Encountering Fernando Pessoa in Lisbon

Travel – I am finding – is for me an exploration of the cultural, the imaginary, the infinite conversation as much as it is sightseeing the material world.

So my travel to Lisbon has been an encounter with a new writer, who I may add to my collection of the fragmentary, unsuccessful and unpublished: Fernando Pessoa.

In my one day in Lisboa I was unable to visit the museum dedicated to Pessoa, with a digitized version of his great trunk of writings. But the trip here has led me to read about his writings, his life and to begin to read the strange book, The Book of Disquiet.

I find in this text that is not a book, this prose of heteronyms and avatars, the courage to continue my own literary practice.

“In these random impressions, and with no desire to be other than random, I indifferently narrate my factless autobiography, my lifeless history. These are my Confessions, and if in them I say nothing, it’s because I have nothing to say.”

Pessoa, from The Book of Disquiet.

The image here shows Fernando Pessoa walking the cobble-tiled streets of Lisbon, just as I did two days ago.

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