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Sintesi dell'editore

Assembled from notes and jottings left unpublished at the time of the author’s death, The Book of Disquiet is a collection of aphoristic prose-poetry musings on dreams, solitude, time and memory. Credited to Pessoa’s alter ego, Bernardo Soares, who chronicles his contemplations in this so-called "factless" autobiography, the work is a journey of one man’s soul and, by extension, of all human souls that allow their minds and hearts to roam far and free. 

Though his outward life as an assistant bookkeeper in downtown Lisbon is a humdrum affair, Soares lives a rich and varied existence within the contours of his own mind, where he can be and do anything. Soares has no ambition, nor has he any friends; he is plagued with disquiet, and only imagination and dreams can conquer it. 

Compiled by the translator Richard Zenith, Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet is a fulgent tribute to the imagination of man. Translation by Richard Zenith. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.  

©2017 Assírio & Alvim / Grupo Porto Editora (P)2018 Naxos AudioBooks

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  • Jason Rosenblum
  • 03/04/2019

a vitally important, and beautiful work

if you stick with it, you will get something out of this work, and just maybe be moved by it. It is beautifully introspective and must be taken both lightly and seriously. but, if you can’t keep an open mind then I seriously wouldn’t bother.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05/07/2020

An essential read

There's something that I absolutely adore about this beautiful book, but it's hard to put a name to. Eventually, Pessoas depressing and devistating prose about tedium and insignificance became tiring- and perhaps even a little annoying. So often it was clear that, had he been a little less self-concerned, he could've rescued himself from his indeterminate existential crisis-he was obviously completely aware of what was wrong, but..I dunno. He made of his suffering something of an artistic endevor, and as such, never really intended to better himself. It's hard to even say if he discovered any significant wisdom from essentially sacrificing his own life to spiritually rot- he set himself up to eternally fail, and still he complained as though he was some unfortunate victim of personhood. But he is undeniably brilliant- his ability to articulate human anguish is almost difficult to believe, It's amazing that someone would even devote themselves to something so fundamental, and in my opinion, the world is better for it. It's glaringly 'real' if that makes sense.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30/01/2020

A complex masterpiece

Pessoa is like no one else. The closest thing to a poetic philosopher I can think of, he uses language in ways that blew my mind. If you learn a bit about his biography before reading, it will help you get a lot more out of the book because Pessoa was a fascinating person.

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  • A. Alajmi
  • 04/05/2019

Hated it!

i hated everything about this book. EVERYTHING! will never read or listen to another book by this author again.

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  • Robley Bobley
  • 12/10/2020

Beautifully written honesty, let down by reader.

I have not finished this book, but am a fair way through it, so think it is a good time to comment. I adore the beautifully written, brutal honesty that this book contains; it's a refreshing world view compared to the norm that many would have us believe. Had I not already read authors like Ligotti, Cioran, Thacker etc, I do think this would serve as an interesting introductory text to the apparent contrivance of "every day life". The thing that consistently irritated me was the reader's (Mr. Adam Sims) characterisation of the narrator, in that he served him up to be more-often-than-not sneeringly suave of character, where as most of what is communicated I would attribute to being that of a person who has reached a measure of serenity, and almost a level of complete non-concern for the events that take place around him. I didn't find Sims' take on the narrator as particularly helpful in this, because I simply don't find the observations and concepts discussed in this book as necessarily that of an individual who is cantankerous, and that is how Sims portrays him. I find the exploration as somewhat detached, and so to give it the air of negativity and resentment seems non-sensical when one really considers the points being conveyed. Other than this problem, I think it is beautifully written, considered and well worth your time if you've ever wanted to explore why sometimes you think something may be "off" with regards to the world we find ourselves in.

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  • Mr. R. E. Towers
  • 28/12/2020

A diary of alienation and individual thinking

This is a diary of alienation and individual thinking and us beautifully written. Bernard Soares is the narrator of this journal which is a collection of thoughts, moods, emotions provocations and observations of daily life. Soares is an assistant bookkeeper in Lisbon and is thought to be the closest creation to Pessoa's own personality. Pessoa created numerous heteronyms for his writings which were much stronger than pseudonyms as they each had different characteristics and writing styles. The book is presented as a 'fact less autobiography' and is a fragmentary and unedited collection with much of the text missing. It has only been available in English for forty years even though it covers a period from the twenties to the thirties. The book explores the many insightful and provocative musing of Soares from daily mundanities about his work colleagues and his neighbourhood to politics, revolution and love. He looks down on ambition and achievement believing them to be false and hollow but he is contrary about most topics. Soares is a man happy in his own solitude with great intellect and appreciation of the arts and philosophy. Yet he also clearly over-thinks things and many of his proclamations are contradictory. But there is a beauty and sadness in this writing. Some chapters are a single sentence observations while others are reasoned deliberations. There is no flow to the book which is not sequential and jerks about awkwardly. You can open any page and delve in at any point. The book will make you think about many life topics and there is humour as well as condemnation. George Steiner said that this book did for Lisbon what Joyce did for Dublin and Kafka did for Prague. Its true that the scenes of pre-war Lisbon with its bars, cafes, streets and people are powerfully evocative. The narrator appreciates the ordinary people he regularly sees on the streets and laments their passing. On a trip to his barber shop he hears the news of the death of one of his barbers which leads to this lovely revelatory passage which in many ways summarises the book. 'Tomorrow I too will be the one who no longer walks these streets, whom others will vaguely evoke with a: 'What's become of him?' And everything I've done, everything I've felt and everything I've lived will amount merely to one less passers-by on the everyday street in some city or other'. it is also wonderfully performed by Adam Simpson.