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The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa: | Books

The life one lives is one long misunderstanding, a happy medium between a greatness that does not exist and a happiness that cannot exist. Leadership requires insensitivity. Only the happy govern because to be sad it is necessary to feel. What has happened to us has either happened to everyone or to us alone; if the former it has no novelty value and if the latter it will be incomprehensible.

I write down what I feel in order to lower the fever of feeling. What I confess is of no importance because nothing is of any importance.

Other Titles by Fernando Pessoa

I make landscapes out of what I feel. I make a holiday of sensation. Action is a disease of thought, a cancer of the imagination. Reader Beware - Amazon has followed its usual procedure of cobbling reviews for three totally different editions of the same book together. After having read all the reviews of this book, one could get a good idea of what Pessoa is all about he's not for everybody , but get a distorted idea of this particular edition. The first is the hideously ugly cover. In no way does it have any connection with the contents or induce the reader to buy the book, which, after all, is the purpose of a front panel design.

My discovery of the book was the Richard Zenith translation available as a Penquin Classic. The version under revue has different texts than the Zenith version.

The book of disquiet

It starts with a different narrator, who is not in the Zenith edition at all, and radically alters the conception of what readers heretofore thought was the Pessoa they knew. Part one that Pizzaro includes is painful to read and had I come across this as my introduction to Pessoa I would have forgotten his name. Have I belabored this point? It needs belaboring. Pessoa's poetry is best left un-translated, as is all poetry from other languages. But that's just my opinion! If you loved 'Disquiet' you'll like 'The Education of the Stoic.

It may not immediately be clear but my review is not for the Zenith translation.

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I would give the Zenith translation stars or realistically, five. The Pizarro-Costa edition published by New Directions, being the one my review was written for, deserves one star. And yet another addition to the review of the New Directions edition of the book. Thinking I might have been to severe on the Costa translation the edition with the ugly cover I re-examined it.

Well, I wasn't severe enough! Let me reiterate; the Zenith translation, published by Penguin, is the version to read. The Costa version includes pages written by the heteronym Vincent Guedes that are not in the Zenith translation. These pages are written in a Symbolist style which served well the Symbolist poets of the late s but is ill adapted in a long prose work. It is almost like Pessoa is parodying himself.

It reads like a third rate version of early Henry Miller.

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  • The Zenith version gives us entries by Bernardo Soares another heteronym and pages, while Costa gives us only entries. Clearly the sensibility of Soares is the one you'll want to wrap yourself in. Also, there are additional pages containing related material that you'll want to gobble up after digesting the main offering. You will note that each of the three different editions each has reviews. Those are the same reviews for what is in essence three different books.

    Amazon, why don't you hire some idealistic English Major graduate to correct these computer made mistakes.