Writer and diplomat
António Patrício was born on March 7, 1878 in Porto. His father was António José Patrício, who ran a funeral home and his mother was Emília Augusta da Silva Patrício, a housewife.
He studied at Liceu Nacional Central do Porto (a High School in Porto) and in 1893, aged 15, he entered the Porto Polytechnic Academy, as a free lance student. He was not very successful in his first years as a University student and, in 1897, he abandoned the Academy without any degree.
In September 1898 he was called to the military service and a couple of months later he married Alice Minie Josephine d’Espiney. His first son was born the next year.
He left Porto to enter the Naval School in Lisbon but in 1901 he returned to his hometown. He entered the Medical-Surgical School. where his academic results were not any better than before but eventually he would graduate in various subjects of his course with good grades. He concluded his Medicine course on January 8, 1908 with his dissertation "Assistance to the criminal alienated" which was considered quite good.
While still a Medical School student, in 1905, he published his first book, "Ocean", when he was already a renown poet in the Porto intellectual milieu. But his major achievement, namely among the Republican groups, was the play "O Fim" (The End), which anticipated the actual collapse of the Monarchy.
Some months before the Implantation of the Republic he entered the diplomatic career as a 2nd class Consul. In that same year he published "Serão Inquieto" (Restless evening) a short story book. His first diplomatic assignment was in Galicia (north of Spain) where he managed to stop significative gun shippings to the monarchic groups. His action was definite to the failure of the monarchic assault that would happen later.
From Galicia to the Cantão Consulate (Macau), in 1913 he started a relationship with Lídia Carvalho, a lady member of an important Portuguese family living in Hong Kong. This case would cost him a disciplinary process and the end of his diplomatic position.
In that year (1913) he wrote the play "Pedro, o Cru" (Pedro the Cruel), published in 1918.
He was in Bremen when the First World War was declared and in 1916 he witnessed the Declaration of War between Portugal and Germany. However he managed to travel back to Portugal a year later.
In 1920 his son António Patrício Júnior died. He was devastated by this tragedy and practically stopped writing. For 9 years he only wrote a book – "D. João e a Máscara" (D. João and the Mask), his darkest work.
In 1927 he travelled to the newly created Delegation of Caracas (Venezuela) as a 2nd class Chefe de Missão. The diplomatic relationships with the people from Venezuela were excellent and his time in Caracas was full of success. However one year later de Delegation of Caracas was closed by Salazar the Ministry of Finance, due to financial problems and Patrício returned to Lisbon to start a new writing period. His works would never be finished for he died in Macau, in 1930, when he was ready to take a new diplomatic position in Beijing.
Patrício was an extremely irreverent and ironic man with a deep sense of humour but also impertinent, sarcastic and contemptuous. His character caused him some enmities but on the other hand allowed him to gather among his group of friends some outstanding names of Portuguese politics and literature. He used this "public" personality to hide a sensitive and impressed soul that created a notable literary work. As like many of his friends, Patrício was one of the symbolism and decadence writers.
(Text by Marco Paulo Mendes Dias, 2008)