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 Fern 1Some books wrap me up in dreams and fantasy, creating a protective bubble in which I can leisurely gaze at the world in comfort The opposite happened when reading The Book of Disquiet , a book that lives up to its title like no other I didn t get wrapped up in anything With every sentence I read I felt myself being unwrapped, as layers of self deceit and unconsciousness were shed 2I held the book in my hands I could decide to open and close it I could decide to put it away But despite all that it didn t take long for me to realise that I was not the one in power, as the book firmly grasped me in turn Not through my mind, like good books Not through my heart, like great books It grasped my soul and never let go While I was reading this book, I couldn t shake the feeling that it had beaten me to it, in that the book was reading me and that it did The 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 M
I have this habit of keeping a pencil close by when I m reading a book which I know is going to have some passages I want to remember So, whenever I come across a sentence or a paragraph that strikes me for some reason, I underline it.
Well now, what s mostly happened with my copy of the The book of disquiet by Fernando Pessoa is that there is something underlined in almost every page of the book Which is the same to say that this is a memorable book on the whole I d even dare to say that this is than a mere book, it is a gate to upper thinking, a new way of understanding the world, a new philosophy, 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 this book Vastly known Portuguese poet, famous for hi 20 ,.
I would love to have a conversation with Pessoa, although I would probably be an annoyance to him with his desire for solitude But having a deep, philosophical conversation with him would be like a dream He 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 [Fernando Pessoa] ä Livro do Desassossego [science-fiction-romance PDF] Ebook Epub Download ä 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 If I write what I feel, it s to reduce the fever of feeling What I confess is unimportant, because everything is unimportant I make landscapes out of what I feel I make holidays of my sensations.
42 He who does not know 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 want to feel alive, be outside and become reality We all have dreamed about things that, even after we woke up, we are not sure if they actually happened or never left the secure yet claustrophobic mind of ours And so, while those dreams are trying to abandon that place, magic can happen When they realize they can t, tragedy awaits This is the story of a man who lived a thousand lives and wrote about the fragile boundary between reality and dreaming w