An Unwritten Novel: Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet by Thomas Cousineau

By Thomas Cousineau

"Anything and every little thing, reckoning on how one sees it, is a surprise or a difficulty, an all or a not anything, a course or a problem," says Bernardo Soares, the putative writer of Fernando Pessoa's vintage The publication of Disquiet. Thomas Cousineau's An Unwritten Novel bargains the overall reader, in addition to scholars and lecturers, an "Ariadne's thread" that may aid them to discover their means via this labyrinthine masterpiece: a self-proclaimed "factless autobiography" within which the entire anticipated components of the modern novel stay "unwritten."

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Extra resources for An Unwritten Novel: Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet

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Let Sophocles' play begin. The collision has its concrete source in two dialec tical moments. The one is 'the tyrannical blasphemy or sin which makes of wilfulness a law' and which would compel the ethical substance to obey this law. The second moment is a subtler evil : it is the 'testing of the law' through 'the blasphemy or sin of knowing' (Frevel des Wissens, a formidable phrase) which 'reasons itself free from the Jaw' and takes the latter to be a contingent, alien arbitrariness. Note the deliberate ambi­ valence of Hegel's formulation.

C]mnaHum, IX\iii ' 1 9G l . cum 13 Mar-e 195 1 dargebracht (Baden­ Baden, 1 95 2 ) , 47 and 5 8 ; \' Ehrenberg, Sophocles and Pmcles ! :eu1 ; L'nivcrsit � of California Press, 1 9 7 1 , t t b ff ANT I GO N E S einmal steht und fallt' ) . -P. Vernant and P. 'autre sa place, sans reconnaitre cela meme qui Ia borne et Ia conteste' ( 'of the two religious attitudes which A ntigone sets at odds, neither could by itself be the right one without reserving a place to the other, without acknowledging the very thing which constrains and opposes it' ) .

In Sophocles' exemplary rendition, this defeat, in exact counterpoise to Antigone's, entails progress. After the deaths of Antigone and of Creon, new conflicts will spring from the division within the 1r6ALc of the 'ethical substance' . But these conflicts, so far as they concern the private and the public, the familial and the civic, the prerogatives of the dead and those of the living, will be enacted on a richer level of consciousness, of felt contradic­ tion, than that which arose from the corpse of Polyneices.

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