Happy birthday, Fernando Pessoa! Here are some quotes from his writing.
“Could it think, the heart would stop beating.”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been me.”
“Direct experience is the evasion, or hiding place of those devoid of imagination.”
“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 a raw landscape within us, a sun eternally setting on what we are.”
“I have no ambitions nor desires.
To be a poet is not my ambition,
It’s simply my way of being alone.”
“Every man who deserves to be famous knows it is not worth the trouble.”
“I am nothing.
Never shall be anything.
Cannot will to be anything.
This apart, I have in me all the dreams of the world.”
“Solitude desolates me; company oppresses me.”
“I’m upset by the happiness of all these men who don’t know they’re unhappy. […] Because of that, though, I love them all. Dear vegetables!”
“When I write, I solemnly visit myself.”
John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.