Nuno Júdice was born in 1949 in the village of Mexilhoeira Grande in the Algarve. He studied in Lisbon, where he received a Master’s degree in Romance Languages and Literature and in 1989 a PhD, with a dissertation on medieval literature. A professor at Lisbon’s Universidade Nova, he served from 1997 to 2004 as the cultural attaché of the Portuguese Embassy in Paris. His poetry has garnered various prizes and is widely translated.
A literary critic, essayist, and writer of fiction with various titles to his credit, Júdice is best known as a poet, with some twenty collections of verse to his credit. His poetry is conversational in tone, without any evident laboring over the right word here, the special metrical or sound effect there. But we find, lightly embedded in his verses, a profound theoretical reflection on life and on individual lives – lives he has perhaps lived, or dreamt, or witnessed. Some of the poems read like parables or allegories, but what do the symbols mean? Maybe they don’t mean anything, and maybe that doesn’t matter. Júdice’s poetry is a journey through memories, visions, real and imagined experiences, ideas and hypotheses, without any hope – or concern – to arrive at a conclusion.
Poetry in Portuguese (partial listing):
A Noção de Poema. Publicações Dom Quixote, Lisbon, 1972.
As Inumeráveis Águas. Assírio & Alvim, Lisbon, 1974.
O Mecanismo Romântico da Fragmentação. Inova, Porto, 1975.
O Corte na Ênfase. Inova, Oporto, 1978.
O Voo de Igitur num Copo de Dados. & etc., Lisbon, 1981.
Lira de Líquen. (Prémio de Poesia do Pen Clube), Rolim, Lisbon, 1985.
A Condescendência do Ser. Quetzal, Lisbon, 1988.
Enumeração de Sombras. Quetzal, Lisbon, 1989.
As Regras da Perspectiva. (Dom Dinis Prize), Quetzal, Lisbon, 1990.
Um Canto na Espessura do Tempo. Quetzal, Lisbon, 1992.
Meditação sobre Ruínas. (Portuguese Writers’ Association Grand Prize for Poetry), Quetzal, Lisbon, 1995.
O Movimento do Mundo. Quetzal, Lisbon, 1996.
A Fonte da Vida. Quetzal, Lisbon, 1997.
Teoria Geral do Sentimento. Quetzal, Lisbon, 1999.
Poesia Reunida (1967-2000). Publicações Dom Quixote, Lisbon, 2000.
Cartografia de Emoções. Publicações Dom Quixote, Lisbon, 2001.
O Estado dos Campos. Publicações Dom Quixote, Lisbon, 2003.
Nuno Júdice has also published many works of fiction, essays, and several plays.
Works in translation:
Poesia. Karina M., Sofia, 1999.
Sarlatova Zena. Argo, 1999.
Vandlinier. Brondum, Copenhagen, 1998.
Recept om Blauw te Maken. Wagner & Van Santen, Rotterdam, 1998.
Meditation on Ruins. Archangel, 1997. Translation by Richard Zenith.
Les Degrés du regard (anthologie). L’Escampette, 1993. Translation by Michel Chandeigne.
Le Mouvement du monde. Le Taillis Pré, 2000. Translation by Michel Chandeigne.
Lignes d’eau. Fata Morgana, 2000. Translation by Jean-Pierre Léger.
Jeu de reflets. Chandeigne, 2001. Translation by Michel Chandeigne.
Un chant dans l’épaisseur du temps suivi de Méditation sur des ruines. Poésies/Gallimard, 1996. Translation by Michel Chandeigne.
Meditation on ruins. Carmel, 2000. Translation by Ahron Amir.
Antologia. Colpo di Fulmine, 1991. Translation by Adelina Aletti.
Teoría General del Sentimiento. Trilce, 2001. Translation by Blanca Luz Pulido.
Un canto para la espessura del tiempo. Calambur, 1995.
Källskrift. Aura Latina, 1998. Translation by Lasse Söderberg.
Nuno Júdice interviewed by Michele Hutchison