The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa MOBI à Selected

The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa ✺ [BOOKS] ✮ The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa By Fernando Pessoa ❄ – The Washington Post Book World has written that Fernando Pessoa was Portugal's greatest writer of the twentieth century though some critics would even leave off that last ualifying phrase and one of t The Washington Post Book World Prose of ePUB ☆ has written that Fernando Pessoa was Portugal's greatest writer of the twentieth century though some critics would even leave off that last ualifying phrase and one of the most appealing European modernists The Selected Epub / eual in command and range to his contemporaries Rilke and Mandelstam The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa spans playful philosophical inuiry Platonic dialogue and bitter intellectual scrapping between Pessoa and his many literary alter egos heteronyms The heteronyms Selected Prose of ePUB ´ launch movements and write manifestos and one of them attempts to break up Pessoa's only known romantic relationship Also included is a generous selection from Pessoa's masterpiece The Book of Disuiet freshly translated by Richard Zenith from newly discovered materials The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa is an important record of a crucial part of the literary canon.

10 thoughts on “The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa

  1. Florencia Florencia says:

    A man may suffer as much in a suit of silks as in a sack or in a torn blanket 31 In these random impressions and with no desire to be other than random I indifferently narrate my factless autobiography my lifeless history These are my Confessions and if in them I say nothing it’s because I have nothing to say Excerpt from “The Book of Disuiet” 191 There is a lot of things to mention about this book I cannot possibly write about everything because an entire world lies in every paragraph of this brilliant work So I will just write some little rambling thoughts about one of the greatest authors that ever lived Pessoa or the soul of the world There are many boats destined for many ports but no boat for life to stop hurting nor a landing place where we can forget everything All of this occurred a long time ago but my grief is even older 79A heartbreaking beauty behind every word A man capable of creating other men with their own strengths and weaknesses He sees them from afar he speaks to them as if they were strangers as if they were extensions of his body I cannot imagine the pressure of being a human being with a whole world inside of him and at the same time capable of harboring an implacable loneliness Infinite loneliness Existence and resignation And then I think I can imagine The bliss of understanding The suffering of empathyAgainYes The soul of the world The plurality of thought The division of the soul The complexity of a uiet rebellion The loudest rebellion in the shape of words Words in love in agony in despair That fascinating dichotomy of the powerful simplicity of words that can create people universes havens a sacred place where you can pour whatever your heart cannot carry within itself any longerI am tired of confiding in myself of lamenting over myself of pitying mine own self with tearsI have no really intimate friends and even were there one intimate in world’s ways yet he were not intimate in the way I understand intimacy I am shy and unwilling to make known my woes An intimate friend is one of my ideal things one of my daydreams yet an intimate friend is a thing I never shall have 30Like I said this book contains a selected prose that covers all ground There are notes opinions plays letters I didn't exactly enjoy his love letters that much they reminded me of the poor man Dostoyevsky described in his wonderful White Nights; and then after a little research I understood passages about life love religion solitude women science philosophy psychology politics; real and fake authors real and invented literary movements short stories uotes about other works of his and some other curiosities He was fond of spiritualism astrology occultism and many other isms Despite his doubts Pessoa never abandoned his spiritual uest presumably for the reason set forth in the Alvaro de Campos poem 81 that I uoted in the last status updateAnyway you can get a fair glimpse of what it means to live in a Pessoan universe In addition to all that you will find the helpful notes of Richard Zenith; he will give you context and a better way to comprehend this author's writings You cannot ask for But I could ask you something Have you ever asked yourself what is poetry? What is its nature? Pessoa gave one of the most beautiful and accurate answers I have ever readPoetry is in everything—in land and in sea in lake and in riverside It is in the city too—deny it not —it is evident to me here as I sit there is poetry in this table in this paper in this inkstand; there is poetry in the rattling of the cars on the streets in each minute common ridiculous motion of a workman who on the other side of the street is painting the signboard of a butcher’s shop For poetry is astonishment admiration as of a being fallen from the skies taking full consciousness of his fall astonished at things 28Have you ever felt like you were about to lose your mind? Add to all this other reasons still for suffering some physical others mental the susceptibility to every small thing that can cause pain or even that to a normal man could not cause pain add to this other things still complications money difficulties—join all this to my fundamentally unbalanced temperament and you may be able to suspect what my suffering is One of my mental complications—horrible beyond words—is a fear of insanity which itself is insanity 32Have you ever lost hope? Have you ever lost faith in humanity as a whole? Ten thousand times my heart broke within me I cannot count the sobs that shook me the pains that ate into my heart Yet I have seen other things also which have brought tears into mine eyes and have shaken me like a stirred leaf I have seen men and women giving life hopes all for others I have seen such acts of high devotedness that I have wept tears of gladness These things I have thought are beautiful although they are powerless to redeem They are the pure rays of the sun on the vast dung heap of the world 29So even if the darkest of landscapes are being displayed in front of our eyes there is always a little ray of light guiding us toward hope For there are men and women fighting for their dreams and other people's dreams alwaysThis writer's sensitivity was vast He suffered for his people for his own country He was aware of everything that surrounded him and he a misanthropic lover of mankind felt an intense patriotic suffering an intense desire of bettering the condition of Portugal 32Have you ever read a play without a plot? Pessoa wrote “The Mariner” a gem I cannot forget The beauty of it relies on the fact that it reflects our most inner thoughts about life If you prefer writing over plot do not miss it If not skip it Although there is plenty of that in the entire book so you might want to read a different onePessoa has been a mirror for me since I read The Book of Disuiet one of the most difficult books I reviewed so far I can see myself reflected in most of his words for better and for worse And as I type this I feel his presence surrounding my thoughts—a word he abhorred and so tenderly haunts me No matter the distance no matter the time nor place these writers and their mirrors are with me What I wonder is the color of feeling? 80Pessoa's works make me feel the same way I feel while reading Borges It seems like everything has been already thought everything has been already felt Everything is contradiction; my own words as well However at this very moment I cannot feel that I am alone even if my shadow is the only thing I see I have made a sanctuary out of The Book of Disuiet With Selected Prose I have created my home I cannot imagine the conseuences of reading his Selected Poetry True TBOD is his finest work but this book has an evocative beauty that also captivated meSECOND WATCHER Only dreams last forever and are beautiful Why are we still talking? FIRST WATCHER I don’t know in a low voice looking at the coffin Why do people die? SECOND WATCHER Perhaps because they don’t dream enough 43A Borgesian thought arises Are we the real thing? Could we be the dream of somebody else? A small part of somebody else's dream that is being dreamed by somebody else that is being dreamed by somebody else Flesh and bones or a mere illusionEither way we seem to dream day and night So do something According to Pessoa acting is disbelieving the truth can be found only in our feelings Learn how to experience sensations simultaneously to scatter your spirit through your own scattered self 63 Yet some dreams go beyond sensations Are you willing to give up the desire of achieving dreams? If you are that's fine If not you must act Do something Dreams can transform themselves into reality and reality is action “Sartreanly” speakingDo something Find the voice of a writer and a mirror to look at and do something Solitude is a fleetingly wanted company A passive existence is an avoidable tragedyDo not mind me I am near I am ever near There is no near nor far for me Space is the dream men have to submit to but the dream is not theirs 91Pessoa whispersSep 1 14 Photo credit via uadrogiz Note There is an interesting passage about letters between Pessoa and Ophelia ueiroz but I'm going to save my comments until I find and read Cartas a Ophélia There is a lot to write concerning the matter Other reviews The Book of Disuiet A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe Selected PoemsThe Education of the Stoic El Banuero Anaruista written in Spanish Also on my blog

  2. Dustyn Hessie Dustyn Hessie says:

    If you're new to Pessoa than you should probably always start with The Book of Disuiet This is not his best book but Pessoa's prose at it's worst is still superior to Joyce or Hemingway or any other english writer for that matterThe main thing that disturbs me about this book is the translator's lame commentary it is utterly fruitless In the translator's preface to The Education of the Stoic he states that Pessoa's insistence on heteronyms was a means for Pessoa to save him from the life that bored him or that he didn't care for which is why I find many wasted pages of commentary on this edition extremely redundant On an even vulgar note the translator makes idiotic remarks on Pessoa's virginity We all know that Pessoa's writing persona is undoubtably that of a masochist But to comment on a writer's sex life unnecessarily is ridiculous This book is not as harmonious as The Book of Disuiet but tolerable as an artwork than most great writing we are accustomed to in school and Barnes and Noble stores I dock 1 star from this book because some entries were not that enticing and because Zenith has a tendency to make idiotic remarks Hopefully we will see of Pessoa's work in the future for In opposing his age the man of genius implicitly criticizes it and so implicitly belongs to one or another of the critical currents of the next age

  3. hami hami says:

    Amazing Selection of works with a good translation The Anarchist BankerThe Master and His DisciplesLetters to Ophelia ueiroz The Riddle of stars etcPessoa's use of 'heteronyms' was genius His multidimensional approach to subjectivity is notable I am looking forward to read his main work The Book of Disuiet

  4. Jacques Coulardeau Jacques Coulardeau says:

    AMAZINGLY OXYMORONIC IN INDIVIDUALISTIC ANARCHISMThe author has a theory about these characters who are all of them declared to be the authors of some of these prose writings Let’s first enumerate them knowing that the author published these prose works under their different names and the author often theorized about them as being his heteronyms or semi heteronyms Who are they and we can say who because the author treats them as real persons with a biography and a position in society besides being the authors of the texts published under their names? In common authors’ rights or copyright regulations they are pennames but Fernando Pessoa is one of these pennames The list is long I take the list from the January 13 1935 letter to Adolfo Casais Monteiro 1 First Chevalier de Pas when the author was six years old 2 Second Ricardo Reis on March 8 1914 3 Third Alberto Caeiro defined as “the return of Fernando Pessoa as Alberto Caeiro to Fernando Pessoa himself” when speaking of the poem “Slanting Rain” by Fernando Pessoa In such a than circular totally entangled and messed up affiliation of the one to the other through the one by the other and both being nothing but one in two with each other we can accept here the author’s assumption in his constant self distantiation and self analysis like page 125 “From the psychiatric point of view I’m a hysterical neurasthenic but fortunately my neuropsychosis is rather weak” And then the author gargles with such words “neurasthenic hysterical element hysterical traits my hysteriainstability of feelings and sensations emotional fickleness and fluctuation protean neurosis a mental introvert like most born neurasthenics my extreme emotionalism my extreme rationalism an overly analytical and logical intelligence my abulia and parabulia” over less than ONE page Of course all that concerns the character Fernando Pessoa not the author who anyway is not ualified nor able to do such a self analysis which was absolutely rejected by people like Sigmund Freud and a few others 4 Fourth Alvaro de Campos who rejoins Ricardo Reis as the second or first the order is not important disciple of Alberto Caeiro5 Fifth “my semi heteronym Bernardo Soares the official declared author of The Book of Disuiet6 Sixth Alvaro Coelho de Athayde the fourteenth Baron de Teive as the author of The Education of the Stoic7 Seventh to conclude the Christian Holy Week which the author would reject as probably iconoclastic the only female in this colony a hunchback girl of eighteen who writes the Letter from a Hunchback Girl to a Metalworker Maria José 8 Eighth the Second Coming the character Fernando Pessoa who intervenes in many texts as one character opposed to one of the author’s heteronyms That makes the colony company or gang a real redemptive team since it is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ just before the Apocalypse and Doomsday This remark is the final nail needed to crucify the author who cannot spend one page without rejected Christianity all the because he is in his works and his characters a direct impersonation of Jesus Christ himself if at least we believe what the characters say about him But that concerns the real author than the character the latter being so vain at times that we cannot even push aside the idea that this Fernando Pessoa in this dramatic prose writing believes he is the Savior of this world though the author reminds him regularly of the fact that he is nothing but a dramatic and pathetic playwright’s puppetBut my reflection is not on these eight characters and the Christian allusion we can feel behind and then the contradiction with the numerous anti Christian assertions in the name of paganism of a multiplicity of gods that correspond to the multiplicity of human personalities experiences and experiments Paganism and multi polytheism are not really at stake here It is uite obvious Pessoa does not really know the “logic” of the multiple gods in ancient polytheist societies In fact I am not sure he knows much beyond Greek mythology and its copycat Roman mythologies And I am not going to discuss the point because his choice of a polytheistic vision is purely ideological It is in no way “natural” as he is prone to say It is only the way societies started conceptualizing and spiritualizing their experience of real life They saw not because what they saw existed but because that was their own conjecturizing and mental construction a vast array of spirits and they established a lot of rituals These spirits could be existential having to do with life death birth initiation at 12 13 that has become circumcision in some societies for boys and excision for girls coming of age procreation fertility They could also be real and attached to the moon the sun stars and planets Venus and Mars for example and the cycles attached to each one of them They could also be attached to moments in these cycles like day and night the seasons the seasonal weather and many other things They finally could be attached to other living beings animals of course but also plants trees and particularly the wild plants that were domesticated by man and transformed man’s life like Maize becoming the Maize God Jun Nal Ye for the Mayas and under other names for many Meso American old agricultural civilizations All that is missing in Pessoa at least in this selection of prose texts But it is a lot interesting to discuss this systematic attitude that erases the identity of the real author and splits a hypothetical identity into eight different entities and in fact some with a lot of minor heteronyms or semi heteronyms without speaking of the women in the play The Mariner – A Static Drama in One Act There the dead woman and the three waking women are nothing but plain theatrical characters That can lead you to the idea that the author is looking at himself as a bunch of actors on the stage of life or at least the stage of life he is imagining because I am not sure he is realistic about what life really is I will come back to The Anarchist Banker later but let’s say here this Anarchist Banker text with an extra character who could be considered as another heteronym but yet with the proper status of a character being interviewed by the author or an interviewer who is supposed to be the author – but is he really? – is at least of a fictional journalistic nature that makes it something absolutely different from what it pretends to beFor the time being we can bring up several ideas in this imbroglioFirst the author does not want to project his real personality into his writing and he does not accept the idea he has only one personality or that his one personality is absolutely unified He says several times that his nature is double one side feminine and the other masculine but that is not the author but the character Fernando Pessoa who also expresses several times his revulsion and refusal of anything gay or homosexual the two are not the same thing both practice or attraction He invests this homosexuality in some of his heteronyms and semi heteronyms But in the very same way we may think the character Fernando Pessoa has no sexual life at all his heteronyms and semi heteronyms have no sexual life either They are haunted by sexuality by masturbation by passion and love but they have no real sexual intercourse with anyone or as for that anything else The final letter by Maria José is typical of this absolute frustration the author imposes onto his characters “I’m neither a woman nor a man because nobody thinks I’m anything but a creature that fills up the space in this window and is an eyesore to everyone around God help me I hope you never find out about me so as not to laugh for I know I can’t hope for I love you with all my heart and life There I said it and I’m crying” We should discuss this female semi heteronym who is neither a woman nor a man – whereas Fernando Pessoa as a man says he is both – who has a hump and whose body is distorted with arthritis in the legs She can’t even stand up on her legs and straight with her hunch or hump When he deals with female characters the author seems to be at least sexistSecond every single heteronym or semi heteronym is conceived as a stage enacted reproduction of the author but systematically distorted in a way or another andor amputated castrated deprived of some elements of the author and this is true even of the character Fernando Pessoa This systematic psychological excision or circumcision makes all these characters stripped or bereft of something essential that could make the character livable humanly plausible They are in a way all of them cartoons caricatures of the author so that the author is never really present in his writing This creates a feeling of alienation frustration dissatisfaction even discontentment in the absolute meaning Sigmund Freud gave to the term in Civilization and Its Discontents 1929 Sigmund Freud was targeting the two main discontented political parties of Germany in 1929 after the Big Depression viz Ernst Thaelmann’s Communist Party and Hitler’s National Socialist party The latter seized power in 1933 and the former’s leader died in Buchenwald This systematic discontentment leads to a negative feeling and it is not the concept of “fifth empire” for Portugal that he will invest in the nationalism of António de Oliveira Salazar after the May 28 1926 military coup and his appointment as Prime Minister on July 5 1932 He finally found the extreme he needed to invest his characters’ discontentment and frustration into then he just had to lock himself up in his alcoholism and let his characters play on his mental slightly distorted stage And I must say there is then a depth that can be rebuilt in this exploded multiplicity that goes millennia beyond his present time We can probably compare him to Gabriele d’Annunzio who found in Mussolini the force he needed outside his own self to be able to balance this very self into some kind of peaceful coexistence with the worldThird what is the anarchism of his character the Anarchist Banker in this political or ideological approach? Is it a prank a satire a real conviction? Probably these three things at once and many others in the exploded way of thinking of this author projected into his exploded characters The Banker is a character like many others and he is telling his life totally fictitious of course to a Fernando Pessoa who is there only to say he approves what the Banker says and to ask some slightly disruptive uestions but nothing very deep or provocative And we know from the very start what it is all about the inflated ego of this anarchist banker “I’m an anarchist in theory and practice I’m an intelligent anarchist I in other words am the true anarchist” Note how the article “the” makes this character vain enough to assert there is only one true anarchist and he is that uniue true anarchist The humility of “I am a true anarchist” is beyond the self centered umbilical personality of this character He tried to integrate anarchist groups of trade unionists or political activists and he was side tracked rejected laughed at when he defended his vision of his true anarchism that by the way is so close to my brother’s anarchism in the 1950 60 70s turned ecological in the 1980 90s He too came to that true individualistic anarchism from a Christian education turned anti militaristic into conscientious objection which led him into prison with a military court martial afterward that hit a compromise condemning his refusal to abide by the law on conscientious objection but freeing him de facto at the end of the trial But let’s look at this author’s Anarchist Banker’s principles Objective “An anarchist is someone who rebels against the injustice of people being born socially uneual” He rejects any reformist approach “Any system besides pure anarchism which aims to do away with all systems is likewise a fiction” That makes him reject any “progressive” approach he calls social fictions He needs a concept of justice to justify his objective and he states it in very simple terms “Where does the notion of justice come from? It comes from what is true and natural in opposition to social fictions and the lies of convention” This reference to natural truth is the most surprising element you can imagine Even Jean Jacues Rousseau knew that there was no truth in this concept because all human history is nothing but the ideological vision of the situation of humanity trying to go against nature and control it with social contracts or compacts to avoid the Christian or Jewish term covenant The Anarchist Banker then favors “the only adaptation evolution or transition that can occur in passing from the bourgeois society to the free society that is psychological; it’s the gradual adapting of people’s minds to the idea of the free society” He rejects the “revolutionary dictatorship A revolutionary regime is materially only one thing a revolutionary regime a despotic military regime because a state of war is imposed on society by just one part of it Military despotism” That leads him to his conclusion “Goal an anarchist or free society Means an abrupt passage with no transition from bourgeois society to the free society This passage will be made possible by an intense sweeping propaganda campaign designed to prepare people’s minds and break down all resistance” Then we seem to be in Trotsky or at times Mao Zedong The revolution is done by propaganda in words and actions but with no violence or duress of any sort That’s purely dreamlike And he does not seem to understand that it is all a uestion of power who is in power no matter how they manage to capture it but of course that goes against his pure anarchism that dissolves the state at all levels And that is the main contradiction He is in fact in line ninety years before with what Marcel Gauchet defended last week in Le Figaro Paris France about the COVID 19 pandemic “Let’s hope this crisis will be the opportunity to come to a real re evaluation of our social reality and it will be a wake up call” Si cette crise pouvait être l’occasion d’un vrai bilan et d’un réveil collectif and for him this call is the call for a mythologized social revolutionBut let’s go back ninety years and listen to our Anarchist Banker “Social fictions are the only hindrance They I realized were what had to be destroyed in order to promote freedom” And then the dream becomes a dystopic utopia note the oxymoronic expression of the contradiction “A swift sudden and overwhelming social revolution Dr Jacues COULARDEAU

  5. Shahad Shahad says:

    Fernando Pessoa's prose aren't only penetrative to ones heart but they always find a way to shake a deadly mental earthuake Pessoa was intellectually distressed by the gap between what he was and what he wanted to be His views on sensationalism are relatable to a huge extent I admire his views on god as the faceless force or relationship we have with the universe that really has the insignificance and importance to keep us going I found the story of The Anarchist banker to be something strange and rather amazing in the sense that to be viewed as a successful anarchist is to be viewed as a capitalist ally And that generalization tends to be flawed according to Pessoa the successful anarchist is the best kind of anarchist one that constructed a mountain above other capitalists who are born with privilege and wealth To truly abolish a system belonging to the anarchist doctrine you need to climb the top of the capitalist ladder to be heard to enforce The anarchist propaganda and to not be viewed as a revolting person of the working class only because you can't be in any position above that Pessoa rejects the notion that a human being could seek to preach what is known as The ultimate knowledge or correctness be it politically socially or religiously As well as his apparent rejection of logic and reason over feelings Although to be Pessoa is to be driven by the ultimate rejection of belief systems and religion Pessoa still emphasizes that although reason influenced his atheism feelings are a core drive to seeking reason and without feeling The human being is but a machine constructed by nature

  6. Arick Arick says:

    A great compilation of Pessoa's various types of prose Expect excerpts of letters explaining his views on the occult his genesis of heteronyms a play some short stories etc While the scope of this division in Pessoa's writing is vast it makes sense given the fragmented personality of the man himself I found myself wanting sections of The Book of Disuiet but overall this is a great bundle of writings from a superb genius I do not however recommend this as any sort of introduction to Pessoa and his work The volume is definitely written for the reader with previous encounters concerning Pessoa Each piece opens with a nominal amount of text from the editor giving the reader a rough background concerning the text but nothing incredibly substantial is rendered If you're just starting out with Pessoa might I suggest his monolithic Book of Disuiet? It might sound silly to prescribe a 'monolith' for starting out but this is very much the nature of Pessoa himself he was a monolith of literary fury

  7. Antonio Delgado Antonio Delgado says:

    Pessoa is without a doubt one the most important modern writers Pessoa's work stands as one of the best literary achievements of the last century His prose not only illuminates his poetry but creates and entire body of work that have never been achieved by a single writer All his personas have made possible the work of writers and philosophers that inhabit him

  8. Mariano Mariano says:

    Man is an animal that almost exists What the hell

  9. Thomas Murray Thomas Murray says:

    The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa offers a wonderful window into this great poet's mind For example I didn't know he had a strong interest in astrology and seances He explains his famous use of heteronyms His letters describe his incompetent efforts to woe a woman hate to disappoint those who would like to claim him as gayIn his poetry he comes across as someone who has cut any external human ties to his inner self where he lives most of his life He is the exact opposite of Walt Whitman whom he criticizes But his take on the underground societies like the anarcho communists and their ilk is spot on I know this from personal experience The tyranny that these groups are fighting to overthrow they create the even worse among themselves which they impose on everyone else after they are successful We have seen this play out in all the socialist revolutionsHIs conclusion agrees with mine The current system of democratic capitalism despite its many weaknesses is far better than any alternatives that exist so far The tyranny that exists today is nothing compared to what others have tried recently Religious Nazis Fascists Communist etc We need strong democratic institutions founded on law with a strong central government that can control the excesses of capitalism This last paragraph contains my thoughts that go further than his as he lived before he could see the results of these groups

  10. David McLeod David McLeod says:

    I feel like some of the selections were erroneously chosen but the most of what is included is excellent

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