Portuguese American Journal

Book: ‘The Book of Disquiet: The Complete Edition’ – Editor’s Note

For the first time―and in the best translation ever―the complete Book of Disquiet, a masterpiece beyond comparison
The Book of Disquiet is the Portuguese modernist master Fernando Pessoa’s greatest literary achievement. An “autobiography” or “diary” containing exquisite melancholy observations, aphorisms, and ruminations, this classic work grapples with all the eternal questions.

Now, for the first time the texts are presented chronologically, including over 150 pages that have never appeared in any previous English edition. Most of the texts in The Book of Disquiet are written under the semi-heteronym Bernardo Soares, an assistant bookkeeper. This existential masterpiece was first published in Portuguese in 1982, forty-seven years after Pessoa’s death. A monumental literary event, this exciting, new, complete edition spans Fernando Pessoa’s entire writing life.

About the Author


Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa was a poet and writer.
It is sometimes said that the four greatest Portuguese poets of modern times are Fernando Pessoa. The statement is possible since Pessoa, whose name means ‘person’ in Portuguese, had three alter egos who wrote in styles completely different from his own. In fact Pessoa wrote under dozens of names, but Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis and Álvaro de Campos were – their creator claimed – full-fledged individuals who wrote things that he himself would never or could never write. He dubbed them ‘heteronyms’ rather than pseudonyms, since they were not false names but “other names”, belonging to distinct literary personalities. Not only were their styles different; they thought differently, they had different religious and political views, different aesthetic sensibilities, different social temperaments. And each produced a large body of poetry. Álvaro de Campos and Ricardo Reis also signed dozens of pages of prose. The critic Harold Bloom referred to him in the book The Western Canon as the most representative poet of the twentieth century, along with Pablo Neruda.

About the Editor


Jerónimo Pizarro is Professor at the Universidad de los Andes and holds the Camões Institute Chair of Portuguese Studies in Colombia. He has a PhD in Hispanic Literatures (Harvard University) and a PhD in Portuguese Linguistics (Universidade de Lisboa). He contributed seven volumes to the critical edition of Fernando Pessoa’s Works, published by the INCM. He is co-editor with Steffen Dix of Portuguese Modernisms in Literature and the Visual Arts ( Legenda, 2011). He won the Eduardo Lourenço Prize in 2013.

About the Translator

Margaret Jull Costa has translated the works of many Spanish and Portuguese writers. She won the Portuguese Translation Prize for The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa in 1992 and for The Word Tree by Teolinda Gersao in 2012, and her translations of Eça de Queiroz’s novels The Relic (1996) and The City and the Mountains (2009) were shortlisted for the prize; with Javier Marias, she won the 1997 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for A Heart So White, and, in 2000, she won the Weidenfeld Translation Prize for Jose Saramago’s All the Names. In 2008 she won the Pen Book-of-the Month-Club Translation Prize and The Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize for The Maias by Eça de Queiroz.

Book Details

  • Title: The Book of Disquiet: The Complete Edition
  • Author: Fernando Pessoa
  • Editor: Jerónimo Pizarro
  • Translator: Margaret Jull Costa
  • Publisher: New Directions
  • Date of Publication: August 29, 2017
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 608 pp.

Source: Amazon.com

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