August Highly Recommended Read
This month’s recommended book is The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet, writer, and philosopher, often described as one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest poets in the Portuguese language. If you’re ever in Lisbon, make sure you visit the statue and have a coffee contemplating one of his poems.
This book is essentially a collection of notes and meditations on life and existential musings. A great book to dip into for a few pages at a time and admire the writing craft of a brilliant writer but also find a resonant echo of his profound words and sentiments in your life.
Here are three reasons why I believe you may like this book.
3 Reasons for liking this book
Reason #1: Its relevance to being awake in life and whitnessing it
Pessoa touches on universal themes such as:
- Love, Friendship,
- Melancholy etc.
His words make you think, reflect and rediscover the powers of reflection, observation and thinking.
Reason #2: The short entries format make for a tempting invitation into self-reflection and personal inquiry
This is a book presented in the form of short diary entries and writing fragments that are in essence musings, reflections that have been assembled into a book.
There is no plot or progression as such but simply a way of diving into someone else’s mind. This means you may not remember what you read on other pages unless it connects with you for some reason and makes you think further. Thus, the work creatively invites you to observe, think and perhaps consider making your own version. What would you find yourself saying?
Reason #3: Inspiration to write
I have found the book to be incredibly inspiring as a writer.
Take 1 or 2 of the entries and imagine your own character having to walk the same streets, contemplate the same thoughts or debate them.
The prose here, even in translation in so poetic, and masterful there is great deal to learn from Passoa’s craft.
An opening exerpt I found on YouTube to share this beautiful work with you.
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. – Fernando Pessoa