Disquiet.

Here are various quotes from The Book of Disquiet, by Fernando Pessoa. (trans: Richard Zenith)


To have touched the feet of Christ is no excuse for mistakes in punctuation.


How blessed with Absurdity are the artists who set fire to a beautiful work! Or the artist who could have made a beautiful work but deliberately made it ordinary! Or the great poets of Silence who, knowing they were capable of writing an absolutely perfect work, preferred to crown it with the decision never to write it. (For an imperfect work, it makes no difference.)


The downfall of aristocratic influence has created an atmosphere of brutality and indifference towards the arts, such that a refined sensibility has nowhere to take refuge. Contact with life is ever more painful for the soul, and all efforts are ever more arduous, because the outer conditions for making effort are forever more odious.

The downfall of classical ideas made all men potential artists, and therefore bad artists. When art depended on solid construction and the careful observance of rules, few could attempt to be artists, and a fair number of these were quite good. But when art, instead of being understood as creation, became merely an expression of feelings, then anyone could be an artist, because everyone has feelings.


I enjoy speaking. Or rather, I enjoy wording.


Don’t you know, Exquisite One, the pleasure of buying things you don’t need? Don’t you know the delight of roads which, when we’re distracted, we take by mistake? What human act has a color as lovely as a spurious one… which lies to its own nature and contradicts its own intention?