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Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809. In 1827, he enlisted in the United States Army and his first collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems, was published. In 1835, he became the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. Over the next ten years, Poe would edit a number of literary journals including the Burton's Gentleman's Magazine and Graham's Magazine in Philadelphia and the Broadway Journal in New York City. It was during these years that he established himself as a poet, a short story writer, and an editor. His works include The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget, A Descent into the Maelstrom, The Masque of the Red Death, and The Raven. He struggle with depression and alcoholism his entire life and died on October 7, 1849 at the age of 40.
Machado de Assis's achievement in both novels and poetry make him Brazil's paradigm of a writer. His novels are characterized "by a psychological insight as well as a broad view of social conditions in Brazil and the world. The seriousness of the realistic view is highlighted with ironic humor." Beginning as a romantic, Assis developed a style that embraced realism, naturalism, and symbolism. "Epitaph for a Small Winner" (1881) reveals his essential pessimism, as the only consolation for Bras Cubas is that he has not passed on his misery to any offspring. About his writing in "Dom Casmurro" (1900), it was said "No satirist, not even Swift, is less merciful in his exposure of the pretentiousness and the hypocrisy that lurk in the average good man and woman." Born in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Machado de Assis was orphaned early in life. He advanced from typesetter, to proofreader and finally to journalist before entering the Brazilian civil service. He was the author of nine novels, more than 200 short stories, opera libretti, drama, and lyric poetry.
Fernando Pessoa, 1888 - 1935 Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa was born in Lisbon. His father died when he was young and his mother married the Portuguese consul in Durban in South Africa where they lived from 1896 to 1951. During this time, Pessoa became fluent in English and was educated in Cape Town and Lisbon. Pessoa was employed as a business correspondent and also as a commercial translator. The bulk of his work was published in literary magazines, especially in his own Athena. His first book, "Antinous," appeared in 1918 and was followed by two other collection of poems, all written in English. In 1933, he published "Mensagem" his first book in Portuguese. "Livro Do Dessossogego (The Book of Disquiet)" the "factless autobiography" was written under the name of Bernardo Soares and appeared for the first time in 1982, almost fifty years after his death. After the republican revolution, in 1910, and consequent patriotic atmosphera, Pessoa created an alter ego, a heteronym, named Álvaro de Campos, supposedly a Portuguese naval engineer, born in Tavira and graduated in Glasgow. Translator Richard Zenith notes that Pessoa eventually established at least seventy-two heteronyms. According to Pessoa himself, there were three main heteronyms: Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro de Campos and Ricardo Reis. The heteronyms possess distinct biographies, temperaments, philosophies, appearances and writing styles. Pessoa died on November 30, 1935 in Lisbon. Other writings that were published posthumously and translated into several languages include "Poesias de Fernando Pessoa" (1942), Poesias de Alvaro de Campos" (1944), Poemas de Alberto Caeiro" (1946), and "Odes de Ricardo Reis" (1946).