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Route of writers in Cascais


Cascais

«Cinco galinhas e meia
deve o Senhor de Cascais;
e a meia vinha cheia
de apetite para as mais»
 
So quipped the eminent Luís Vaz de Camões about D. António de Castro, the 4th Count of Monsanto, due to having to wait for the stuffed chickens which he’d been promised in exchange for a couplet of verse, preserving the name of the village, through which he’d recently passed, into an eternal epigram, whilst aboard the ship Santa Clara, in 1570.
Thereafter the region would be visited by many poets and writers, mostly at the end of the XIX century, when the village transformed itself during the period of the year devoted to sea-bathing; at the leisure capital of Portugal. None of these men and women were indifferent, choosing Cascais for their holidays or as a place to live, or even for their exile. 
 
 
1. Almeida Garrett [1799-1854]
Jardim Visconde da Luz
«Acabava ali a terra
Nos derradeiros rochedos,
A deserta árida serra
Por entre negros penedos
Só deixa viver mansinho
Triste pinheiro maninho.
 
E os ventos despregados
Sopravam rijos na rama,
E os céus turvos, anuviados, 
O mar que incessante brama...
Tudo ali era braveza
De selvagem natureza»
[Folhas Caídas, 1853]
 
João Baptista da Silva Leitão de Almeida Garrett, later to become the 1st Viscount of Almeida Garrett, was a writer, playwright, speaker, peer of the realm, minister and honorary secretary of state. He was one of the greatest icons of Portuguese romanticism, his activities being decisive in the formation of literature and theatre through his works such as Frei Luís de Sousa (1843), Viagens na Minha Terra (1846) and Folhas Caídas (1853), in addition to founding the Teatro Nacional de D. Maria II (D. Maria II National Theatre) and the Conservatório de Arte Dramática (Dramatic Arts Conservatory).
His relationship with Cascais goes back to at least 1849 when he first visited the village during an era when it was customary to say «Cascais, only once, for never again», to visit Rosa Montufar Infante, Baroness, who later became the Viscountess of Nossa Senhora da Luz, with whom he had fallen in love with years before. Note, that her husband, Joaquim António Velez Barreiros, Viscount of Luz, was responsible for the promotion of Cascais as a fashionable area for sea-bathing, notably due to the reconstruction of the road that connected the village to Oeiras and Lisbon.
In 1885, Pinheiro Chagas openly referenced the reasons for Almeida Garrett’s visits to the county, supporting Tomás Ribeiro’s opinion, who in Delfina do Mal, in 1868, alluded to the «poetic solitude» of Estoril, «where Garrett dwelt» next to the Spa famous for the therapeutic quality of its waters. 
The Jardim Visconde da Luz (Visconde da Luz Garden) was opened in 1867 on land awarded by the owner, next to Ribeira das Vinhas.
 
2. Herberto Helder [1930-2015]
Rua Frederico Arouca, former  Valentim de Carvalho, n.º 383
Considered the greatest Portuguese poet of the second-half of the XX century, in addition to being a journalist, librarian, translator, host of radio programmes and one of the contributors to Pirâmide magazine (1959-1960).
Creating an atmosphere around himself of mystery, he never gave interviews or allowed himself to be photographed, and refused to receive honours, awards or decorations, such as in 1994 when he refused the Pessoa Prize. His writing, marked through the undertaking of successive journeys, began in a context of late surrealism which resulted in a considerable amount of work such as O Amor em Visita (1958), Os Passos em Volta (1963), Húmus: Poemamontagem (1967), Apresentação do Rosto (1968), O Bebedor Noturno (1968), Vocação Animal (1971), Cobra (1977), Photomaton e Vox (1979), Flash (1980), A Plenos Pulmões (1981), A Cabeça entre as Mãos (1982), As Magias (1987), Última Ciência (1988), Poesia Toda (1996), A Faca Não Corta o Fogo (2008), Ofício Cantante: Poesia Completa (2009), Servidões (2013), A Morte Sem Mestre (2014) and Poemas Completos (2014).
His final book, Poemas Canhotos was published in 2015, two months after his death in Cascais, where he lived for many years. One of his most curious works is his poem recounting the painting of Sá Nogueira on the external walls of the old Valentim de Carvalho store in Cascais, which dates back to 1966-69.
 
3. Mircea Eliade [1907-1986]
Rua da Saudade, n.º 13
«I spent around five years in Portugal, with part of  the novel’s action taking place in Lisbon, Cascais and Coimbra [...], and if I understand these people well enough, the Portuguese have a certain connection with Time, Death and History, that enables them to foretell the central theme (and the “secret”)  of the novel»
[Bosque Proibido, 1954]
 
Born in Romania in 1907, this novelist and essayist became one of the most influential specialists in the history and philosophy of religions, having worked as a cultural attaché in diplomatic representations in Romanian embassies in London in 1940, and in Lisbon in 1941 and 1944, where he wrote the Romanian Novels: Latinos do Oriente e Salazar and the Revolução Portuguesa.Among his extensive literary and scientific work, translated into Portuguese, are the Tratado de História das Religiões (1949), O Mito do Eterno Retorno: Cosmo e História (1949) and O Sagrado e o Profano (1959).
Mircea Eliade would have two short stays in Cascais, where he registered as a reader-member of the Museu-Biblioteca Condes de Castro Guimarães (Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum-Library).
In the summer of 1941 he leased a house House to Costa Pinto, and went to live from February to July 1945 at a dwelling in Rua da Saudade, recounted in his Memoirs as follows: «I resided at no.13, Rua da Saudade, in a picturesque alley, with a small terrace overlooking the rocks advancing over the ocean. Some empty bookshelves in the majority of the divisions where enough for organising the books that had been preserved». Afterwards he lived in another house in the same street, until September 1945.
It being impossible to return to Romania after the war due to political convictions, he settled down in Paris where he wrote the novel Bosque Proibido in 1954, with the action taking place in Cascais. In 1956 he emigrated to the United States of America, where he would teach History of Religion at the University of Chicago.
 
4. Maria Amália Vaz de Carvalho [1847-1921]
Vila D. Pedro, Rua Fernandes Tomás, n.º 1
Having published her first book at only twenty years of age, her poem in four cantos, Uma Primavera de Mulher, came about after marrying the poet Gonçalves Crespo. She made an early impact due to her intense collaboration with the press, being lauded for the production of chronicles, book reviews, political articles and ethical opinions, and for the education, condition and role of women in society, which, in 1912, would result in admission to the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon, a distinction that had never previously been granted to a woman.
Her vast literary production includes: A Arte de Viver na Sociedade (1897) and Vida do Duque de Palmela D. Pedro de Sousa e Holstein (1898-1903), a literary work that earned her a «small house by the ocean» from the Dukes of Palmela; the D. Pedro Villa. In spite of having established the most important literary salon in Lisbon at Travessa de Santa Catarina, with the likes of Ramalho Ortigão, Camilo Castelo Branco and Guerra Junqueiro among others, Maria Amália Vaz de Carvalho had many social gatherings with her friends, such as Eça de Queirós, at her house in Cascais.
 
5. Fernando Pessoa [1888-1935]
Alameda dos Combatentes da Grande Guerra [Rua Oriental do Passeio, n.º 2]
Rua de Santa Rita, n.º 331, S. João do Estoril
«What I told you about going to Cascais (Cascais meaning any point outside of Lisbon, but still close, and which could also mean Sintra or Caxias) is strictly true: true, at least, in terms of intent. I have reached the age at which I have full control of my own qualities, and my intelligence has achieved the highest power and dexterity it is capable of achieving. The opportunity has therefore arisen to undertake my literary work, completing certain things, grouping other things together, writing some others that are there to write. To do
this work, I need quiet and a certain amount of isolation. Unfortunately, I cannot abandon the offices where I work (clearly, I can’t, because I don’t have the means), but I am able to use two days a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays) for the offices service and take the remaining five days for my own. And so we have the famous story of Cascais»
[Carta a Ofélia Queirós, 29 de setembro de 1929]
 
Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa spent part of his childhood in Durban, South Africa. He returned to Lisbon at the age of 17 to take a Degree in Languages, which he abandoned however, later contributing to magazines such as A Águia or the Presença, and in 1915 founding the ‘Orpheu’ which launched the modernist movement in Portugal and, in 1924, the ‘Athena: Art Magazine’.
On 9th October 1929, the most universal Portuguese poet would send a letter to his love, Orfélia, urging her to move to Cascais, writing: «I need to go to Cascais with increasing frequency...». His fascination for the region led to many seasons spent in the town, as well as at the house of his sister in S. João do Estoril, producing advertising material for the Costa do Sol, in English; a report on the Macfadden Children’s Settlement in Banhos da Poça (thermal baths); a narrative in the settings of a “Cascais Nursing Home”, or simply poetry, with the sea close by.
In 1930 he 
returned to Cascais for a mysterious meeting with the British mage Aleister Crowley, culminating in a staged suicide at Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth), which inspired the poet to conceive a police novel.
In order to dedicate himself to his literary work, he would seek «a certain amount of quiet and isolation» in Cascais - the reason for which, in 1932, he applied for the position as Curator of the Museu-Biblioteca Condes de Castro Guimarães (Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum-Library), requiring temporary residence in Cascais at Rua Oriental do Passeio, n.º 2, which later became attributed to the painter Carlos Bonvalot. Two years later the book ‘Mensagem’ would emerge, the only book of Portuguese poetry published during his lifetime, no doubt inspired by the Cascais sea.
 
6. Ramalho Ortigão [1836-1915]
Praia da Ribeira
«With the first days of September, the period devoted to holidays in Sintra has come to an end. From the time the month of August reaches its end, until S. Carlos begins, defining the custom
for the maritime season that succeeds the mountain season. The bathing beaches at the outlets of the River Tagus, and on the coast, from Setúbal to Áncora get crowded during this period. The whole of Lisbon stampedes. [...] But of all the Portuguese beaches, it is mainly Cascais that inherits the summer’s elite from Sintra»
[The Beaches of Portugal: Guide for the bather and traveller, 1876]
 
José Duarte Ramalho Ortigão had a strong inclination for the arts from an early age, leading to subsequent collaboration with the press and participation in the most distinguished intellectual circles, leading to involvement with the Conferências do Casino and with Eça de Queirós, with whom he would undertake, in 1871, the publication of ‘As Farpas’, which he wrote until 1884, in the latter years, on his own. His didactic inclination for political and social satire, of a positivist nature, regularly characterised but never clashed with his burning love for Portuguese values, which was evident in works marked by versatility, such as Literatura de Hoje (1866), Em Paris (1868), Histórias Corde-Rosa (1870), O Mistério da Estrada de Sintra (with Eça de Queirós, 1870), Banhos de Caldas e Águas Minerais (1875), As Praias de Portugal (1876), Notas de Viagem (1878), A Holanda (1885), John Bull (1887), O Culto da Arte em Portugal (1896), El-Rei D. Carlos, o Martirizado (1908) and Últimas Farpas (1916).Thanks to the rise of Cascais as the queen of Portuguese beaches, from 1870 onwards, under the patronage of the Royal Family, Ramalho Ortigão, who regularly spent the night at the Globo Hotel next to the Ribeira Beach when visiting the area, produced a number of county-based literary works. However, it was his work: As Praias de Portugal (1876), which was the most referential to the county, stating that «From mid-September until the end of the season, Cascais becomes the most complete centre, the finest extract of elegant life in Portugal […]. The fullest Court life in its truest expression. Of every ten women that pass by, with their countryside clothes, dressed in mousseline, sown with wild flowers, straw hats, large fans – coup de vent – suspended from the waist by a hook – eight of these are nobles».
 
7. José da Cunha Brochado [1651-1733]
Praça 5 de Outubro
«Our way of writing is very different to foreign works. In our writings, all are hanging words, often without significance or meaning; but in foreign works the expression is genuine and short, in a simple and straightforward way. This abuse is founded on our ignorance, since we perceive the worship and words as being more valuable than the act of prayer itself».
[Memórias, 1909]
 
A native of Cascais, Brochado gained prominence as a magistrate in Lisbon, commencing his diplomatic career in 1695 in the service of D. Luís Álvares de Castro, the Marquis of Cascais, following his appointment as Ambassador in Paris - whom he would later succeed, serving until 1704, and then becoming the Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of Louis XIV.
In 1710 he was sent on a diplomatic mission to London, later to Madrid, and then represented Portugal at the Congress of Utrecht, which in 1713 put an end to The War of the Spanish Succession. He joined the recently created Royal Academy of Portuguese History in 1721, commencing the production process for the Collection of Documents and Memoirs of the Royal Academy. He left, however, some unpublished texts, such as the Personal Memories or Anecdotes of the Court of France, appointed to José da Cunha Brochado during the period when he was envoy to the Court, plus the work Auto da Vida de Adão, Pai do Género Humano (1784), under the pseudonym Félix José de Soledade. His correspondence is an essential source of information for the study of Portugal during the 17th and 18th centuries.
 
8. Ruben A. [1920-1975]
Casa Silva Leitão, Avenida D. Carlos I, n.º 106
«The summer contrasted. July is the wildest month in Cascais. A north wind to carry ideas along the coast - the straw hats, the goofy people, the coloured berets that they’ve started to wear, flying flush to the sand and, often enough, falling at the water’s edge, there on Conceição beach, full of people that have known each other since the distinct sounds of the baby pacifier.»
[O Mundo à Minha Procura, 1964-1968]
 
Ruben Alfredo Andrese Leitão, known as Ruben A., was born in Lisbon but lived some of the most notable years of his youth in Cascais, which he later immortalised in his autobiography ‘O Mundo à Minha Procura’, written between 1964 and 1968.
He also spent a part of his holidays in Casa Silva Leitão, which his grandfather had built in 1896, at the future address of Avenida D. Carlos I, during vacations marked by visits to the beach and by games of bridge, tennis and golf. From 1939 onwards, Ruben A. also paid visits to Cascais, Guincho and Estoril, where he developed a taste for writing and literature, registering in 1941 as a reader-member of the Museu-Biblioteca Condes de Castro Guimarães (Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum-Library).
From 1947 to 1951 he worked as a professor at King’s College in London, and worked between 1954 and 1972 at the Brazilian Embassy in Lisbon until he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda (National Printing House). His literary works include the publication of Páginas (1949-70), Caranguejo (1954), Cartas de D. Pedro V aos seus Contemporâneos (1961), A Torre de Barbela (1964) and O Outro que era Eu (1966). He would publish his last novel Silêncio Para 4, in 1973, leaving the book Kaos unpublished - a novel of historical inspiration.
 
9. Branquinho da Fonseca [1905-1974]
Travessa Tenente Valadim, n.º 4
Museu-Biblioteca Condes de Castro Guimarães, Avenida Rei Humberto II de Itália
 
António José Branquinho da Fonseca, signing his first written works under the pseudonym António Madeira, experimented with various literary genres, from lyrical poetry to romance, and varied between novels, dramatic text and poetry in prose, even though, as he used to say, his «natural expression» was the tale. Having co-founded the magazine ‘Presença’ in 1927 with José Régio and João Gaspar Simões, to which he contributed until 1930, he was nominated in 1942 as the Curator of the Museu-Biblioteca Conde de Castro Guimarães (Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum-Library), thereby settling down in Cascais, the homeland of his wife, where he undertook, over the next 19 years, the meticulous work of promoting books and other types of literature.
In his first report on activities at the Museum-Library, he recorded that «The list of acquired books [...] is indicative of the direction in which this library is going: not just as an archive of centuries, but as a living library, an organisation of true culture; most certainly founded in times gone by, but focused on today and the future». However, the most memorable moment of his time in Cascais took place in 1953, with implementation of an innovative «Circulating Library» system, aimed at serving the most remote locations of the county, while his literary activity still progressed, editing some of the most successful publications such as O Barão (1942), Rio Turvo e Outros Contos (1945), Porta de Minerva (1947) and Mar Santo (1952).
In 1960 he was invited, by Azeredo Perdigão, to organise and manage the Itinerant Library Service at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, expanding his experience of Cascais at national level, where he continued to live, at Travessa Tenente Valadim.
 
10. Eça de Queirós [1845-1900]
Casa de S. Bernardo, Avenida Humberto II de Itália
«My dear Bernardo… I do not want to eternalise this epistle. So I will not talk about the yearnings for the balcony in Cascais, the lazy mornings and the amazement at the light and water, during the conversations with cousin Matilde»
[Letter to the Count of Arnoso, 25th July, 1896]
 
Jósé Maria de Eça de Queirós, is one of the most important Portuguese writers of all-time, as well as being a master of national realism. His most acclaimed works are: O Mistério da Estrada de Sintra (1870), O Crime do Padre Amaro (1875), A Tragédia da Rua das Flores (1877-78), O Primo Basílio (1878), O Mandarim (1880), A Relíquia (1887), Os Maias (1888) and A Ilustre Casa de Ramires (1900), in addition to various posthumously edited works such as A Cidade e as Serras (1901), Prosas Bárbaras (1903), A Capital (1925) and O Conde de Abranhos (1925).
Eça de Queirós adored Cascais, visiting frequently and spending seasons at the Casa de S. Bernardo, a property owned by Bernardo Pinheiro Correia de Melo, the 1st Count of Arnoso, who was his friend.
It was here that the “Vencidos da Vida” group met, a group of people with strong connections to the movement known as the Generation of ‘70, including Eça de Queirós himself, Ramalho Ortigão, the Marquis of Soveral and the Counts of Arnoso, Ficalho and Sabugosa.
 
11. João Gaspar Simões [1903-1987]
Casa do Dragão, Avenida da República, n.º 666
 
Novelist, playwright and essayist, João Gaspar Simões is known above all as a literary critic. He was the co-founder of some of the most important Portuguese literary magazines, such as the Tríptico (1924) and the Presença (1927), also contributing to the Diário de Lisboa, the Diário Popular and the Diário de Notícias.
His first novel, Elói ou o Romance numa Cabeça, dates back to 1932, and earned him the “Prémio da Imprensa”, (the Press Award). He was also given an award for his Eça de Queirós biography: O Homem e o Artista (1945), although his vast activity expanded into other important works, such as Tendências do Romance Contemporâneo (1933), Pântano (1940), Obras Completas de Fernando Pessoa (1942-1945), Perspetiva da Literatura Portuguesa do Século XIX (1947-1948), História da Poesia Portuguesa (1955-1959), Almeida Garrett: Vida, Pensamento, Obra (1964), 50 Years of Portuguese Poetry: From Symbolism to Surrealism (1967), História do Romance Português (1969-1978), Retratos de Poetas que conheci (1974) and José Régio e a História do Movimento da “Presença” (1977). Between 1943 and 1957 he resided in Avenida da República em Cascais, where he wrote part of the biographies of Eça de Queirós and Fernando Pessoa.
The house had a symbolic windmill in the form of a dragon, due to the fact that the writer was considered a «Critical Dragon»!
 
12. Pedro Falcão [1908-2000]
Casa de Sant’Ana, Avenida Emídio Navarro, n.º 350
«In my ‘Cascais Menino’ publication there are two distinct groups: those that spend the summer, and those who remain throughout the winter. These are two completely different groups who barely tolerate each other, and almost despise one another. When the season is drawing to its close, those who stay become anxious because the residents of Lisbon
are leaving. And when the visitors perceive this, wish to end the visit also. Feeling unwanted. And us, the people of Cascais, we behave as when we receive a visitor into our home. We like them well enough, but when the time is up, we’re eager for them to leave»
[Cascais Menino, 1981]
 
A native of Cascais, Simão do Santíssimo Sacramento Pedro Cotta Falcão Aranha de Sousa e Menezes, who became famous as Pedro Falcão, together with his multifaceted profession, dedicated himself to writing and painting, knowing how to adorn his ideas with the everyday memories of the land in which he was born.
This capability is highly evident in works such as Os Valares (2004) or Cascais Menino (1981), a testimony written by a native of Cascais to other natives of Cascais. Who would like to read his impressions of Senhor Antunes, Zé Crespo or the Retratista, if not a native of Cascais, either by birth or in their heart? And what sort of native of Cascais cannot stop smiling at the Saloias stories or the nicknames of Cascais? It is this human and local dimension that is retained from the author’s work.

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