Dolorous interludes

January 18, 2007

I continue to read through The Book of Disquietude by Pessoa. Although the writing itself is fascinating, after a session of reading it leaves one thoughtful, but well, kind of depressed. Although the entire book is a series of brief fragments- thoughts, feelings, opinions, experiences (usually solitary), – it is sprinkled with interludes, perfectly titled “dolorous interludes.” Dolorous- I can’t remember ever using the word so I took the time to look it up. The word is apt for the fragments- “Should you ask me if I’m happy, I’ll tell you I am not. And another – “Everything wearies me, including what doesn’t weary me. My happiness is as painful as my pain…..”

The writing keeps drawing me in.

“I stand up from my chair with a monstrous effort, but I have the impression that I carry it with me and that it is heavier, for its the chair of subjectivity.”

“I seek and don’t find myself. I belong to chrysanthemum hours, neatly lined up in flower-pots. I need to make my soul into a decorative object.
I don’t know what overly pompous and selective details define the temperament of my mind. My love of the ornamental no doubt exists because I feel something there that’s identical to the substance of my soul.”

I have no idea what Pessoa means by “I belong to chrysanthemum hours” but I enjoy contemplating phrases like that. (If someone gets the reference, I would welcome a clue).


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