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The Book of Disquiet - Fernando Pessoa (tr. Richard Zenith)

The Book of Disquiet - Fernando Pessoa (tr. Richard Zenith)

Profile Books Ltd

Regular price €14,95 EUR
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Our take

Fernando Pessoa (1888 - 1935) was a Portuguese modernist writer who wrote under approximately 75 different names and identities known as “heteronyms.” These were not mere pseudonyms but distinct personalities with unique “voices,” biographies, and literary influences. Some even had their own sub-identities and pseudonyms.

The Book of Disquiet is not so much a novel as it is a philosophical journal of one of Pessoa’s alter-egos, Bernardo Soares, a heteronym that closely resembles the author’s own personality. The book is a compilation of vignettes where Soares recounts his dreams, reflects on his experiences, contemplates life in Lisbon, ponders the nature of life and death, and explores the pleasures of idleness. It is simultaneously humorous, introspective, and melancholic. This is not a book to be consumed quickly; rather, it is one to be savoured, read slowly and “unproductively.”

Publisher's description

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 When he died in 1935, Pessoa left behind a trunk filled with unfinished and unpublished writings, among which were the remarkable pages that make up his posthumous masterpiece, The Book of Disquiet, an astonishing work that, in George Steiner’s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.

Praise and awards

The prizewinning, complete and unabridged translation—“the best English-language version we are likely to see for a long time, if ever” (The Guardian)—of a work of unclassifiable genius: the crowning achievement of Portugal’s modern master

Edited, Translated, and with an Introduction by Richard Zenith, the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Pessoa: A Biography

Winner of the Calouste Gulbenkian Translation Prize for Portuguese Translation

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