A room that is doubtless in an ancient castle and that appears to be round. At its center, on a bier, a coffin holding a maiden in white. Four candles at the corners. On the right, almost directly facing whomever imagines the room, a single window, tall and narrow, through which can be seen, between two distant mountains, a small patch of ocean.
Álvaro de Campos is a heteronym created by Portugals greatest modernist writer Fernando Pessoa. According to Pessoa, Campos was born in Tavira (Algarve) in 1890 and studied mechanical engineering in Glasgow (Scotland) though never managed to complete his degree. Orphaned at an early age, he embarked to the East in his early 20s where he became an opium addict, much like the Portuguese symbolist poet Camilo Pessanha (1867-1926). Back in Portugal, on a visit in the Ribatejo province, Campos met Alberto Caeirothe literary master of Pessoas fictitious coterie. A dandy and flaneur, Álvaro de Campos read Blake, Whitman, and Nietzsche, among others. In his own day he was celebrated and slandered for his vociferous poetry imbued with Whitmanian free verse rhythms, his praise of the rise of technology and polemical views on the industrial civilizationalso attested in manifestos, interviews and essays. Some of his most notable works such as the Ode Marítima [Maritime Ode], Ultimatum, and Tabacaria [Tobacconists Shop] were published during Pessoas lifetime. Fernando Pessoa didnt end Camposs life, so that this heteronym would survive his author who died in 1935.