Stormy Isles – An Azorean Tale – Vitorino Nemésio
His early education did not reflect the academic career that he would have; he encountered many problems as a student and was expelled from secondary school, repeating his fifth year of studies. Of his time in the secondary school in Angra do Heroísmo, Nemésio indicated his fondness for history classes, and attributed this interest to Manuel António Ferreira Deusdado (his history teacher), who introduced him to the social sciences.
At 16 years of age, for the first time, Nemésio travelled to the district capital of Horta, to complete his entry exams for the National School: he was barely able to accomplish a passing mark. He did complete the entry exams in the General Course on July 16, 1918. His stayed in Horta from May to August 1918. On August 13, the newspaper O Telégrafo (although disparagingly referring to Nemésio as a “provincial”) published a notice about the young author’s first book of poetry, Canto Matinal, which was sent to the editor Manuel Emídio (it would later be published in 1916). While at the school, he contributed to Eco Académico: Semanário dos Alunos do Liceu de Angra and helped to found the magazine Estrela d’Alva: Revista Literária Ilustrada e Noticiosa while completing his studies in Angra.
Although relatively young, Nemesio had already developed republican ideals, having participated in literary, republican, and anarchist-unionist meetings while living in Angra. He was influenced primarily by his friend, Jaime Brasil, five-years his senior (the first intellectual mentor he knew), as well as others, such as the lawyer Luís da Silva Ribeiro and the author-librarian, Gervásio Lima.
In 1918, just before the First World War ended, Horta was a centre of maritime commerce with a vibrant night life. It was an obligatory port-of-call, a place for refurnishing chips and giving time off to the crew. The trans-Atlantic telegraph cable companies had installed themselves in Horta, contributing to a cosmopolitan environment, that much later would inspire his Mau Tempo no Canal, on which he was to begin working after 1939. In 1919, he volunteered for military service in the infantry, enabling him to travel outside the Azores for the first time.
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