|Set of stamps|
|First Day Cover|
The “Year of Portugal in Brazil and of Brazil in Portugal” will be held between September 7, 2012 – Independence Day in Brazil – and June 10, 2013 – Day of Portugal, of Camões and of the Portuguese Communities. This is an initiative of an official character, created to convey to both peoples the true image of the two countries, promoting culture, fostering closer trade relations, and strengthening the links between the civil societies.
In 2012, the 21st Lubrapex – the oldest bilateral Philatelic Exhibition in the world – will also take place, in São Paulo.
Thus, the designated Postal Operators of Portugal (CTT) and of Brazil (ECT) have seized this opportunity to develop a joint stamp issue based on the Portuguese language, thereby celebrating the two giants of their literature respectively – the poets Fernando Pessoa and Cruz e Sousa.
Fernando Pessoa was born on June 13, 1888, in Lisbon. He lost his father to tuberculosis at the age of 5 and, due to the second marriage of his mother, he moved to South Africa, where he lived between 1895 and 1905. He attended Durban High School and the University of Cape Town where he obtained the Queen Victoria Memorial Prize for best essay in the English style.
On his return to Portugal in 1905, Pessoa briefly attended the Advanced Course in Arts (1906-1907). In 1908, he devoted himself to the translation of foreign correspondence in commercial places. In the same period, he also studied Greek and German philosophy, modern literature and humanities, adding a wide range of knowledge to his Anglo-Saxon education. Fernando Pessoa led a simple life, within a restricted circle of friends who attended the intellectual gatherings at the Lisbon cafés, discussing literary and political issues of the times.
Whoever saw him as such, in Chiado, sitting at the table at A Brasileira, or during his work as a clerk, which he kept almost to the day he died, would have never suspected to be in the presence of one of the poetry giants of all times and nations, the author of an outstanding literary work, including poetry by the heteronyms and by the ortonym Pessoa, but also of the Livro do Desassossego (Book of Disquiet) and the prose on Literary Theory and Criticism, Philosophy, Political Sociology, the Esoteric, Astrology and always on Portugal. His writing remained largely unpublished during his lifetime.
He published Mensage (Message) in 1934 and some poems and texts in various magazines, having collaborated in the founding of Orpheu, fundamental publication of modernism in Portugal.
He left us at age 47, on November 30, 1935. Decades later his work began to be disclosed, which is still today not fully known, to the disquiet of Pessoa researchers.
His remains rest in the Cloister of the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, the city that was his home.
João da Cruz e Sousa
João da Cruz e Sousa was born on November 24, 1861, in Desterro, now Florianópolis, state of Santa Catarina. The son of freed slaves, he was raised and educated by Marshal William Xavier de Sousa and Clarinda de Sousa, and already at the age of eight he wrote his first verses. Eager for recognition, he left for the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1888.
After eight months, and with financial difficulties, he returned to Santa Catarina.
In 1890, the poet accepted Virgílio Várzea’s invitation to return to the then capital of the country, where he worked in local newspapers.
At that time, he had his first contact with the work of Frenchman Charles-Pierre Baudelaire, his great inspiration to the Symbolist poems that would later on surface.
As a literary school, Symbolism in Brazil began with the works Broquéis (Bucklers) and Missal (Missal), by Cruz e Sousa, released in 1893, months apart from each other. About a year later, he married Gavita Rosa Gonçalves and had a first child. However, even with two innovative works published, the poet was again destitute and had to quit his job in the newspapers to be an archivist at the Central Railroad of Brazil.
The personal life of Cruz e Sousa was not at a good point.
After the birth of the second child in 1895, his wife started having constant seizures of dementia. Tuberculosis was another stone in the path of this man from Santa Catarina, who fell ill at the time when his third child with Gavita was born, in 1897.
The illness, besides making him increasingly weak, caused the death of two of his three small children.
Taken by friends to recover in Sítio, a municipality in inner Minas Gerais, he died three days after arriving.
It was March 19, 1898 and the poet was only 36 years old.
In the same year, his friend Nestor Victor, responsible for the collection of the artist, published the book of poems Faróis (Lighthouses) and one of prose Evocações (Evocations).
In 1905, the posthumous work Últimos Sonetos (Last Sonnets) surfaced.
In November 2007, the remains of the symbolist poet were transferred from the St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Rio de Janeiro to Florianópolis.
In his honour, a memorial was erected close to the Cruz e Souza Palace in the centre of the capital of Santa Catarina.
Date of Issue: 7 September 2012
Values: two stamps of 0,80€
Designer: Folk Design
Size: 61,2 x 40,0 mm
Perforation: Cross of Christ 13 x 13
Paper: FSC 110 g/m2
Watermark:Sheet: with 50 stamps