Quotes to like or puzzle over: “There comes a time when you realize that everything is a dream, and only those things preserved in writing have any possibility of being real.” ― James Salter, All That Is
All I want to do at this point is write text to the right of the photo, or left I don’t care. But of course that’s a battle I’m not going to win without a great deal of exertion on my part, the ability for which I have none. I’ve been working on what I’m calling “Field Notes” on a biography (or War) and am obligated to send snatches with photos to the kids—nephews and nieces. Due to the obligation I’ve been keeping up a pace I would not normally. My normal pace is tortoise. A very old and sad tortoise. And I’m in a punch-drunk mental state.
About Fyodor (above)—I totally adore him. I still recall the books I struggled through at some point in my much younger years. I should say I remember parts and pieces because I get them mixed up and don’t recall which comes from what. And his writing gave me my first concept of Apotheosis without knowing what it was called. The biggest problem for me with Russian novels is all of the nicknames without explanation. I can be reading along and think we have a new character doing something when it’s just a nickname for a previous character. In any case, I do have Notes From The Underground somewhere but I can’t find it just yet. I know I have the book because everytime I go to buy it Amazon (or someone) wants to know if I want to buy it again. I may have to resort to that. The same thing happens with Pessoa. You know, The Book of Disquiet, and A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe. I’ve tried to repurchase them numerous times. Pathetic.
Or perhaps I sold it off along with the rest of Dostoevsky when I cleaned house and sold a stock (hundreds) of books that I was sure I’d never return to. I am so in regret over that phase of me that rears its ugly head from time to time and fills me with sorrow at some later point. From books to mementos and family pieces. Yet I’ve replenished my supply and have more books than before. Unfortunately that can’t be done with other things. It’s like Pessoa’s narrator says at some point, “I’ve had great ambitions and boundless dreams but so has the delivery boy…” I don’t know what that has to do with this but it seems as if it does. je nes se pas?
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.
“Through these deliberately unconnected impressions I am the indifferent narrator of my autobiography without events, of my history without a life. These are my Confessions and if I say nothing in them it’s because I have nothing to say.”
“In order to understand,
I destroyed myself.”
He came to us and he left us as he intended, in the disquiet of something that both was and was not. A history without a life. He would not have caught our attention and yet today he is admired and celebrated for his words. Words that take us beyond ourselves and into the Mystery. Fernando Pessoa, A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe.