The Education of the Stoic: The Only Manuscript of the Baron of Teive
"I transferred to Teive my speculations on certainty, which lunatics have in greater abundance than anyone." Portuguese author Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) was a multitude of writers: his works were composed by "heteronyms," alter egos with distinct biographies, ideologies, influences, even horoscopes. "The Education of the Stoic" is the only work left by the Baron of Teive, who, having destroyed all his previous attempts at literary creation, and about to destroy himself, explains "the impossibility of producing superior art." The baron's manuscript is found in a hotel-room drawer--not unlike editor and translator Richard Zenith's own discovery, while conducting research in the Pessoa archives, of a small black notebook whose contents had never been transcribed. In it he found the missing pieces of this short but trenchant complement to Pessoa's major prose work, "The Book of Disquiet." Pessoa himself noted that despite their dialectical differences, the middle-class author of "The Book of Disquiet" (assistant bookkeeper Bernardo Soares) and the aristocrat Teive, "are two instances of the very same phenomenon--an inability to adapt to real life."
"There are in Pessoa echoes of Beckett's exquisite boredom; the dark imaginings of Baudelaire (whom he loved); Melville's evasive confidence man; the dreamscapes of Borges" --"Voice Literary Supplement"
"The humorist who never smiles and makes our blood run cold, the inventor of other poets and self-destroyer, the author of paradoxes clear as water, and like water, dizzying, the mysterious one who doesn't cultivate mystery, mysterious as the moon at noon, the taciturn ghost of the Portuguese midday--who is Pessoa?" --Octavio Paz
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Alfred de Vigny alternate version Alvaro Coelho Alvaro de Campos Antero de Quental Antonio Tabucchi aristocrat automatic writings Baron of Teive Bernardo Soares black notebook Book of Disquiet Campos poem Chateaubriand Coelho de Athayde commit suicide death Disjecta membra drawer dream duel Education emotions English Epicureanism everything evil Exact Change existence feel felt Fernando Pessoa finished literary fragments gods Greek heteronyms human Joao Gaspar Simoes killed knew Kubla Khan Leopardi live loose sheet lost Manuscript found mind never nobility novel oeuvre pain passage perfection perhaps pessimistic poets Pessoa's Porlock Portuguese edition pride producing superior art reality realize reason religion that preaches remember renounce Ricardo Reis Richard Zenith romantic seduce more girls seduction of Maria Senancour sexual problem someone soul soul's Stoic suffering Teive's Text There's things thought Three Pessimists tion tragedy truth universal Vigny what's who's women write written wrote