With its astounding hardcover reviews Richard Zenith's new complete translation of The Book of Disquiet has now taken on a similar iconic status to Ulysses, The Trial or In Search of Lost Time as one of the greatest but also strangest modernist texts. An assembly of sometimes linked fragments it is a mesmerising, haunting 'novel' without parallel in any other culture.
Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) was born in Lisbon and brought up in Durban, South Africa. He returned to Lisbon in 1905. A prolific writer, ascribing his work to a variety of personas or heteronyms, Pessoa published little in his lifetime and supported himself by working as a commercial translator. Although acknowledged as an intellectual and a poet, his literary genius went largely unrecognised until after his death