Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Álvaro de Campos

Álvaro de Campos was one of Fernando Pessoa's various heteronyms, widely known by his powerful and wraithful writing style. Campos' works may be split in three phases: the decadentist phase, the futuristic phase and the decadent (sad) phase. He chose Marinetti and Whitman as masters, showing some similitarities with their works, mainly in the second phase: hymns like "Ode Triunfal" and "Ode Marítima" praise the power of the rising technology, the strength of the machines, the dark side of the industrial civilization, and an enigmatic love for the machines. The first phase (marked by the poem «Opiário» shared some of its pessimism with Pessoa's friend Mário de Sá-Carneiro, one of his co-workers in Orpheu magazine. In the last phase, Pessoa drops the mask, and reveals through Campos all the emptiness and nostalgy that grew during his last years of life. He lived in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England for a time where he studied Ship Engineering (of which Pessoa wrote a poem about) and later, in 1922, he lived in Newcastle-on-Tyne (currently Newcastle upon Tyne).

I always want to be the thing I feel kinship with...
To feel everything in every way,
To hold all opinions,
To be sincere contradicting oneself every minute...

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