The Book of Disquiet

I have been intrigued for a while with Fernando Pessoa’s The Book Of Disquiet. The title has drawn me in each time I have seen it on the shelf at the London Review Bookshop. Today I began reading it whilst commuting but have concluded that it is not a book to be read in hour long chunks.

The themes change frequently and, it seems to me, that is is a book to be read every now and again, almost at random. It appears a wonderful, challenging book that merits a slow, discursive approach. I shall use it as my bedside book capturing my final twenty minutes before sleep. It has a dreamlike quality that seems appropriate.There are scents, so far, of Kierkegaard, particularly Either/Or and the beginnings of the theme of existential angst that Sartre was to develop.

4 thoughts on “The Book of Disquiet

  1. I have just come across this book. It is on my shelf, taken out from the local library recently (I eyed it warily for a couple of days, before summoning the courage to start reading it). We seem to have very similar tastes in literature. At any rate, I would appreciate any links to any lit crit you may have written or come across re Pessoa in your tavels., I’ll be jotting down in my blog my impressions of this seminal work sometime next week, as I intend to start reading it this evening (Thursday April 20, 2017) and finish it within, say, a week. I find this writer’s life untterly fascinating, and cannot believe I have not heard of him before this. Literature is indeed a wonderful thing; you think you know the canon, and you realize you can only scartch the surface of what is out there in one lifetime Your desert island bookshelf in great, but it is missing Malcolm Lowry;’s Under the Volcano.


    • Under the Volcano is one of those gaping holes in my reading life. I have it on the shelves awaiting a suitable time, and, with literature, each book has its suitable time. An entertaining accompaniment to Pessoa is Antonio Tabucchi’s Pereira Maintains.


  2. If it not be too forward, I would reccommend Dave Markson’s Malcolm Lowry’s Volcano, Myth, Symbol and Meaning, as a companion. And avoiding Houston\s wretched film, with Finney’s absurdly over-the=top performance. IMHO, it is one the top 3 novels written in the English language. The Douglas Day bio is quite good, also, as I recall. A good way to see America is to drink to excess at all the bars named Under the Volcano around the states.


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