The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd: the longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. ~Fernando Pessoa
(Book: The Book of Disquiet (Book: ‘Not to Be Reproduced’, 1937 by Rene Magritte)
Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa was born in Portugal on the 13th of June in 1888. He died in November, on the 30th in 1935. He was a poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher, and philosopher. Although when it’s all said and done, many writers are all of those things with the exception of translator and publisher. His books are not only well written but fascinating, and I’m always surprised by the few serious readers who know of him. He should be better read and more widely appreciated. He wrote a great deal, and not only in his own name, but under “heteronyms” as he felt “pseudonyms” did not capture the personas of the writers. He often spoke to the many personalities or persons that each human contains and often wrote from a different person’s consciousness—making a distinction from point-of-view, or narrative persona.
Perhaps his best known work is The Book of Disquiet and it was published after his death from papers found in a trunk. He said, “I am, in large measure, the self-same prose I write.” And he writes of unanswerable questions—but the only ones worth pursuing.