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July 01 , 2010

The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa


The Washington Post Book World has written that Fernando Pessoa was "Portugal's greatest writer of the twentieth century [though] some critics would even leave off that last qualifying phrase" and "one of the most appealing European modernists, equal in command and range to his contemporaries Rilke and Mandelstam." The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa, a Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2001, spans playful philosophical inquiry, Platonic dialogue, and bitter intellectual scrapping between Pessoa and his many literary alter egos ("heteronyms"). The heteronyms launch movements and write manifestos, and one of them attempts to break up Pessoa's only known romantic relationship. Also included is a generous selection from Pessoa's masterpiece, The Book of Disquiet, freshly translated by Richard Zenith from newly discovered materials. The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa is an important record of a crucial part of the literary canon. "Zenith's selection is beautifully translated, compact while appropriately diverse." – Benjamin Kunkel, Los Angeles Times "[Pessoa] is one of those writers as addictive, and endearing, as Borges and Calvino." – Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World
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