Fernando Pessoa

The Book of Disquiet

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Sitting at his desk, Bernardo Soares imagined himself free forever of Rua dos Douradores, of his boss Vasques, of Moreira the book-keeper, of all the other employees, the errand boy, the post boy, even the cat. But if he left them all tomorrow and discarded the suit of clothes he wears, what else would he do? Because he would have to do something. And what suit would he wear? Because he would have to wear another suit.

A self-deprecating reflection on the sheer distance between the loftiness of his feelings and the humdrum reality of his life, The Book of Disquiet is a classic of existentialist literature.
This book is currently unavailable
338 printed pages
Original publication
2017

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Quotes

    Anna Mezhovahas quoted7 years ago
    Today, during one of those periods of daydreaming which, though devoid of either purpose or dignity, still constitute the greater part of the spiritual substance of my life, I imagined myself free forever of Rua dos Douradores, of my boss Vasques, of Moreira the book-keeper, of all the other employees, the errand boy, the post boy, even the cat. In dreams, that freedom felt to me as if the South Seas had proffered up a gift of marvellous islands as yet undiscovered. Freedom would mean rest, artistic achievement, the intellectual fulfilment of my being.
    But suddenly, even as I imagined this (during the brief holiday afforded by my lunch break), a feeling of displeasure erupted into the dream: I would be sad. Yes, I say it quite seriously: I would be sad. For my boss Vasques, Moreira the book-keeper, Borges the cashier, all the lads, the cheery boy who takes the letters to the post office, the errand boy, the friendly cat - they have all become part of my life. I could never leave all that behind without weeping, without realizing, however displeasing the thought, that part of me would remain with them and that losing them would be akin to death.
    Moreover, if I left them all tomorrow and discarded this Rua dos Douradores suit of clothes I wear, what else would I do? Because I would have to do something. And what suit would I wear? Because I would have to wear another suit.
    Typicalhas quoted7 years ago
    the voice of one who hopes for nothing because all hope is vain
    Anna Mezhovahas quoted7 years ago
    It rains and rains. My soul grows damp just listening to it.

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