The Book of Disquiet

The Book of Disquiet


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780141183046
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/31/2002
Series: Classics Series
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 69,576
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.69(h) x 0.91(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935) was born in Lisbon and brought up in Durban, South Africa. He returned to Lisbon in 1905. A prolific writer, ascribing his work to a variety of personas or heteronyms, Pessoa published little in his lifetime and supported himself by working as a commercial translator. Although acknowledged as an intellectual and a poet, his literary genius went largely unrecognized until after his death.
Richard Zenith (editor, translator) lives in Lisbon, where he works as a freelance writer, translator, and critic. His translations include Galician-Portuguese troubadour poetry; novels by Antonio Lobo Antunes; Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet; Fernando Pessoa and Co.: Selected Poems, which won the 1999 American PEN Award for Poetry in Translation; and Education by Stone: Selected Poems, which won the Academy of American Poets’ Harold Morton Landon Translation Award in 2006. In 2012, he was awarded Portugal’s Pessoa Prize. 

Table of Contents

Introduction   vii
Notes on the Text and Translation   xxvii
Acknowledgements   xxxii

The Book Of Disquiet

Preface by Fernando Pessoa   3
A Factless Autobiography   9
A Disquiet Anthology   393

Appendix I: Texts Citing the Name of Vicente Guedes   465
Appendix II: Two Letters   467
Appendix III: Reflections on The Book of Disquiet from Pessoa's Writings   471
Notes   477
Table of Heteronyms    505

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“This superb edition of The Book of Disquiet is . . . a masterpiece.”  —John Lanchester, The Daily Telegraph

“Pessoa’s rapid prose, snatched in flight and restlessly suggestive, remains haunting, often startling. . . . There is nobody like him.” —W. S. Merwin, The New York Review of Books

“Extraordinary . . . a haunting mosaic of dreams, autobiographical vignettes, shards of literary theory and criticism and maxims.” —George Steiner, The Observer

"I plan to use this book every year in my course at Yale.  Thanks for making it available." —K. David Jackson, Yale University


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The Book of Disquiet 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
LoadOf27 More than 1 year ago
Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese writer, has been below the radar for some time now. At times his name resurfaces in literary reviews but it seems he is doomed to obscurity as he was when he was living. Admittedly, Pessoa is not for everyone. However if you find yourself wondering about the minutiae of life and feeling at times a certain disconnect with the world then he may be the writer for you. Pessoa writes from the point of view of Bernardo Soares, a bookkeeper disassociated from his coworkers and living mostly in his mind. The book is written in numbered vignettes, with more than 300 musings on life and its daily occurrences. This book is best read as a sort of reference, a loner's bible at times comic and tragic, where you can flip to any page and read an inspirational or sympathetic quote.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully honest work from Lisbon's favorite son. Each turn of the page unearths a new revelation on life, love, and possession... His gift for ponderance of both the mundane and the holy is haunting. Sensually written, painstaking translated, worth every effort.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fernando Pessoa, in The Book of Disquiet, offers a startling look at the life of one Bernardo Soares, a heteronym very close to Pessoa's own personality. In each diary entry that comprises this rare novel, the reader is brought to a keen sense of awareness through Soares' seemingly simple daily observations, which marks The Book of Disquiet as a deeply satisfying reading experience. Though Pessoa's language, or simply the language of the translation, is sometimes dense, it is language used in the best sense of the word. Every passage is poetry, and because of this it need not even be read in order. For the introduction alone, the book is worth the purchase. One can't say enough about this unique and beautiful novel.
November-Owl More than 1 year ago
I put off purchasing the book for a while because, when I first heard of it, the spring semester was in full swing. If I had bought it then, I would've constantly been tempted to read it when I knew I should've been reading stuff for my classes. Now that I've had time to dive into it, I can truthfully state that I've never read anything quite like it. It's strange at times; it's bizarre at times; it's morbid at times; it's blunt and cold at times;, but thought-provoking is always its consistent description. If you're into modernist literature, then you'll regard this book in high esteem--and, no, that is not a sales pitch.
carioca on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is incredible, and it occupies a place all of its own. A mixture of diary, fiction, autobiography, philosophy and poetry-in-prose, I still revert back to it every few months. It is that beautiful. I actually own it in the original Portuguese as well and this English translation does not disappoint in the least - it is very good. Not an easy task to translate Pessoa as he certainly had amazing language control.
jasonpettus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)This was recommended to me by a friend of mine, Chicago bizarro author David David Katzman, specifically because of the growing influence it's apparently having these days on all lovers of the surreal; because for those who don't know, Fernando Pessoa was sort of the Portuguese version of Franz Kafka, a white-collar worker in Lisbon during the Early Modernist era of the 1910s through '30s, who barely published anything during his own lifetime but left behind over 25,000 pages of brilliantly obtuse work after his death. In fact, this particular novel wasn't even published for the very first time until 1982, which is why it's only now in the 2000s that it's starting to have a wide global influence for the first time, the pieces left by Pessoa in such a fragmented state that modern editors weren't sure what order the snippets should even appear. As you can imagine, then, this leaves the reading experience as a challenge to say the least, but a deeply rewarding one for the dedicated lover of experimentalism who can stick with it for the entire thing, as Pessoa weaves together observation with introspection, served with a healthy dose of cutting-edge style; and it's for sure destined to eventually become just as much a landmark of Early Modernist experimentation as T.S. Eliot or even Kafka himself. It comes recommended to those looking to expand their knowledge of this period of literary history, as well as fans of modern bizarro and gonzo fiction.
albertgoldfain on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The 'Book of Disquiet' is a deeply felt and existential expression of the author's restless mind. Even in translation, the book is so quotable that it is actually hard to quote or highlight a single passage! A fragmented and plotless plight of a perfectionist trying to create what (a priori) he knows will be imperfect. Pessoa seems to equate the poet's writer's block with a broader block to living at all. At times, the narrator is a little too woeful and a little to certain of what he is saying. The Book of Disquiet is organized as a sort of diary of random thoughts. Very often these thoughts are left incomplete and undeveloped...but this actually is more along the lines how minds work.
Cygnus555 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book, along with "An Anatomy of Melancholy" are two books that you can almost pick up, open to any point in the book and be entertained. Beautiful language.the story of who Fernando Pessoa was is almost as amazing as the book itself. Incredible incredible incredible. I was in City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco when I came across this, read the back and realized I had to buy it! I was not disappointed. This is not a book that you sit and read front to back (although you certainly can)... but rather as the mood strikes you and to see beautiful language.A quote in closing "We never know self-realization. We are two abysses - a well staring at the sky." no - not a cheerful read - but so necessary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book, highly recomended.
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