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( Read E-pub ) À The Book of Disquiet: The Complete Edition á Fernando Pessoa was many writers in one He attributed his prolific writings to a wide range of alternate selves, each of which had a distinct biography, ideology and horoscope When he died in , Pessoa left behind a trunk filled with unfinished and unpublished writings, among which were the remarkable pages that make up his posthumous masterpiece, The Book of Disquiet, an astonishing work that, in George Steiner s words, gives to Lisbon the haunting spell of Joyce s Dublin or Kafka s Prague Published for the first time some fifty years after his death, this unique collection of short, aphoristic paragraphs comprises the autobiography of Bernardo Soares, one of Pessoa s alternate selves Part intimate diary, part prose poetry, part descriptive narrative, captivatingly translated by Richard Zenith, The Book of Disquiet is one of the greatest works of the twentieth century Livro do Desassossego The Book of Disquiet, Fernando PessoaThe Book of Disquiet is a work by the Portuguese author Fernando Pessoa 1888 1935 In Lisbon there are a few restaurants or eating houses located above decent looking taverns, places with the heavy, domestic look of restaurants in towns far from any rail line These second story eateries, usually empty except on Sundays, frequently contain curious types whose faces are not interesting but who constitute a series of digressions from l Livro do Desassossego The Book of Disquiet, Fernando PessoaThe Book of Disquiet is a work by the Portuguese author Fernando Pessoa 1888 1935 In Lisbon there are a few restaurants or eating houses located above decent looking taverns, places with the heavy, domestic look of restaurants in towns far from any rail line These second story eateries, usually empty except on Sundays, frequently contain curious types whose faces are not interesting but who constitute a series of digressions from life Fernando Pessoa, from The Book of Disquiet, trans Alfred MacAdam 2011 1384 335 9643512746 201982 Here is the only Portuguese literary joke I know Q Who are the four greatest Portuguese poets of the 20th century A Fernando Pessoa Trust me, it s funny But it does take a little explaining.Fernando Pessoa, in order to express various philosophical and poetic moods, constructed a series of what he termed heteronyms The heteronym, although similar to the mask or persona, differs in that each one is equipped with a name, a personality, a biography, and a physical description, as well as a Here is the only Portuguese literary joke I know Q Who are the four greatest Portuguese poets of the 20th century A Fernando Pessoa Trust me, it s funny But it does take a little explaining.Fernando Pessoa, in order to express various philosophical and poetic moods, constructed a series of what he termed heteronyms The heteronym, although similar to the mask or persona, differs in that each one is equipped with a name, a personality, a biography, and a physical description, as well as a distinct writing style Although Pessoa made use ofthan five dozen heteronyms in the course of his thirty five years, the best known are Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis, lvaro de Campos, and Bernardo Soares Of these four, his greatest creation and perhaps the heteronym closest to Pessoa s self is Bernardo Soares, the author of The Book of Disquiet The Book of Disquiet, if not unique, is close to it It is a little like a novel, often like a collection of prose poems, and often like a series of aphorisms and philosophical reflections The heteryonum that is Soares enables Pessoa to communicate a disciplined, definite vision of the world, necessarily limited in scope, but intensified and concentrated In this sense, it resembles Roman and English satire, its authorial mask as carefully crafted and resonant as those of Horace and Juvenal, Pope and Swift Soares, however, takes no interest in vice, let alone the reform of humankind in fact, he seems to care little about humanity in general, or people in particular It is here that the novelistic aspect of this work becomes interesting Soares is a shy, isolated man, a clerk at a Lisbon commercial firm who adds up columns of figures, and seems to do little else Although he mourns his colleagues when they pass away, he never seems to communicate with them when they are alive the closest he seems to get to fellowship are his encounters with the waiter in the little cafe where he eats his nightly dinner and consumes his nightly bottle of wine At first, we feel sorry for him, for we feel his great isolation and are moved by his great passion and profound love for beauty which he can only express through his journal Slowly, however, we begin to see that this isolation is a personal and artistic choice, a way of refining his art and his being If he cares about human beings at all, it is only because they are useful adjuncts to his own magnificent loneliness, because they resonate as discrete elements of the poet s imagination, much as a certain play of light on a Lisbon street may reflect one particular color of the canvas that is the poet s consciousness Perhaps this is why the book The Book of Disquiet reminds me of most is The Chants of Maldoror, that uncompromising paean to the magnificent isolation of evil.There is of course a great difference Maldoror could only have been produced by a very young man hiding beneath a very old mask His persona is a posture of isolation through which he begins to know himself The Book of Disquiet, on the other hand, is the work of someone who knows himself well, and cares only about reaching a kind of existential purity a clarity of view, a refinement of mood, the isolation of particular beauties that resonatedeeply and linger longer than the others.Soares is a monk of the poetic mind, for whom aloneness is a vocation Its fruit, this memorable book, is rare and delicious, filled with vivid descriptions, evocative language, and refined reflections Humans are social beings, to the extent that those who prefer solitude to the company of others are usually perceived as troubled individuals, outside of the norm it took me a long time to feel comfortable with being alone, with dampening the guilt that flared up in me every time I begged off going out with a group of friends It is always a welcome reinforcement when I come across a book penned by a fellow recluse and The Book of Disquiet could be a solitary soul s bible, so powerfully does it Humans are social beings, to the extent that those who prefer solitude to the company of others are usually perceived as troubled individuals, outside of the norm it took me a long time to feel comfortable with being alone, with dampening the guilt that flared up in me every time I begged off going out with a group of friends It is always a welcome reinforcement when I come across a book penned by a fellow recluse and The Book of Disquiet could be a solitary soul s bible, so powerfully does it speak in the language of single place table settings, corner chair cobwebs and bachelor apartments It has achieved pride of place on my bedside stack, where I can ladle myself servings of Pessoa s wisdom at leisure.This book s voluntarily alone author is Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet, writer, and polylinguist who invented fully fleshed out heteronyms distinct and separate personalties of differing nationality and gender in order to pursue his writing in various idiosyncratic shades and styles The Book of Disquiet is a collection of the aphoristic prose poetry musings of one such heteronym, that of Bernardo Soares, assembled from notes, entries, and jottings made over a span of some thirty years and left unpublished at the time of Pessoa s death in 1935 Richard Zenith, the editor and translator of this stunning, haunting, and achingly beautiful paean to the imaginary potentiality of man, has compiled the definitive edition of this tome in a truly outstanding translation that captures the expressive eloquence of Pessoa and his magical, metaphorically rich manner of constructing word images to portray his unique way of life.There is no finer encomium to the shattering melancholy and bracing affirmation of loneliness and solitude than the five hundred plus entries that make up The Book of Disquiet and few better descriptions of existential nausea, of the desperate efforts to perceive a reason to continue with the painful disappointments, shadow terrors, and numbing meaninglessness of human existence As Pessoa writing as Soares quietly and unassumingly goes about his daily rituals of walking, working as a book keeper and inhabiting the well trod spaces of his rented room in the real world, he is living a rich existence within the wildly creative contours of his mind as a knight errant, a rich merchant, a pirate, a voyager, a lover of countless women, a guide to the cosmos, an inhaler of sunrises and embracer of sunsets, the guiding hand of every drop of Lisbon s morning showers, the leaves shaken by a sudden burst of wind Having been sentenced to a term of life by an errant universe, Pessoa decided to renounce action and ambitions in what we hold to be real life to pursue a variegated and abundant existence within the realm of dreams As our life is measured through the archived clippings of one s memory, whether one actually performed the deeds recalled matters less than the detail and substance they contain.Such, at least, is the defense offered by Pessoa yet often his solipsistic persuasions are contradictory, defensive and when the mask slips we can see the depth of pain and loneliness underneath the placid surface of his imaginary life There is much repetition and mulling over of themes from different angles, but the writing is so expressive and raw and honest that, to myself at least, it never becomes tedious even as the tedium of existence, the stretching of the soul on the rack of time, is one of the principal ideas that populate Pessoa s thoughts and entries It is as if tedium was experienced as a box of chocolates, each colour and coating, each form and flavour, each taste and texture, mulled over, pondered, drawn out and examined, and then set to paper as a running record to remind of an eccentric daily pleasure.This is a book to be mused upon and savored, one that can be imbibed in different ways it can be read straight through the way I approached it, drawn into a white heat of blistered enthrallment or sparingly sampled over weeks, months, even years The order the aphorisms are assembled in is purely a construction of Zenith he stresses such in his introduction and encourages each reader to create their own sequence for the collected entries However the reader decides to approach The Book of Disquiet, they will be rewarded with the inventive honesty of a hale and wounded man from a work that is truly sui generis I ve recently picked up the Serpent s Tail Extraordinary Classic edition, which features a translation by Margaret Jull Costa, who performed similar duties for Jos Saramago s last half dozen books Distinct from Zenith, obviously, but just as potent and powerful and the differently parsed words and sentences only serve to present Pessoa s incomparable poetry of loneliness in a new light, equally fulgent and searing, just focussed from an alternate angle A richly marbled interiority of immanent pain and transcendent beauty Revisiting the disquietude of early modern Lisbon, I m reminded anew how this collection of Pessoa s dispassionate passion is one whose title is so perfectly matched to the content within that one can sit there all by oneself, of course cushioned within the utter silence of an unvoiced existence, serving as an unexciting urban renewal zone for migratory dust motes and unimpressive highland anchored lethality for predatory silken arachnids, with a nigh sardonic set to the tight lipped, hesitantly committed smile of satisfaction that imprints itself upon one s otherwise stoney visage, and marvel at how much one man s textually decanted imaginative impressions and gossamer ruminations running the interior gauntlet of unlived memories, unacted performances, unconsummated affairs, unshed tears, unwatched observations, unwinged flights, ungrounded fears, unfelt kisses, untouched caresses, uninvolved emotions, unexercised exertions, untasted repasts, unliked friendships, unmet acquaintances, untold stories, unpoured libations, undone happenings, unannounced recollections, unlit umbrages, unformed expressions, untraveled journeys, unnoticeable leavenings, unhoused guilts, and unarticulated speechifications resonate, to the fullest extent, with the plucked strings ever aquiver within the utterly empty, lonely, and withdrawn chambers of the mind and or house bound soul I just came across this article about literary Lisbon with a lot about Pessoa very good Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa If you read this, you need to know what you are signing up for, so, below, I ll let Pessoa speak for himself It s a series of vignettes, random thoughts and meditations all written between 1913 and 1935 It s a work of genius, of course Pessoa, the famous Portuguese writer and poet was known for his multiple writing personalit I just came across this article about literary Lisbon with a lot about Pessoa very good Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa If you read this, you need to know what you are signing up for, so, below, I ll let Pessoa speak for himself It s a series of vignettes, random thoughts and meditations all written between 1913 and 1935 It s a work of genius, of course Pessoa, the famous Portuguese writer and poet was known for his multiple writing personalities heteronyms Disquiet was supposedly written by Bernardo Soares, an excruciatingly lonely and socially dysfunctional man He s a shipping clerk in a textile wholesaler and spends his entire life a few blocks from his tiny apartment with one window on a balcony He goes to the same restaurant, same tobacconist and same barber for thirty years All of them die one by one in their 70 s, which he discovers by going into the shop and finding out they died the day before The first two passages show some of his severe social issues Moreover, I am bothered by the idea of being forced into contact with someone A simple invitation to dine with a friend provokes in me an anguish it would be hard to define The idea of any social obligation going to a funeral, discussing an office matter face to face with someone, going to the station to wait for someone I know or don t know the mere idea disturbs a whole day s thoughts Sometimes I am concerned all through the night and sleep badly And the real thing, when it happens, is absolutely insignificant, justifying nothing and the thing repeats itself and I don t ever learn to learn Sometimes saying hello to someone intimidates me My voice dries up, as if there were a strange audacity in having to say that word out loud There are metaphors that arereal than the people walking down the street There are images in the secret corners of books that liveclearly than many men and women There are literary phrases that possess an absolutely human individuality There are passages in paragraphs of mine that chill me with fear, so clearly do I feel them to be people, standing alone so freely from the walls of my room, at night, in shadows Yes, dreaming that I am, for example, simultaneously, separately, unconfusedly, a man and a woman taking a walk along a riverbank, To see myself, at the same time, with equal clarity, in the same way, with no mixing, being the two things, integrated equally in both, a conscious boat in a southern sea and a printed page in an ancient book How absurd this seems But everything is absurd, and this dream is the least of the absurdities There is nothing that reveals poverty of mindquickly than not knowing how to be witty except at the expense of others I go forward slowly, dead, and my vision is no longer mine, it s nothing it s only the vision of the human animal who, without wanting, inherited Greek culture, Roman order, Christin morality, and all the other illusions that constitute the civilization in which I feel In the dark depth of my soul, invisible, unknown forces were locked in a battle in which my being was the battleground, and all of me trembled because of the unknown struggle A physical nausea at all of life was born when I awakened A horror at having to live rose up with me from the bed Everything seemed empty, and I had the cold impression that there is no solution for any problem Ennui is not the illness of the boredom of not having anything to do, but theserious illness of feeling that it s not worthwhile doing anything And being that way, thethere is to do, theennui there is to feel How many times, how many, as now, has it pained me to feel what I am feeling to feel something like anguish only because that s what feeling is, the disquiet of being here, the nostalgia for something else, something unknown, the sunset of all emotions, the yellowing of myself fading into ashy sadness in my external awareness of myself During certain very clear moments of meditation, like these in which, at the beginning of the afternoon, I wander observingly through the streets, every person brings me a message, every house shows me something new, every sign has an announcement for me Sometimes, with a sad delight, I think that if some day, in a future to which I may not belong, these words I m writing will endure and receive praise, I will finally have people who understand me, my people, the true family to be born into and to be loved by But far from being born into it, I will have already died a long time before I will be understood only in effigy, when affection no longer compensates the dead person for the disaffection he experienced when alive I consider life an inn where I have to stop over until the coach from the abyss arrives I don t know where it will take me because I don t know anything I could consider this inn a prison because I m force to stay inside it I could consider it a place for socializing because I meet others here I slowly sing, only to myself, songs that I compose as I wait Everything is emptier than the void.If I think this and look around to see if reality is killing me with thirst, I see inexpressive houses, inexpressive faces, inexpressive gestures Stone, bodies, ideas everything s dead All movements are stopping points, all of them the same stopping point Nothing says anything to me Nothing is familiar to me, not because I find it strange but because I don t know what it is The world is lost And in the depth of my soul the only reality at this moment there is an intense, invisible anguish, a sadness, like the sound of someone weeping in a dark room Not an easy or a pleasant read, but genius Top painting from i2.wp.com www.revistabula.comSculpture of Pessoa in Lisbon from alamy.comPhoto of Lisbon in 1940 from atlaslisboa.com