The Book of Disquiet

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The Book of Disquiet Poetry
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Product Description

When he died in 1935, Fernando Pessoa left behind a trunk filled with unfinished and unpublished writings, among which were the remarkable pages that make up this posthumous masterpiece, THE BOOK OF DISQUIET, an astonishing work that 'gives to Lisbon the haunting spell of Joyce's Dublin or Kafka's Prague.' With Appendices. 509p.

Editorial Reviews

When Pessoa died in 1935, a few years short of 50, he left behind a trunk of mostly unpublished writing in a variety of languages; his Lisbon publishers and variously translators are still sifting them. This perpetually unclassifiable and unfinished book of self-reflective fragments was first published in Portuguese in 1982, and it is arguably Pessoa's masterpiece. Four previous English translations, all published in 1991, were compromised either by abridgement, poor translation or error-laden source texts. While he's now a Pessoa veteran-having edited and translated Fernando Pessoa & Co.: Selected Poems, the 1999 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation winner-Zenith's first pass at this book was one of the four misses. He bases this new translation on his own Portuguese edition of 1998, and has done an admirable job in bringing out the force and clarity in Pessoa's serpentine and sometimes opaque meditations. Pessoa often wrote as various personae (as Pessoa & Co. carefully demonstrated); Disquiet is no exception, being putatively the work of "Bernardo Soares, assistant bookkeeper in the city of Lisbon." Thus it is impossible to ascribe the book's anti-humanist logophilia directly to the author: "I weep over nothing that life brings or takes away, but there are pages of prose that have made me cry." That is just one of many permutations of similar sentiments, but the genius of Pessoa and his personae is that readers are left weighing each and every such sentence for sincerity and truth value. (Dec. 3) Forecast: The release of this book as part of the newly redesigned Penguin Classics series should further assure Pessoa's place in the modernist pantheon. Pessoa and Co. was well reviewed, but the fact that Disquiet's previous appearances in English were relatively recent may limit review attention. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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