Aquilino Ribeiro (Sernancelhe, September 13th, 1885 - Lisbon, May 7th, 1963) was a Portuguese writer.
Destined to priesthood, Aquilino Ribeiro soon got involved in republican politics, opposing the Portuguese monarchy, and had to leave the country for exile in Paris, where he studied Philosophy at the Sorbonne. He returned to Portugal in 1914.
He was involved in the opposition to Salazar and the «Estado Novo», whose government tried to censor or ban some of his works.
His name was proposed for the Literature Nobel Prize in 1960 by significant public figures in Portuguese culture such as Francisco Vieira de Almeida, José Cardoso Pires, David Mourão-Ferreira, José Gomes Ferreira, Maria Judite de Carvalho, Urbano Tavares Rodrigues, Vergílio Ferreira, Joel Serrão, Mário Soares, Vitorino Nemésio, Alves Redol and João Abel Manta.
Here are a few of his most famous titles:
• Terras do Demo (1919)
• O Malhadinhas (1920)
• Andam Faunos pelos Bosques (1926)
• O Romance da Raposa (1929)
• Volfrâmio (1944)
• Cinco Réis de Gente (1948)
• A Casa Grande de Romarigães (1957)
• Quando Os Lobos Uivam (1958)
Considered one of the greatest Portuguese novelists of the 20th century – he wrote more than 70 novels –, Aquilino Ribeiro managed to cross rusticity with erudition, showing in his work a gallery of peculiar, telluric characters that classified him forever as a faithful observer of "grandeur and misery" of humankind.
«Mais não pude» (in the sense of «I wasn't able of any better») is the sentence he would have wanted for his epitaph.
His remains will be transferred today to the National Pantheon, where another great writer is certainly most welcome among all other noble Portuguese.