In all honesty we cannot claim to know them well enough, and therefore we cannot yet fully define and anthologize the 'essential' Pessoa. However we can make a patient contribution to a better knowledge of the author and thus refine his posthumous image. One might say that his editorial future remains almost as open as ever.
This special issue of Portuguese Studies has been conceived mainly to pay tribute to Pessoa in the hundred and twentieth anniversary of his birth (1888-2008) and to reflect upon the destiny of his literary estate. If a relatively short time ago we could still speak of 'Pessoa's trunk' (3) in referring to all of his preserved written output, today we need at least to adopt the plural, 'trunks', and thus say farewell to a famous commonplace. Why? In part, simply because the author's known papers would no longer fit in just one such container, (4) and in part because these documents are to be found in more than one particular place. The Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (BNP) [Portugal's National Library] holds most of them and it has recently acquired a new notebook, (5) but its archives still lack papers that are in private collections, museums and other archives, not to mention books from Pessoa's personal library, which contain abundant and valuable marginalia. To accept that the Pessoan collection is actively 'expanding'--to quote the literary critic Antonio Guerreiro (6)--is to acknowledge that 'Pessoa's trunk' has always been something of a metonymic convenience. Undoubtedly, one would ideally wish all of Pessoa's autographs to be in one place--indeed, to adapt one of Jorge Luis Borges' well-known phrases, we could say that 'paradise' for a Pessoa scholar would be one single place where all his hand-written or typed texts, on loose pages or in books, could be kept. But this is a utopian wish, since several individuals and archives have in their possession 'portions' of the contents, and of the writer's personal library. Furthermore, a great many of Pessoa's autographs are scattered; some of the books that comprised his personal library have been lost; and several photographs have recently been auctioned. The risk of these documents being further dispersed is even more obvious today. On the day that one of Mario de Sa-Carneiro's notebooks was auctioned, (7) Luis Miguel Queiros, a journalist and critic on Publico, wrote that:
Milhares de paginas escritas por Fernando Pessoa, incluindo correspondencia, poesia inedita e uma grande variedade de outros textos, conservam-se ainda na posse de familiares do poeta. Se o Estado nao avancar para a compra deste espolio, e muito provavel que alguns dos documentos comecem em breve a ser colocados no mercado. (8)
[Thousands of pages written by Fernando Pessoa, including correspondence, unpublished poetry and a great variety of other texts, are still in the possession of the poet's relatives. If the State doesn't take it upon itself to purchase this collection, it is highly likely that some of the documents will soon be put on the market.]
The family has in its possession another collection, which Queiros calls 'Pessoa's other trunk'. It is indeed a smaller trunk, of papers that remained with the family after the 27,000 or so documents from the main trunk were sold to the Portuguese State, in 1979. Manuela Nogueira, Pessoa's niece, has even said that she does not rule out disposing of the first (and larger) trunk kept in her house in Estoril--and we can conjecture that this could also apply to the smaller one. And she is well within her rights. In this context, one can but speculate on the future of the trunks, not only the future of the two physical objects, but also of the papers they contained. Will more books, journals, and photographs be auctioned, and some papers, perhaps? Will the unpublished autographs one day be transcribed, or will we continue to have that feeling that it is always the same texts that are being quoted? Will we unveil dimensions and facets of the writer so far unknown to us or not? Will we be more concerned with 'embodying Pessoa' or with the body of the trunks themselves? What new publishing ventures can we foresee?
It is important to stress that the Pessoan literary estate is still far from being critically appraised in its totality, due to the many materials unpublished; it still promises many editorial surprises, as well as to the growing need to revise, in the light of the autographs, the published texts. Hence our need to renew the appeal, made by Jose Augusto Seabra in 1993, for 'uma actualizacao editorial permanente' (9) ['a continuous editorial updating']. Since most of Pessoa's writings were unpublished at the time of his death, his 'work' occupies a special place within the literary sphere, demanding innovative ways of reading, interpreting and editing. Given that his legacy is a sort of 'work-in-progress' (as is our work, also), it can only be read, interpreted and edited as such, as 'partes sem um todo' ['parts without a whole'] (Caeiro), which find themselves within an ongoing process of refoundation. Epistemologically speaking, it could be said that Pessoa's work does not exist as a steady homogeneous body of texts, but as a heterogeneous and almost infinite reality. Fernando Pessoa's literary production is not an object in the past, but a corpus in permanent renewal, constantly being updated. Furthermore, many of Pessoa's 'books' allow the reader to become fascinated by his ability to imagine or to construct the book for himself, and consequently his own reading of it. Appealing to yet another of Pessoa's rare imperatives: 'Seja eu leitura variada | Para mim mesmo!' (BNP / E3, 120-[42.sup.r]) (10) ['May I be varied reading | For my own self!'], we can immediately grasp that it would be difficult to impose on Pessoa's corpus a univocal reading.
Part of the fascination of the Pessoan archives lies in the coexistence of multiple documents attributed to different characters with fictitious biographies: Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis, Alvaro de Campos, Bernardo Soares, Antonio Mora, Alexander Search, Jean Seul de Meluret, among others. It is still possible to ask who was literally 'more real', Fernando Pessoa or his 'psychic companions'. In Un baule pieno di gente, [A Trunk Full of People] Antonio Tabucchi has cogently suggested that if the trunks had only been found some centuries after his death, it might not have been possible to say whether or not a certain retired naval engineer with a slight addiction to drugs and by chance a friend of Fernando Pessoa had actually existed at the beginning of the twentieth century in Lisbon. (11)
Let us return to 2008 and the different celebrations taking place to pay tribute to Pessoa, such as exhibitions, conferences, debates, artistic productions and publications, including this issue of Portuguese Studies. The Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, King's College London, is also organizing the symposium 'Fernando Pessoa: Influences, Dialogues, Responses' (11-12 December 2008). It is important to point out that there has been a fruitful coincidence between this and other projects carried out by the Department, and our effort to internationalize Pessoan studies. Hence, the desire to increase the number of critical articles and Pessoan texts (with translations) available to the English-speaking public. As Jose Blanco claims in the first article of this issue, Pessoa, 'being bilingual', 'always considered himself a poet in the English tradition [...] It is therefore difficult to explain why his critical and editorial fortune in English-speaking countries has been so slow and intermittent when in so many European countries he has been quickly recognized as a major literary creator of the twentieth century'. In fact, for Harold Bloom and many other critics, Pessoa already merits a place in the 'Western canon', but this canonization has not resulted in a homogenous critical appreciation or a generalized public interest.
This issue of Portuguese Studies is pioneering in that it is the first special issue of a journal solely dedicated to Fernando Pessoa in the UK. (12) Thus it responds to Jose Blanco's implicit appeal to remedy the lack of critical and editorial visibility of Pessoa's work in English-speaking countries, and acknowledges that it is our responsibility to do so. To a certain extent all the articles in this issue contain an implicit appeal, which can be deduced from their purpose:
* Jose Blanco's, describing Pessoa's fortune in the English language, both in translation and criticism;
* George Monteiro's, studying the relationship between Pessoa and Shakespeare, 'the missing All' in Pessoan studies;
* Onesimo T. Almeida's, looking into the relationships and affinities between Pessoa and Antero de Quental, 'with Shakespeare in between';
* Patricio Ferrari's, giving some reasons for a complete digital edition of Pessoa's marginalia, bearing in mind the modern tradition of studying marginalia that began with the works of Coleridge;
* Joao Dionisio's, analysing the genesis of the poetic production of Alexander Search, which partly coincides with the genesis of Charles Robert Anon;
* Lurdes Sampaio's, reflecting on Pessoa's detective stories and his fascination with detective fiction--a fascination that we share, in relation to both the person and his work;
* Jose Barreto's, compiling Pessoa's writings on politics and religion, with parti cular reference to Salazar and the New State, over the last six years of his life (1930-35).
Out of these seven, six have important documents annexed, so as to draw the reader closer to the contents of the Pessoan trunks and to contribute to their dissemination. Patricio Ferrari's Appendix offers an indispensable list of books and journals still in the possession of Pessoa's family (some of them containing relevant marginalia), and of those that have been lost. The annexed texts that accompany the various articles in this issue confirm the urgent need for a thorough review of previously edited texts and a renewed exploration of the trunks. To give the reader some examples of areas that still deserve more critical attention, we would mention particularly those catalogued by Pessoa as 'literary appreciations', 'philosophy', 'psychology', 'religion', 'sociology', 'astrology', or the more open-ended ones, such as 'brief productions' and 'prose'.
In respect of the articles in this special volume, there are two issues to address: one more philological, one more philosophical. The former concerns the future of the trunks, and there is no doubt that their fate is uncertain, promising but open-ended. We must still insist upon a continuous revision of Pessoa's trunks, so that it is possible to carry out a thorough and long-standing study of his work. This revision will certainly throw up some surprises, and will confirm that only through an ongoing effort to edit Pessoa will it be possible to redefine him. This special issue of Portuguese Studies can contribute to the unravelling of an essentially multifarious universe. It is only by carrying out laborious and intensive work with Pessoa's autographs (including the marginalia) that we will be able to reconstruct more dimensions and facets of a poet who constantly redefined himself through exploring different styles. The latter issue can only briefly be mentioned, but will certainly play an important role in the future. Fernando Pessoa forces a constant redefinition of the nature of his literary work, which is unique and emblematic for European Modernism. In one of Pessoa's best-known fragments we read the following phrases: 'Sinto-me multiplo. Sou como um quarto com inumeros espelhos fantasticos que torcem para reflexoes falsas uma unica central realidade que nao esta em nenhuma e esta em todas' (BNP / E3, 20-67r]) (13) ['I feel multiple. I'm like a room with innumerable fantastic mirrors that twist into false reflections one single central reality that is in none of them and is in all of them']. That fragmented reality is, in a figurative sense, Pessoa's, viewed as a posthumous author; he is in none and in all of the editions of his texts. On the subject of the possible variety of Fernando Pessoa's editions, we are almost obliged to repeat some questions that Michel Foucault raised in 1969 in his famous lecture 'Qu'est-ce qu'un auteur?' (14) What does a work mean? What is the unit represented by a single piece of work? What are the elements necessary to constitute or define a piece of work? Are Pessoa's published works the same as the ones he conceived? And if we accept Pessoa as an author, do we need to publish everything that was left in the trunks, all the aphorisms, all the publication plans, all the notes in the margins of his books? Certainly, but as did Foucault in the case of Nietzsche, we also have to question the limits. Do, in fact, all the lists of debts, addresses or shopping lists also have to be published? There is still no theory of Pessoa's work and it continues to be as problematic as the author's personality. To cite Foucault again: 'Le mot "oeuvre" et l'unite qu'il designe sont probablement aussi problematiques que l'individualite de l'auteur' (15) ['The word "work" and the unity it designates are probably as problematic as the status of the author's individuality']. When debating the future of the trunks we simply have to recognize that we are dealing with an enormous diversity of papers that demand repeated and recurrent reading and editing, and only thus can the work and its interpretation continue to be plural and varied.
Finally we wish to thank all the authors, as well as Manuela Nogueira and Luis Miguel Rosa Dias, Pessoa's heirs. Furthermore, we express our gratitude to the four editors of Portuguese Studies, Francisco Bethencourt, Juliet Perkins, David Treece and AbdoolKarim Vakil, and to Richard Correll, Editorial Assistant. Also to Adelaide Galhano and Sofia Rodrigues, who contributed to the final version of this introduction, and to Carole Garton, Catherine Shaw and Manuel Portela, who translated certain texts of this volume.
We hope that the reading of this special issue encourages new explorations of Pessoa's 'universe'.
Editorial note: transcriptions from the originals follow the symbols used in the Pessoa Critical Edition, published by the Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda.
 blank space * conjectured reading / / passage doubted by author [dagger] illegible word < > autograph segment crossed out < >/ \ substitution by overwriting (<substituted>/ substitute\) < >[[up arrow]] substitution by crossing out and addition in the in-between line above [[up arrow]] addition in the in-between line above [[down arrow]] addition in the in-between line below [[right arrow]] addition in the right-hand margin [[left arrow]] addition in the left-hand margin
JERONIMO PIZARRO, CENTRO DE LINGUISTICA DA UNIVERSIDADE DE LISBOA
STEFFEN DIX, INSTITUTO DE CIENCAS SOCIAIS DA UNIVERSIDADE DE LISBOA
(1) 'O Guardador de Papeis' was the title of a recent cycle of conferences (Casa Fernando Pessoa, 4 June-2 July 2008).
(2) In full, 'Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, Espolio no. 3, cota [classification] 20-68 rosto [recto]'. First published in Fernando Pessoa, Paginas Intimas e de Auto-Interpretacao, ed. by Georg Rudolf Lind and Jacinto do Prado Coelho (Lisbon: Atica, 1966), p. 94.
(3) 'Pessoas Truhe: 70 Jahre' ['Pessoa's Trunk: 70 years'] was the title of another group of papers, given at the 6th German Lusitanist Congress (University of Leipzig, 15-18 September 2005).
(4) In a text entitled 'Plan of Life', from c.1919, Pessoa projected a division of his 'big box', when faced with an imminent trip to England: 'Substitute, in respect to order of papers, my big box by smaller boxes, containing the papers in order of their importance. The big box and the other one at A[ntonio] S[ilvano]'s contain the mere newspapers and reviews I keep' (BNP / E3, 20-[14.sup.r]). Cf. Pessoa, Paginas Intimas e de Auto-Interpretacao, p. 24.
(5) See Joao Dionisio's article in this number.
(6) Antonio Guerreiro, 'Um espolio em expansao', Expresso, 1846, 15 March 2008, Actual, pp. 4-7.
(7) This notebook was also acquired by the BNP.
(8) Luis Miguel Queiros, 'A outra arca de Pessoa', Publico, 6460, 6 December 2007, P2, pp. 4-7.
(9) See the introduction, in Fernando Pessoa, Mensagem, ed. by Jose Augusto Seabra (Madrid: ALLCA XX, 1993), p. xxvi.
(10) Verses from a Portuguese poem dated 26 August 1930. See Poemas de Fernando Pessoa 19211930, ed. by Ivo Castro, Edicao Critica, Vol. i, Tomo iii (Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 2001), p. 208.
(11) Tabucchi talks about the possibility of an 'epoca de Pericles' ['Periclean age'] at the beginning of the twentieth century in Lisbon, inhabited by various outstanding poets with different styles. See Antonio Tabucchi, Un baule pieno di gente: Scritti su Fernando Pessoa (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1990), p. 13.
(12) In the USA there appeared, in the Fall of 1996, no. 9 of the Indiana Journal of Hispanic Literatures, dedicated to Fernando Pessoa, and, in the Fall of 1999, no. 3 of Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies, dedicated to Alberto Caeiro (entitled, 'Pessoa's Alberto Caeiro').
(13) Cf. Pessoa, Paginas Intimas e de Auto-Interpretacao, p. 93.
(14) Michel Foucault, 'Qu'est-ce qu'un auteur?', in Dits et ecrits 1954-1988, 4 vols (Paris: Gallimard, 1994), ii, 1954-69, pp. 789-821.
(15) Foucault, p. 795. See also Jeronimo Pizarro, 'Pessoa existe?', Veredas, Revista da Associacao Internacional de Lusitanistas, 9 (2007), 244-59.
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|Author:||Pizarro, Jeronimo; Dix, Steffin|
|Article Type:||Work overview|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2008|
|Next Article:||Fernando Pessoa's critical and editorial fortune in English: a selective chronological overview.|