Saturday, September 02, 2006

On Writing

Pessoa/ Bernardo Soares, THE BOOK OF DISQUIET
( Translated by Richard Zenith )


" To write is to forget. Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life. Music soothes, the visual arts exhilarate, and the performing arts ( such as acting and dance ) entertain. Literature, however, retreats from life by turning it into a slumber. The other arts make no such retreat - some because they use visible and hence vital formulas, others because they live from human life itself.
This isn't the case with literature. Literature simulates life. A novel is a story of what never was, and a play is a novel without narration. A poem is the expression of ideas or feelings in a language no one uses, because no one talks in verse."

If you enjoyed this fragment, go on reading, quite soon you will find that Pessoa, under his many voices, dreams or disguises if you want, will say this and its contrary, for he enjoys the contradiction out of which he built his entire (literary) life. At a point he will disclose his secret way not to forget, but to remember :


" I don't write in Portuguese. I write my own self."

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