This may be the first and last ever instance of a culture minister being distressed by evidence of Aleister Crowley's existence being removed from their purview. The correspondence between Crowley and Pessoa started in 1929, and is probably confined to 29/30. Pessoa translated Crowley's Hymn to Pan into Portuguese, and published it in his Presenca, in 1931. In September 1930 Crowley visited Portugal with his latest Scarlet Woman, Hanni Jaeger. The usual Crowley melodramatics followed, with Hanni dissolving into 'a very long fit of hysterical sobbing' and being rescued by the American consul. Fernando Pessoa then thought it amusing to aid Crowley in a fake suicide at the Boca do Inferno. There was an international furore, only resolved when Crowley appeared large as life and twice as unnatural at the opening of an exhibition of his paintings in Berlin on 11 October.
Neil, can I add your whole comment to the main post?
Here's a pic of them in Lisbon: http://pessoalissimo.blogspot.com/2008/04/encontro-de-mentes-brilhantes.html
There are considerable doubts if it is really Pessoa in that picture. The person with the hat has a cane in his right arm (Pessoa didn't) and his face is different is you look closely. You can see a high-res version of that image here: http://umfernandopessoa.blogspot.com/2008/06/pessoa-e-crowley-no-independent.htmlBtw, do any of you have images of Hanni Jaeger? If so could you contact me by this email: firstname.lastname@example.orgI would be very interested to post them on my site http://omj.no.sapo.ptThank you.Nuno.
Nuno, thanks for the information. I'll add your disclaimer to the image and maybe other readers, like Claudia, can shed more light on it (I myself can't). I'm having fun looking at all the Pessoa photos on your site.I'll keep an eye out for images of Hanni Jaeger, though I've haven't studied Crowley's life.
Thanks, I'd appreciate any help with the Hanni Jaeger pictures.
Hi, to my eyes the gentleman looks like James Joyce, not Fernando Pessoa. Nice blog, thanks!
I have written a short essay where I tell the story of this photo and explain why it cannot be Pessoa playing chess with Crowley there (James Joyce is an interesting alternative, but I am afraid it is also wrong). Nuno has been kind enough to post it on his website. It can be found here: http://umfernandopessoa.blogspot.com/2009/06/ouvi-contar-que-outrora-misteriosa.html. The English version in pdf is also directly accessible here: http://files.getdropbox.com/u/578789/The%20story%20of%20the%20Crowley-Pessoa%20picture%20_Original_.pdf.