The Book of Disquiet is the best known and most translated work of Fernando Pessoa. It is composed of about 500 prose excerpts, which Pessoa wrote throughout more than 20 years, but never got to order and organize to publish.
The set of fragments that were intended for the would-be Book of Disquiet only rose to prominence in the researchers’ eye after Pessoa's death in 935. The papers were found inside the trunk where Pessoa kept everything he wrote. The Book we can leaf through today is the result of the analysis, choices, and decisions of publishers.
The authorship of most of the fragments is attributed to Bernardo Soares, semi-heteronym of Pessoa. Bernardo Soares wanders the streets of Lisbon as if the city were his personal "labyrinth". He lets himself be lost in ramblings about feelings, ideas, and dreams and these are the subject of many of his texts.
Those who visit this exhibition-game "wander" between the fragments of the Book of Disquiet and decide the best way to read them. On the table, arranged in slots, are transparent sheets with printed snippets that the visitor-reader can reposition, sort, select. This way, visitors enter the game of combining texts and composing their own version of the Book of Disquiet.
Game of Disquiet is a temporary exhibition conceived from the Book of Disquiet to mark the 40th anniversary of its first edition. Only in 1982, almost half a century after Pessoa’s death, was the publisher Ática able to get it ready for publication. The book’s launch gave way to a dynamic discussion around this enigmatic piece of work that continues to fascinate readers and literary researchers.
Curatorship and content production Casa Fernando Pessoa
Design and installation atelier-do-ver
Scientific consulting Fernando Cabral Martins
Selection of fragments participatory process and Casa Fernando Pessoa
Construction Ambienti d’Interni
Podotactile floor Electrosertec
Acknowledgment Richard Zenith (English translation of excerpts from the Book of Disquiet)