The Book of Disquiet: The Complete Edition

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$27.95  $25.99
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.9 X 1.5 inches | 1.6 pounds
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About the Author

Poet Fernando António Nogueira Pêssoa was born in Lisbon, Portugal. His father died when Pessoa was five years old, and the family moved with his mother's new husband, a consul, to Durban, South Africa, where Pessoa attended an English school. At thirteen Pessoa returned to Portugal for a year-long visit, and returned there permanently in 1905. He studied briefly at the University of Lisbon, and began to publish criticism, prose, and poetry soon thereafter while working as a commercial translator.During his life, most of Pessoa's considerable creative output appeared only in journals, and he published just three collections of poetry in English-Antinous (1918), Sonnets (1918), and English Poems (1921)-and one collection in Portuguese, Mensagem (1933).
Jerónimo Pizarro is a professor at the Universidad de los Andes and editor-in-chief of Pessoa Plural--A Journal of Fernando Pessoa Studies.
Margaret Jull Costa, who has translated Javier Marías and José Saramago, lives in England.


As searing as Rilke or Mandelstam.
One of the central figures of European modernism.--Max Nelson"The Chevalier of Disquiet" (11/23/2017)
In a time which celebrates fame, success, stupidity, convenience, and noise, here is the perfect antidote.--John Lancaster (08/23/2017)
Extraordinary--a haunting mosaic of dreams, autobiographical vignettes, shards of literary theory and criticisms and maxims.--George Steiner (06/06/2017)
Endlessly ponderable.-- (09/26/2017)
The ultimate futility of all accomplishment, the fascination of loneliness, the way sorrow colors our perception of the world: Pessoa's insight into his favorite themes was purchased at a high price, but he wouldn't have had it any other way. A modern masterpiece.-- (11/23/2017)
As addictive, and endearing, as Borges and Calvino.-- (08/23/2017)
Nobody can render the the hollowed horror of a world wrung out quite as gorgeously as Pessoa.-- (11/23/2017)
The Book of Disquiet, a literary vortex that, even in completeness, remains incomplete. A reading experience like no other. It is thrilling, confusing, upsetting, joyous, tedious and profound. You will never forget it, or stop wanting to return to it.-- (10/29/2017)
Complete edition of a haunted autobiographical novel--or is it a fictionalized autobiography?--that has emerged as an existentialist classic in the 80-plus years since its author's death. Born in Lisbon in 1888, Pessoa might have taught J.D. Salinger and Thomas Pynchon a thing or two about anonymity. He wrote prolifically in three languages but published relatively little, and he hid behind assumed names and identities, some 75 of them in all, which he called 'heteronyms.' The present volume is a case in point, written over the course of many years in the person of two such assumed names, Vicente Guedes and, later, Bernardo Soares. As for Guedes, Pessoa opens, 'This book is not by him, it is him': it is a catalog of Kierkegaard-ian moods, of fears and loathings and the constant presence of death in a fundamentally tragic world. 'I failed life even before I had lived it, because even as I dreamed it, I failed to see its appeal, ' writes Pessoa, and he proceeds to make sun-splashed Lisbon a gray and gloomy place. Though often somber, Pessoa is rarely tiresome; he reflects interestingly on such things as the development of science and aesthetics, the pleasures of wasting time ('For those subtle connoisseurs of sensations, there is a kind of handbook on inertia, which includes recipes for every kind of lucidity'), and, always, mortality: 'We are born dead, we live dead, and we enter death already dead.' Readers with a liking for Walter Benjamin and Miguel de Unamuno, Pessoa's intellectual kin, will find much of interest in Pessoa's pages...--The Book of Disquiet (06/06/2017)
A favorite book: in its determined melancholy, its gentle audacity, and in its insistence on renunciation, frustration, and solitude as the nectars of life, it is almost scarily whole. *The Book of Disquiet* is a diary, but of a self that is several and precarious, and always more potential than actual. Its floating boundaries expand and contract, lazily animated by 'the horror of making our soul a fact.' It is in *The Book of Disquiet*--translated, beautifully, by Margaret Jull Costa--that Pessoa found himself most truly. The system of heteronyms allowed him to disown his words even as he wrote them. The heteronyms formed a small society of alter egos, 'a whole world of friends inside me.'-- (08/23/2017)
Readers with a particular interest in modernism will find this work indispensable.-- (06/06/2017)
Pessoa's rapid prose, snatched in flight and restlessly suggestive, remains haunting, often startling. There is nobody like him.-- (06/06/2017)
Rich, thoughtful, fluid work by translator Margaret Jull Costa... [A] welcome and illuminating spotlight.-- (08/23/2017)
A meandering, melancholic series of reveries and meditations. Pessoa's amazing personality is as beguiling and mysterious as his unique poetic output.-- (08/23/2017)
The very book to read when you wake up at 3 a.m and can't get back to sleep-mysteries, misgivings, fears, and dreams and wonderment. Like nothing else.-- (08/23/2017)