Month: August 2015

20 Quotes from the Book of Disquiet

There are some works of literature that require a certain kind of humility from the reader; an understanding that when someone on the train asks to know about the book you are reading, you will hesitate over the details–because you have trouble explaining what makes the book interesting or even relatable. It’s a frustrating experience, especially when the work deserves better, but it happens regardless of your intentions. Incidentally, I’ve found myself trying to explain The Book of Disquiet with the implicit understanding that it has no definition. So over the past month, with varied successes and failures, I’ve spoken to more than a few curious strangers about the book (don’t be surprised if you start seeing people all around New York City carrying around a copy). Anyway, it’s nearly impossible to describe this book without making it sound too abstract or too elaborate, yet somehow, I keep trying. In the last month, I’ve explained the identity of Bernardo Soares as a heteronym, the language of despair made accessible through the narrator’s lucid and poetic …