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Let's All Quote Pessoa!

Even I, who laugh at these seductions that play on the mind, very often catch myself thinking how nice it would be to be famous, how pleasant to be doted on, how colorful to be triumphant! But I'm unable to envision myself in these lofty roles without a hearty snicker from the other I that's always nearby, like a downtown street. . . I'll die as I lived, amid all the junk on the outskirts, sold by weight among the postscripts of the broken.

May I at least carry, to the boundless possibility contained in the abyss of everything, the glory of my disillusion like that of a great dream, and the splendour of not believing like a banner of defeat: a banner in feeble hands, but still and all a banner, dragged through mud and the blood of the weak but raised high for who knows what reason – whether in defiance, or as challenge, or in mere desperation – as we vanish into quicksand. No one knows for what reason, because no one knows anything, and the sand swallows those with banners as it swallows those without. And the sand covers everything: my life, my prose, my eternity.

I carry my awareness of defeat like a banner of victory.

Bernardo Soares, The Book of Disquiet, 54

The numbering may actually depend on the edition? This one is Richard Zenith's translation. The Book of Disquiet was really a box of scraps, some with question marks at the top of the page; there's no one official order.

I daydream between Cascais and Lisbon. I went to Cascais to pay a property tax for my boss, Senhor Vasques, on a house he owns in Estoril. I took anticipated pleasure in the trip, an hour each way in which to enjoy the forever changing views of the wide river and its Atlantic estuary. But on actually going out there, I lost myself in abstract contemplations, seeing but not seeing the riverscapes I'd looked forward to seeing, while on the way back I lost myself in mentally nailing down those sensations. I wouldn't be able to describe the slightest detail of the trip, the slightest scrap of what there was to see. What I got out of it are these pages, the fruit of contradiction and forgetting. I don't know if this is better or worse than the contrary, nor do I know what the contrary is.

The train slows down, we're at Cais do Sodre. I've arrived at Lisbon, but not at a conclusion.

16, same.

Maybe I'll quote Pessoa all by myself! That's ok, too.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
a_phoenixdragon
Jun. 14th, 2016 01:14 am (UTC)
*HUGS*
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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