access to Pessoa to engage with, and appreciate, the multifaceted oeuvre of Portugal’s most important twentieth-century poet. It is a legacy that will endure and to which the current volume forms a welcome addition. Quotes to Follow

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