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 When he died in 935, Pessoa left behind a trunk filled with unfinished and unpublished writings, among which were the remarkable pages that make up his posthumous masterpiece, The Book of Disquiet, an astonishing work that, in George Steiner's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.
About the Author
Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) was born in Lisbon and raised in South Africa. After returning to Lisbon to study, he made a living as a translator and wrote obsessively in English, French, and Portuguese. While acknowledged as an intellectual and a poet, his literary genius went largely unrecognized until after his death.
Richard Zenith lived in Brazil and France before immigrating to Portugal in 1987. He has translated the poetry of Luis de Camoes, Fernando Pessoa, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, and Joao Cabral de Melo Neto.
“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