The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture / Tagus Press is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Working in close partnership with the Department of Portuguese and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, it is the oldest of these units devoted to Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth.

Events - 2013

Origins, Life and Death of Heteronymy in Fernando Pessoa

Lecture by Richard Zenith

November 13, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.,
Board of Trustees Room, Foster Administration Building, (parking lot 7), Umass Dartmouth

- Free and open to the public -

Richard Zenith
Richard Zenith

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Department of Portuguese, the MA & PhD Program in Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies and Theory, and the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture announce a lecture, “Origins, Life and Death of Heteronymy in Fernando Pessoa,” by writer, translator and editor Richard Zenith, on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. in the Board of Trustees Room, Foster Administration Building, parking lot 7 (visitor parking). Free and open to the public.

Some scholars contend that Fernando Pessoa’s invention of the fictitious personalities and collaborators he called heteronyms was just a literary game. Others consider heteronymy a central feature of his creative genius and even of his psychology. Richard Zenith will trace the genealogy of the phenomenon and assess its significance for Pessoa and his writing.

Richard Zenith is a leading literary translator from Portuguese to English and a prominent expert on the writings of Fernando Pessoa. He edited many volumes of Pessoa’s work, including his prose masterpiece Livro do Desassossego (Book of Disquiet) and the seven-volume Obra Essencial. Among his translations are six books by Pessoa (including the Book of Disquiet and Fernando Pessoa & Co: Selected Poems, which won the 1999 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation), Sonnets and Other Poems by Luís de Camões (published by the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture at UMass Dartmouth), Education by Stone by João Cabral de Melo Neto (winner of the 2006 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets), and many other works by Portuguese, Brazilian, and Lusophone African writers. He co-curated the international exhibition Fernando Pessoa: Plural as the Universe (São Paulo 2010, Rio de Janeiro 2011, Lisbon 2012) and is currently writing the first biography of Pessoa to be published in English (by Norton). In 2012, Zenith, who has lived in Lisbon since 1987, became the first naturalized Portuguese citizen to receive the prestigious Pessoa Prize, awarded annually to a person of Portuguese nationality who has made a particularly significant and innovative contribution to Portugal’s artistic, literary or scientific life.

Richard Zenith’s visit to Massachusetts is made possible by generous support from Camões Institute (Portugal).