94 Inspirational Quotes By Fernando Pessoa, The Author Of The Book Of Disquiet
Fernando Pessoa was one of the most powerful figures of the Portuguese literary world who significantly contributed to Portuguese literature of the 20
th century. He was a poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher. His expansive fictional journal was not just belted out under his own name but under seventy-five other pseudonyms that he created for his works. Pessoa preferred calling them heteronyms as he believed that the word pseudonym did not capture the true essence or independent intellectual life of the names. Much unlike other notable writers who used literary personas, Pessoa gave his heteronyms a full life separate from his own, assigning each persona’s psychology, aesthetics, and politics. Coming to Pessoa’s works, during his lifetime, most of Pessoa’s considerable creative output appeared only in journals, and he published just three collections of poetry in English, ‘Antinous’, ‘Sonnets’ and ‘English Poems’. Other than this, he came up with one collection in Portuguese titled, ‘Mensagem’. However, Pessoa’s brilliance as a writer can be felt in his quotes that touch various aspects of life, such as happiness, contentment, failure, solitude, yearning, hope, regret, dreams, living, and so on. Explore this section and find out some of the most famous quotes by Fernando Pessoa.
Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life. No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it My past is everything I failed to be. There are ships sailing to many ports, but not a single one goes where life is not painful. I'd woken up early, and I took a long time getting ready to exist. We never love anyone. What we love is the idea we have of someone. It's our own concept—our own selves—that we love. I've always rejected being understood. To be understood is to prostitute oneself. I prefer to be taken seriously for what I'm not, remaining humanly unknown, with naturalness and all due respect In order to understand, I destroyed myself. I am nothing.
I'll never be anything.
I couldn't want to be something.
Apart from that, I have in me all the dreams in the world. My soul is a hidden orchestra; I know not what instruments, what fiddlestrings and harps, drums and tamboura I sound and clash inside myself. All I hear is the symphony. I feel as if I'm always on the verge of waking up. I wasn’t meant for reality, but life came and found me. I bear the wounds of all the battles I avoided. The value of things is not the time they last, but the intensity with which they occur. That is why there are unforgettable moments and unique people! If I write what I feel, it's to reduce the fever of feeling. What I confess is unimportant, because everything is unimportant. I've never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. Look, there's no metaphysics on earth like chocolates. We worship perfection because we can't have it; if we had it, we would reject it. Perfection is inhuman, because humanity is imperfect. To have opinions is to sell out to youself. To have no opinions is to exist. To have every opinion is to be a poet. If after I die, people want to write my biography, there is nothing simpler. They only need two dates: the date of my birth and the date of my death. Between one and another, every day is mine. To know nothing about yourself is to live. To know yourself badly is to think. I'm sick of everything, and of the everythingness of everything. Ah, it's my longing for whom I might have been that distracts and torments me! But I am not perfect in my way of putting things
Because I lack the divine simplicity
Of being only what I appear to be. I’m losing my taste for everything, including even my taste for finding everything tasteless. The essence of what I desire is simply this: to sleep away life. Friends: not one. Just a few acquaintances who imagine they feel something for me and who might be sorry if a train ran over me and the funeral was on a rainy day. Life is what we make of it. Travel is the traveler. What we see isn't what we see but what we are. The inventor of the mirror poisoned the human heart. I don't know what I feel or what I want to feel. I don't know what to think or what I am. ...the painful intensity of my sensations, even when they're happy ones; the blissful intensity of my sensations, even when they're sad. We are two abysses - a well staring at the sky. But do we really live? To live without knowing what life is - is that living? Having never discovered qualities in myself that might attract someone else, I could never believe that anyone felt attracted to me. To be understood is to prostitute oneself I carry my awareness of defeat like a banner of victory. There are no norms. All people are exceptions to a rule that doesn’t exist. Be what I think? But I think of being so many things! Every gesture is a revolutionary act. And, like the great damned souls, I shall always feel that thinking is worth more than living. I sometimes think that I enjoy suffering. But the truth is I would prefer something else. Whether or not they exist we are slaves to our gods. My soul is impatient with itself, as with a bothersome child; its restlessness keeps growing and is forever the same. Everything interests me, but nothing holds me. Lord, may the pain be ours, And the weakness that it brings, But at least give us the strength, Of not showing it to anyone! At first I felt dizzy - not with the kind of dizziness that makes the body reel but the kind that's like a dead emptiness in the brain, an instinctive awareness of the void. Inch by inch I conquered the inner terrain I was born with. Bit by bit I reclaimed the swamp in which I'd languished. I gave birth to my infinite being, but I had to wrench myself out of me with forceps. Without madness what is man
But a wholesome beast,
Postponed corpse that begets? The unnatural and the strange have a perfume of their own What has happened to us has happened to everyone or only us; if to everyone, then it's no novelty, and if only to us, then it won't be understood.
From, The Book of Disquiet I don't mourn the loss of my childhood; I mourn because everything, including (my) childhood, is lost. I am the escaped one,
After I was born
They locked me up inside me
But I left.
My soul seeks me,
Through hills and valley,
I hope my soul
Never finds me. What Hells and Purgatories and Heavens I have inside of me! But who sees me do anything that disagrees with life--me, so calm and peaceful? Blessed are those who entrust their lives to no one. I know nothing and my heart aches …to know how to think with emotions and to feel with intellect… Today I suddenly experienced an absurd but quite valid sensation. I realized, in an intimate lightning flash, that I am no one. No one, absolutely no one. To love is to tire of being alone; it is therefore a cowardice, a betrayal of ourselves. (It is exceedingly important that we not love.) Writing is like paying myself a formal visit… There are ships sailing to many ports, but not a single one goes to where life is not painful; nor is there a port of call where it is possible to forget. I realize that I was all error and deviation, that I never lived, that I existed only in so far as I filled time with consciousness and thought. My boredom with everything has numbed me. This world is for those who are born to conquer it, Not for those who dream that are able to conquer it, even if they're right. Life is full of paradoxes, as roses are of thorns. Let us sculpt in hopeless silence all our dreams of speaking. We, all who live, have
A life that is lived
And another life that is thought,
And the only life we have
It's the one that is divided
In right or wrong. Life is whatever we conceive it to be. Pg.9 "In my heart there's a peaceful anguish, and my calm is made of resignation. To act—that is true wisdom. I can be what I want to be, but I have to want whatever it is. Success consists in being successful, not in having the potential for success. Again I see you, But me I don't see!, The magical mirror in which I saw myself has been broken, And only a piece of me I see in each fatal fragment - Only a piece of you and me!... Everything I sought in life I abandoned for the sake of the search. I'm like one who absentmindedly looks for he doesn't know what, having forgotten it in his dreaming as the search got under way. To write is to forget. Literature is the pleasantest way of ignoring life. I'm the empty stage where various actors act out various plays. There's something vile (and all the more vile because ridiculous) in the tendency of feeble men to make universal tragedies out of the sad comedies of their private woes. I never had anyone I could call “Master”. No Christ died for me. No Buddha showed me the right path. In the depths of my dreams no Apollo or Athena appeared to me to enlighten my soul I am nothing.
I will never be anything.
I cannot wish to be anything.
Bar that, I have in me all the dreams of the world. To feel today what one felt yesterday isn't to feel - it's to remember today what was felt yesterday, to be today's living corpse of what yesterday was lived and lost. Pg 9, "The consciousness of life's unconsciousness is the oldest tax levied on the intelligence. Everything interests me, but nothing holds me. The chill of what I won't feel gnaws at my present heart.
Ah, what a morning this is, awakening me to life's stupidity. [98 - Zenith trans.]
From so much self-revising, I’ve destroyed myself. From so much self-thinking, I’m now my thoughts and not I
To love is to tire of being alone; it is therefore a cowardice, a betrayal of ourselves.
FIRST WATCHER Why do people die?
SECOND WATCHER Perhaps because they don't dream enough...
We live by action—by acting on desire. Those of us who don't know how to want—whether geniuses or beggars—are related by impotence.
I crave time in all its duration, and I
want to be myself unconditionally. I asked for very little from life, and even this little was denied me.