The Lockdown Chronicles 21: Fernando

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Fernando reflects.
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Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa (13 June 1888 – 30 November 1935) was a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher, described as one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest poets in the Portuguese language. He also wrote in and translated from English and French [Wikipedia entry].

Published posthumously, The Book of Disquiet is a fragmentary lifetime project, left unedited by Fernando Pessoa, who introduced it as a “factless autobiography.” The book was credited to Bernardo Soares, one of the author’s alternate writing names, which he called semi-heteronyms, and had a preface attributed to Fernando Pessoa, another alternate writing name or orthonym [Wikipedia entry].

On 29 November 1935, Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935), suffering from abdominal pain and a high fever, was taken to the Hospital de São Luís. There he wrote, in English, his last words: “I know not what tomorrow will bring.” He died the next day, aged 47. (Ciuraru 2011).

Text sources: Direção-Geral da Saúde COVID-19 site,; Pessoa, Fernando (2003) The Book of Disquiet, translated by Richard Zenith, Penguin Classics; ; Ciuraru, Carmela (2011) Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms, HarperCollins.

Source image: photograph of Fernando Pessoa, ca. 1914, via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain. This comic strip CC-BY-NC-SA.


Direção-Geral da Saúde (2020) COVID-19 site, available at [Accessed 6 May 2020]

Pessoa, Fernando (2003) The Book of Disquiet, tr. Richard Zenith, Penguin Classics. Excerpt available at [Accessed 6 May 2020]

Ciuraru, Carmela (2011) Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms, HarperCollins. Excerpt available via the Poetry Society of America at [Accessed 6 May 2020]

Casa Fernando Pessoa, Lisbon, available at [Accessed 6 May 2020]

The Lockdown Chronicles is a series of periodical comic strips made at night (in candlelight!) adapting and reusing openly-licensed or public domain items from online digital collections. Publication and tweetage are scheduled in advance. Historical sources are adapted and updated for the current pandemic; please refer to each strip’s references on each post for further context.  Catch up with the series at