Friday, 12 September 2008

Fernando Pessoa's The Book Of Disquiet is getting to me, despite my smug assumptions - I'd thought I was too evolved from the gloomy cuss state to totally appreciate the book's unrelenting pessimism and ironic self-regard. But there are virtuoso passages of rare lyrical beauty, observations that must resonate with the experience of any hapless denizen of any city and, most incredibly, butterfly-delicate states of mind and shades of thought captured alive. I'd quote something, but then I'd wind up typing in entire pages.

I'm stretching out the last few chapters of Dr. Faustus. I'm not sure Leverkuhn's life is quite the perfect metaphor or parallel to Nazi Germany's disastrous Will To Power; does a lot of it hinge on how literally one takes the pact outlined halfway through the book? Because, to my mind, that is clearly not intended literally, and is a part of Leverkuhn's own severe, almost masochistic attitude toward himself.