Monday, February 19, 2007

Such a Thing as Too Much Pessoa ... at least in one night ...

Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet is both exactly what I needed and exactly what I didn't need. Unlike Berryman and Lowell and some other authors I have been reading, Pessoa is rawer than raw. By this I mean he is unapologetically cynical, diabolical, self-absorbed yet deprecating and much more. This can wear on a person like me who is not feeling my healthiest emotionally lately. Four hours of Pessoa was simply too much for me. I was warned, but did not heed that very important warning. A dab will do you of Pessoa ... in one night. Like a good scotch, Pessoa seems at first merely calming, comforting, and oddly sweet ... but the next thing you know, you're drunk and haven't the foggiest idea where you are. All you know is the place where you find yourself is a walled-in dichotomy ... a place you want to run from and a place you never want to leave.

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