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Torga Miguel

Torga Miguel  (1907—1995)

Miguel Torga, pseudonym of Adolfo Correia da Rocha was one of the greatest Portuguese writers of the 20th century. He wrote poetry, short stories, theater and a 16 volume diary.

He was born in the village of São Martinho de Anta in Trás-os-Montes, northern Portugal, to small-time farmer parents. After a short spell as student in a catholic seminary in Lamego, Trás-os-Montes, in 1920 his father sent him to Brazil where he worked on the coffee plantation of an uncle who, finding him to be a clever student, paid his high school there and afterwards his medicine graduation (1933) at the University of Coimbra, in Coimbra, Portugal (to where he returns in 1925 to complete his secondary education). After graduation he worked in his village of São Martinho de Anta and in other places in the country, publishing his books from his own pocket for a number of years. In 1941, he established himself as an otolaryngologist physician in Coimbra.

He was a member of the literary movement Presença for a short period before founding two cultural magazines in the 1930s. After the publication of the book O Quarto Dia da Criação do Mundo he was arrested for two months, between December of 1939 and February of 1940.

After the value of his work was being recognized, he went on to receive several awards, as the Prémio Camões in 1989 and the Montaigne award in 1981. He was several times nominated for the Nobel Prize of Literature, being the last one in 1994, but he never won.

His agnostic beliefs seems to reflect in his work, that deals mainly with the nobility of the human condition in a beautiful but ruthless world where God is absent or is nothing but a passive and silent, indiferent creator.

Portugal, 2007, Miguel Torga

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