Letter from Álvaro de Campos to Ofélia Queiroz


Dear Miss Ophelia Queiroz:


An abject and sorry individual named Fernando Pessoa, my dear and special friend, has asked me to communicate to you — since his mental state prevents him from communicating anything, even to a split pea (a notable example of obedience and discipline) — that you are hereby prohibited from:

(1) losing weight,
(2) eating too little,
(3) not sleeping,
(4) having a fever,
(5) thinking of the individual in question.

As the sincere and close friend of the good-for-nothing whose message I have (reluctantly) undertaken to communicate, my own advice to you is to take whatever mental image you may have formed of the individual whose mention is sullying this reasonably white paper and to throw it down the drain, since it is materially impossible for such a Fate to befall the pseudohuman entity who would justly deserve it, if there were justice in the world.


Respectfully yours,
Álvaro de Campos
Naval Engineer


ABEL’s, 25–9–1929

In The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa, translated by Richard Zenith
(Open Road + Grove/Atlantic, USA, 2001)