the book of disquiet

I’m still obsessed with creating a false world, and will be until I die. […] in my imagination I line up the characters – so alive and dependable!– who occupy my inner life, and this makes me feel cosy, like sitting by a warm fire in winter. I have a world of friends inside me, with their own real, individual, imperfect lives.
—  Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd; the longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.
—  Fernando Pessoa, Book of Disquiet
Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality - it’s all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I’m attending here is a show with another set. And the show I’m attending is myself.

“I’ve never aspired to be more than a dreamer. I paid no attention to those who spoke to me of living. I’ve always belonged to what isn’t where I am and to what I could never be. Whatever isn’t mine, no matter how base, has always had poetry for me. The only thing I’ve loved is nothing at all. The only thing I’ve desired is what I couldn’t even imagine. All I asked of life is that it go on by without my feeling it. All I demanded of love is that it never stop being a distant dream. In my own inner landscapes, all of them unreal, I’ve always been attracted to what’s in the distance,”

Fernando Pessoa, from The Book of Disquiet (Penguin Classics, 2002)