19. The Book of Disquiet | Fernando Pessoa | PodNu Podcasts & Book Insights

Today I’m going to start straight off with a quote:

“I read and am liberated. I acquire objectivity. I cease being myself and so scattered. And what I read, instead of being like a nearly invisible suit that sometimes oppresses me, is the external world’s tremendous and remarkable clarity, the sun that sees everyone, the moon that splotches the still earth with shadows, the wide expanses that end in the sea, the blackly solid trees whose tops greenly wave, the steady peace of ponds on farms, the terraced slopes with their paths overgrown by grape-vines.”

Listeners and readers, have you ever heard a reason for reading expressed in a more beautiful or truthful way? This quote could well be a call to arms, or should I say a call to books, for ourselves and our intentions in life. It could be a motto for all of us at PodNu, and an ethos for us all to live by. The quote comes from a truly mercurial and unusual book. A book that confounds so much that it reveals, it’s a book that almost wasn’t published, by the express intent of its own author, an author who in one sense barely existed, and in another sense existed in a thousand different lives. But enough of these riddles!

I enter into this episode with a degree of trepidation, as The Book of Disquiet is really rather a misnomer. In that it’s not much of a book at all, it’s a mish-mash mosaic of insight and existentialism built up from a thousand scraps of paper compiled in totally different orders depending on the poor editor who attempted to assemble the piece as a whole, and it was then all translated from Portuguese into English to add just another layer of disquiet to the reader’s experience. As such it’s wonderfully rich for interpretation and misinterpretation, likely just how the original author intended it...

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PodNu Podcasts & Book Insights