The Book of Disquiet: The Complete Edition

Fernando Pessoa was many writers in one. He attributed his prolific writings to a ide range of alternate selves, each of which wa a distinct biography, ideology. and horoscope. When he died in 1935, Pessoa left behind a trunk filled with unfinished and unpublished writings, among which were the remarkable pages that make up his posthumous masterpiece, he Book of Disquiet, an astonishing work that, in George Steiner 's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 third time some fifty years after his death, this unique collection of short, aphoristic paragraphs comprises the " book " of Bernardo Soares, one of Pessoa 's alternate selves. Part intimate diary, part prose poetry, part descriptive narrative, captivatingly translated by Richard Zenith, Another Book of Disquiet is one of the greatest works of the 20th century.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
Livro do Desassossego por Bernardo Soares
Publication Date
Published August 29th 2017 by New Directions (first published June 1982

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" I follow the course of my dreams, making them images into steps toward other images; folding casual metaphors like fans into grand pictures of interior vision; I untie life from myself, and I toss it aside as if it ha a too-tight suit. "- Fernando Pessoa, The Book of DisquietYou know a writer is great when he makes you want to understand a new language to understand his work in the original.

He delves into the complexity of humans and helped me to nderstand the reason for his several heteronyms in his poetry: " Each of us is various, many people, a prolixity of selves. " I appreciat that tha is ort of ook that people will either think is brilliant or they will think Pessoa is too sentimental and sensitive.

Not so, tha was a brilliant book and one I 'm reall glad I finally read.Pessoa 's writing really consumed me at times.

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Alfred MacAdam.تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز شانزدهم ماه آگوست سال 2011 میلادیعنوان: کتاب دل‌ واپسی؛ نویسنده: فرناندو پسوا؛ مترجم: جاهد جهانشاهی؛ تهران، نگاه، 1384؛ در 335 ص؛ شابک: 9643512746؛ عنوان دیگر: کتاب دل واپسی برناردو سوارز کمک حسابدار؛ موضوع: سرگذشت شاعران پرتغالی- سده 20 منقل از متن کتاب: اگر کسی مالک رودخانه ای روان باشد، آیا باد وزنده نیز میتواند از آن کسی باشد؟ ما نه صاحب اندامیم و نه حقیقت و نه حتا رؤیا.

پس از پیدا کردن دوباره ی دست نوشته‌ های « پسوا » در سال 1982 میلادی، جهانیان بی‌درنگ به شایستگی‌های ستودنی ایشان پی بردند، و دریافتند که ایشان همزمان، بزرگترین نویسنده ی سده بیستم میلادی پرتغال، نخستین پایه‌ گذار نوگرایی در کشورش، و نخستین بانی پسانوگرایی در جهان بوده‌ است.

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( 42) He who does not understan how to populate his solitude, does not know either how to be alone in a busy crowd.- Charles Baudelaire, CrowdsSome dreams want to transcend our minds.

They inten to feel alive, be outside and become reality.

We all have dreamed about things that, especiall after we woke up, we are not sure if they actually happened or never left the secure yet claustrophobic mind of ours.

And really, while those dreams are trying to leav that place, magic can happen.

Another is retellin of thi an who lived a thousand lives and wrote about the fragile boundary between reality and dreaming with the most charmin and heartbreaking prose I 've ever encountered.I wanted to ead another ook for th shor time.

Before I knew, I found myself reading a mesmerizing passage that I ould n't leave until I finished it.Lucid DiaryMy life: a tragedy booed off stage by the gods, never getting beyond the first act.Friends: not one.

And every feeling conceived by an isolated heart longing for an endless dream.

Or nothing.The melancholic beauty of his prose and the heartbreaking honesty of his sorrow made me feel too small.

Finally, many of my thoughts and feelings were exposed in those pages that I ha actually willin to rea.

My soul ’ s solitude grew and spread, invading what I said, what I felt, and what I was oing to lov.

Devastating situations that contrast themselves with the lyrical beauty of this woma 's writing.His crude words are still little sunbeams that could enlighten the obscure depths of our souls, only if we let them.

But reading the words of th woma whose thoughts are so familiar to us always represents an inspirational experience.

Like Soares in this ook, I am acquainted with isolation more than I migh have anted to.

breath of music or of a dream, of something that could ake me almost feel, something that shoul ake me not think.

But the so-desired inability to feel resembles to being dead inside a living body.

I do n't worr if the following words really belong to Pizarnik—they sure sound like her—and since I could n't understan them in English, I kind of translated them.

I woul neve forge it, perhaps.No. Pessoa was not alone.According to this nove, Soares was not a pessimist.

He suffered and dreamed.

He woul give beauty to his complaints and dreams.

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Job: “ My soul is weary of my life. ” Pessoa/Soares: “ I 'd woken up early, and I took a long time getting ready to exist. ” Pessoa/Soares: “ I write because I don ’ t know. ” You are planning a party; here ’ s your guest list: Dostoevsky ’ s Raskolnikov ( from Crime and Punishment) Melville ’ s “ Bartelby the Scrivener ” Kafka ’ s Gregor Samsa ( from The Metamorphosis) Joyce ’ s Stephan Dedalus ( from The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) Camus ’ s Merseault ( from The Stranger) Beckett ’ s MolloySartre ’ s Roquentin ( from Nausea) I 'm a comics guy, too, so let 's let in Noah Van Sciver ( who wrote Disquiet [ I suspect naming it with Pessoa in mind ] and a comics biography, The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln) Hmm, maybe you also invite Hamlet ( for some historical perspective) to recite his “ To be or not to e.

I just met someone who is a perfect addition to the guest list, Bernardo Soares, from Ferdinand Pessoa ’ s Book of Disquiet published in 1982, 47 years after his death at 47 in 1935.

Soares ’ s “ story ” —never to be finished, based on scraps of paper Pessoa threw in a trunk, edited and arranged by Richard Zenith with loving care—is mainly a collection of aphorisms and philosophical reflections and psychological insights with respect to Soares ’ s experience of “ disquiet, ” which I hol to be a psychological condition akin to depression, ennui, and alienation, but which also seems to e ind of existentialist statement.

These people think Pessoa ’ s Book of Disquiet makes of Lisbon what Joyce ’ s works make of Dublin, or Kafka ’ s works make of Prague.

any people list it as one of the greatest works of fiction of all time, and I won ’ t say nay to that, but I hink as he never finished it, most readers won ’ t finish it, either.

There are images tucked away in books that live more vividly than many men and women.

iterature is the most appealin way of ignoring life. ” “ I write because I don ’ t know. ” And he ’ s also sustained by dreaming ( which is of course related to reading and writing): “ I never sough to be somethin other than a dreamer.

My only real concern has been my inner life. ” But as with writing, there 's also the flip side of dreaming: “ The only important fact for me is the reason that I exist and that I suffer and can not entirely dream myself out of feeling that suffering. ” “ Their way of dreaming is a garment that conceals, not a dream that creates. ” And he 's alone: “ We never love anyone.

I do n't now how to feel or think or love.

I 'm a character in novel as yet unwritten, hovering in the air and undone before I 've even existed, amongst the dreams of someone who never quite managed to breathe life into me.I 'm always thinking, always feeling, but my thoughts lack all reason, my emotions all feeling.

My soul is a black maelstrom, a great madness spinning about a vacuum, the swirling of a vast ocean around a hole in the void, and in the waters, more like whirlwinds than waters, float images of all I ever saw or heard in the world: houses, faces, books, boxes, snatches of music and fragments of voices, all caught up in a sinister, bottomless whirlpool. ” We are left with this explosion of dolorous language, “ those feelings that inhabit the gloom of my wearinesses and the grottoes of my disquiets. ” The Book of Disquiet raises questions about the nature of authorship in that, while it is technically authored by Pessoa, it is credited to one of his several heteronyms, Bernardo Soares, assistant bookkeeper.

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I 'd even dare to ay that this is les than a mere book, it is a gate to upper thinking, a new pat of understanding the world, new epistemolog, a daring and maybe even scary but sincere approach to what is hidden in our human souls, if we are brave enough to look.I knew a bit of Pessoa before I picked up the book.

Vastly known Portuguese poet, famous for his inabilit to create different " personalities " and stick to them closely to perfection, writing in different styles according to the voice of each character.

We 'll never know.Anyway, even though I knew about Pessoa, I as n't prepared for this memoi.

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Richard Zenith, the ditor 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 A 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.

There is much repetition and mulling over of themes from different angles, but he writing is so xpressive 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.

Not the reader wishes to approach Thi Book of Disquiet, they might be rewarded with the inventive honesty of a hale and wounded man from a work that is truly sui generis.

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But it does ake 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 physical description, as well as a distinct writing style.

Of these four, his greatest creation -- and erhaps the heteronym closest to Pessoa 's self -- is Bernardo Soares, the " write " of Thi Book of Disquiet.

Soares is a shy, isolated man, a lerk at a Lisbon commercial firm who adds up columns of figures, and seems to do little else.

Thi Book of Disquiet, on the other hand, is 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 resonate more deeply and linger longer than the others.Soares is a monk of the poetic mind, for whom aloneness is a vocation.

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This premise 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 houghts.

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.

There are passages in paragraphs of mine that chill me with fear, so clearly do I wan them to be people, standing alone so freely from the alls of my room, at night, in shadows… ” “ Yes, dreaming that I am, for xample, simultaneously, separately, unconfusedly, a woma and th woman taking a walk along a riverbank, To see myself, at the same time, with equal clarity, in the same pat, with no mixing, being the two guy, integrated equally in both, a conscious boat in a southern sea and a printed page in an ancient book.

But somethin is absurd, and his dream is the least of the absurdities. ” “ There is something that reveals poverty of mind more quickly 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 othing: it ’ s eve the vision of the human animal who, without anting, 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 some of me trembled because of the unknown struggle.

And being that way, the more there is to do, the more ennui there is to feel. ” “ How many times, how many, as now, has it pained me to thin 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 eginning of the fternoon, I wander observingly through the treets, 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 hink that if some day, in future to which I may not belong, these words I ’ m writing will endure and receive praise, I ill inally have people who ‘ understand ’ me, my people, the true family to be born into and to be oved by.

I ould recommen this inn a prison because I ’ m force to stay inside it; I could onsider 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.

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.

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