- 85,00 kr
With its astounding hardcover reviews Richard Zenith's new complete translation of THE BOOK OF DISQUIET has now taken on a similar iconic status to ULYSSES, THE TRIAL or IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME as one of the greatest but also strangest modernist texts. An assembly of sometimes linked fragments, it is a mesmerising, haunting 'novel' without parallel in any other culture.
Pessoa (1888-1935), identified by Barnard professor MacAdam as Portugal's major 20th-century writer, seems to have interpreted Whitman's statement ``I contain multitudes'' as an imperative; the gifted and perfectionist poet gave voice to a variety of selves, whom he named not with pseudonyms but with what he called heteronyms. The elegant volume here is the ``diary'' of ``Bernardo Soares,'' presented as a bookkeeper, like Pessoa, who is obsessed with the role and aim of literature and tries, therefore, to become ``like a character in a book, a read life.'' No plot orders the entries, nor is there any discernible progression. Instead, Pessoa speculates on the paradoxes of art (``Only when I'm disguised am I really myself''), at times mordantly (``To speak is to have too much consideration for others. Both fish and Oscar Wilde die because they can't keep their mouths shut''), at times quixotically (``Writing is like the drug I despise but take, the vice I loathe but practice''), nearly always aphoristically. Readers with a particular interest in modernism will find this work indispensable.