A Maçonaria Vista por Fernando Pessoa
On January 19, 1935, during the Estado Novo in Portugal, the parliamentary member José Cabral presented legislation, inspired by the measures adopted by Mussolini in Italy, seeking to abolish secret associations, and specifically targeting Freemasonry and Carbonaria, the latter then probably no longer existing. A Maçonaria vista por Fernando Pessoa is the first edition of Fernando Pessoa's answer to José Cabral, published on February 4, 1935 in Diário de Lisboa. The importance of this work of great rarity, due to its small size and soft cover binding, is not measured by its limited number of pages. On the contrary, it was the most remarkable political text published by the writer, both for its content and timing and for the extent of the audience it reached. Although never a Freemason, Fernando Pessoa never hid his sympathy for this association, claiming to feel "spiritually in league with the Freemasons, although in a different light". The opposition to José Cabral's law is seen as the first sign of Fernando Pessoa’s direct opposition to the Salazar regime, which had awarded him the Antero de Quental Prize in 1934. Although he initially managed to escape censorship, the police authorities at PIDE were to prohibit the circulation of his work in 1952.