The Book of Disquiet (Serpent's Tail Classics) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$12.34
Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.95
  • Save: $2.61 (17%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 13 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Book of Disquiet (Serpent's Tail Classics) Paperback – January 18, 2011


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.34
$7.31 $8.81

Frequently Bought Together

The Book of Disquiet (Serpent's Tail Classics) + A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems + Fernando Pessoa and Co.: Selected Poems
Price for all three: $39.70

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Series: Serpent's Tail Classics
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (January 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781846687358
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846687358
  • ASIN: 1846687357
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A better title might be The Books of Disquiet . Each entry in this fictional diary of one Bernardo Soares represents an attempt to create a distinct biography, for Soares lives according to the maxim: "Give to each emotion a personality, to each state of mind a soul." Through every rumination he records Soares longs to father someone because he is "nobody, absolutely nobody." His monotonous work as a bookkeeper in a Lisbon office and his solitary, celibate existence have contributed to the dissolution of his identity. Yet this grants him the ultimate imaginative freedom: "Because I am nothing, I can imagine myself to be anything." One effect of this freedom is a sense of exhaustion before the sheer number of possibilities for being. Another is a sense--at once paternal and disturbingly erotic--of intimacy with the whole human race. Of sleep Soares muses: "When someone sleeps they become a child. . . . I experience an immense, boundless tenderness for all of infantile humanity." More elegantly translated here than in the recent Pantheon edition, this novel presents paradoxes of identity that are more than just an occasion for meditation for Pessoa (1888-1935), one of Portugal's greatest writers and among this century's most enigmatic. They parallel Pessoa's own lived experience. He created several distinct personalities--called "heteronyms"--through which he wrote in an astonishing variety of styles and even in different languages. Soares represents a "semiheteronym," perhaps closest of all to the "real" Pessoa. Whoever Pessoa was, he managed to address through Soares's abstruse, at times excruciatingly precious musings the essential condition of human identity as represented in Western literature. Soares's separation from a common order might be the stuff of tragedy but for the fact that "my self-imposed rupture with any contact with things, led me precisely to what I was trying to flee." For all his quixotic tilting at windmills, Soares admits: "Whenever I see the figure of a young girl in the street . . . I wonder, however idly, how it would be if she were mine." Yet Sancho Panza's suit never hangs on Soares's skinny bones, and this is his dilemma. He is stalled between the poles of tragedy and comedy: "I can be neither nothing nor everything: I'm just the bridge between what I do not have and what I do not want." And herein lies the reason for the multifarious forms of his--and our--disquiet.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Recognized as Portugal's greatest poet since Camoens, Pessoa (1888-1935) wrote poetry under various heteronyms to whom he attributed biographies different from his own. Likewise, this rich and rewarding notebook kept by the solitary, celibate, and semi-alcoholic Pessoa during the last two decades of his life, is written under yet another heteronym (Bernardo Soares), a Lisbon bookkeeper with a position that is like a siesta and a salary that allows him to go on living. Soares knows no pleasure like that of books, yet he reads little. Like Camus, he is irritated by the happiness of men who don't know they are wretched, and his main objective is to perceive tedium in such a way that it ceases to hurt. There are no gossipy details in this heteronymous memoir, only the cerebral workings of a first-rate thinker on the dilemma of life. Full of fresh metaphors and unique perceptions, The Book of Disquiet can be casually scanned and read profitably even at random.
- Jack Shreve, Allegany Community Coll., Cumberland, Md.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
18
4 star
1
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 20 customer reviews
Finding Pessoa's *Book of Disquiet* was like finding a piece of myself.
Chelle
It's unlike anything else you will have read, and a book that I know that I will dip into frequently.
Ripple
The book presents us, as with any superb literary work, with a problem of translation.
Primus Pares

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By "cjtloe" on December 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Pessoa was a true acrobat of the imagination. The Book of Disquiet is a collection of epiphanic journal or diary prose kept by Pessoa and found decades after his death. The prose is truly some of the most gorgeous musings about everyday life and existence that any reader could ever find. The poet's world is laid out exquisitly and paradoxically for the entire benefit of those who read.I can't say I've ever found such beauty in the pages of a book before. If you like literature albeit simple or complex this book is something that you will immediately cherish for a very long time.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By john st. taw on February 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
I find the Richard Zenith translation to be much more lush and lyrical than Margaret Jull Costa's:
The Book of Disquiet (Penguin Classics)

That being said, translation is an art of interpretation; this has some of the same syntactical constructions found in her Saramgo work (excellent, by the way) that don't work quite as well with Pessoa lexical peculiarities.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
I first read of Pessoa in Geoff Dyer's biography of Lawrence. The Book Of Disquiet is genuinely original. In it Pessoa expounds his notion that a human being consists of several sensibilities irreconcilable with one another. For each of the individuals comprising Pessoa, Pessoa coins an appropriate (though not epithetic) "heteronym," of which there are more than a few. Pessoa regards the notion of a coherent personality--rather than a committee of warring selves--as an invitation to ignore any experience that does not easily consist with our notion of own characters, and thus an invitation both to dishonesty and to the rejection of experience. In this he is very close to the Buddhist notion that the Self is a fictional solidification of that which is eternally in flux. Pessoa has an uncanny intimacy with his own self and a very deep and moving commitment to the experience of being himself. This is a remarkable, deep, wise book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
"If i think, it all seems absurd to me; if i feel, it all seems strange; if i desire, he who desires is something inside of me."
Sums up the book perfectly. Pessoa explores one of his many personalities. "The Book of Disquiet" explains, in complete depth and faith, the beauty of a lonely, existential, moment by moment life. He explains the beauty that people forget. He explains the world, his perception, as if every moment were the last.
"The book of disquiet" is one of the most insightful books a person can read, but only if one has imagination and an ability to let go. Bernardo Soars, Pessoa's personality who wrote the book, is extreme and eccentric. It isn't easy reading, and it won't affect you if you can't overlook the fact that life doesn't go on like Soars'; that there is more in thinking, dreaming, and desiring than Soars admits. What makes the book so special is how Soars can forget everything but the thought and the moment, and how he can analyze and critique and put into words something that most of us forget to remember. "The book of disquiet" reminds me, at least, of how to appreciate my own mind. It is the only philosophy-like book that i enjoy (as yet) because it is the real thing and encompasses a forgotten part of real life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a book which I happened across by chance and which has become one of the major influences on my life. Reading it was like a voyage of affirmation and discovery about myself and a constant wonder as to how such seemingly effortless and simple prose could elicit such a response within me. I have read another translation but the poetry of his prose is not present there. This is a book that I have recommended to friends but it may not be to everyone's tastes, some find it disturbing or depressing but I found it a wonder and a delight.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Chelle on March 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
Poetry often speaks to us; we see something in it, something recognizable, and it's like we are shown a piece of ourselves that had been hidden for a lifetime before. Finding Pessoa's *Book of Disquiet* was like finding a piece of myself. In the pages of this poetic novel you will find honesty, often self-disparaging, and you will find beauty in the smallest observation. However, be forewarned, this is not a book that should be picked up with the idea of light reading in mind. In fact, you may find that you have to put it down, repeatedly, to get away from it, to think, but you will always, always come back to it. Keep it close to hand.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Tanvi on October 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Pessoa/Bernardo Soares has an exquisitely sensitive mind and the power to communicate its despairs and ecstasies in the course of ordinary days. The sensation of looking out onto a freshly washed city street in the morning for instance. The torments of wondering if strangers have seen into his lonely soul. Enigmatic paragraphs that convey the tremors of an intense inner life.
This book will change you because of its utter disregard of the unspoken dogma that prose must concern itself with outwardness and activity in the social sphere. It concerns itself in intense and particular detail with the essence of one person's mind. It makes for exhilarating reading.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Sara Piteira on September 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
there are few poets able to assume so many diferent personalites as Fernando Pessoa. But Bernardo Soares is not a diferent personality, is just the other side of his personnal mirror, an escape to his tortured soul. Probably that is why The Book of Disquiet is so universal, a portait of the human fears, an example of a lonely man,travelling across his own mind, looking at the world through the most ironic eyes. Fernando Pessoa was able to understand dissapointment and regreat in a intemporal way, as a natural part of human nature. So, this book has the ability to make you look inside yourself, guide by one of the best poets of all times!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?