Books: Fado by José Régio

September 17, 2016

by — Posted in Books


I bought this book recently in Braga and I was eggar to read it because the first time I got contact with this Portuguese writer, José Régio, when I was at school. I read a long poem which is very famous, called “Cântico Negro” (Black Song). I liked it very much, so when I saw a José Régio book on a book market, I had to buy it and, of course, read it.

This book’s name is Fado, which means Fate. The book is a series of poems created by José Régio, inspired by his life and what he saw in society. For instance, he was born in Vila do Conde, so he created a poem about this place. He created a poem about prostitutes, telling their lifes and their costumers.

I liked this book even though is a bit sad. My favourite poems are “Portugal de Todo o Mundo” (Portugal of the world), “Romance de Vila do Conde” (Vila do Conde’s Romance), “Balada de Coimbra” (Coimbra’s Ballad), “Toada de Portalegre” (Song of Portalegre) e “Fado das Mulheres de Vida Fácil” (the fate of the prostitutes). This last one is a critic to what men with money can do, because since they pay well they can make their obscure dreams a reality, forcing women into poverty and also their daughters and granddaughters. I like the critical eye of the author, he is sad for the misery but he is angry with the power of money and the children getting into this life thanks to moms and grannies.  The works about places where José Régio lived show a nostalgic look from times that were gone. “Fado Português” (Portuguese Fate) and “Portugal de Todo o Mundo” (Portugal of the world) show the theme of Discoveries (so common in Pessoa, of whom he spoke on his thesis). However, the first one shows the point of view of a sailor, which is very interesting.

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