Fernando Pessoa

13 Jun 1888 // 30 Nov 1935

Diary - November 15 till December 7, 1915

November 15 (1915) - Morning began with small disillusion: negative answer from Guimarães and Co (but good because of incompleteness of pamphlet). Day ran on fairly agreeably, with curious small (but subjective) «suspicions», of even slight importance. Between 3 and 4 p. m. received unexpectedly 1 1/2 dollars from Senchi for typing his translations. Day ended well at the Hotel with Aunt Lisbella; (...) except (...) and talkative, made myself agreeable to her and niece, evidently. In early morning 16 (about between 2 and 5) great mental excitement, excellent and important philosophical ideas, completing part my system. Physically uncomfortable, flatulence. Mixture of megalomania and religious ideas (in no way attacking lucidity). Slept at 5 1/2 till about 11 or l6th. This night bit was a remarkable one for mental action. (On coming home at about 11 1/2 p. m. I had slight curious «spirit» terrors.

16 - Got up late, near 11 a. m., as above up to about 4 was ever more or less hazy on account of this. At office good thing: last proofs of D. of R. had arrived: hence solution Aunt Car's question. These proofs, unexpected, wearying. - Could not receive money this evening, however, having arrived necessarily late. - Read Caeiro and R. Reis to Raul Leal: he seemed to like very much and to understand: so good moments. Walked about with Brito, talking aimlessly about «Orpheu». Dined at 9 1/2. Home immediately after. Smoked far less, by will, and by natural effect of it. On the whole an agreeable day. (In morning besides good news in proofs, also agreeable news in Sol's letter, when it refers to Hermano Neves).

22 - Same kind of thing, rather agreeable, especially at night, when was very lucid and easy in talk. At night, in semiconsciousness, Janus.

23 - Sarne kind of thing. Worked a little on translation. Same financial fix.

24 - Began same as above, but bettered in afternoon (between 3 and 5) when earned 1 dollar from Franco. The night was very pleasant; mind clear. [...] on going home (about 10:30) a considerable depression fell on me, a wish to express it in writing but an incapacity to do so.

25 - Awoke with sore throat, but this passed. A day lost and not disagreeably, except in so far as known as lost.

26 - A very curious mystical day. Met Cesar Porto. Made the acquaintance (really reacquaintance, though better now), casually, in Livraria Monteiro, of [...]:
likes of Orpheu, etc. Lost all time for translation. Had 3 times during day and night fits of a curious form of dizziness - an abstract physical kind; but was all day lucid. Smoked a lot. [...] The day was intensely agreable except as lost. At night, long and very pleasant conversation w[ith] Leonardo Coimbra.

29 - A more or less happy and interesting day. Suddenly solved question of M's money by borrowing from him 10 dollars (+ for books) till 7th December. The translation came in, which was easy. A slightly fervent state, but not hurtful, and very slight - met Leal and was glad. At night with Aunt Lisbella at hotel, very pleasant; made eyes with a rather interesting girl who seemed to like me. Felt myself agreeable with them (her and perhaps a sister), though I said little... the Emperor, alas!

30 - Day practically wasted, yet agreeable, both because, in spite of a little rain, the sky was blue and fine, and because life ran agreeably. At night was pleased to hear 2 soft references (Cortes-Rodrigues and Perdigão) to my being well-dressed (Oh! me?) and passed a pleasant 1 1/2 hour at hotel making still more eyes (and exchanging) with the girl (17-years old, excellent) and seemed agreeable to her, her sister and even her deaf mother. Spoke to her quite easily and at her eyes even. Alas!...

6 December - Disagreeable day because had a lot of heavy rain on me, crumpling suit, had to wait 1/2 hour in a roadway, and also because translation progressed very little. Yet a short visit during the day to the hotel was good because had to stop very little (owing to retum to office), and thus not bored, and the little girl's sweetness was not all gone, yet my absence was 3 days. Aunt L[isbella] had thought it was on account of my being offended with her at «pôr-me na rua» playfully several nights before... This amusing and agreeable, because of her thinking possible and worrying at it. - A very great depression at night, hardly any money and very much depressed. So much that, on strenght of it began writing letter to Sá-Carneiro and interrupted it, through lack of will to write. (Also waited for Guisado long time and he did not appear).

7 - Better, better. Day better, first. Then worked fairly well, later translation and office (15 letters). No depression; rather the beginning of clear thought, occultistly anti-theosophical. V. Braga, in morning, spoke to me of Coelho de Carvalho's wish for me to translate Faust: but, alas!, gain is hypothetical and afterwards!

Fernando Pessoa, in 'Manuscript (1915)'


On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."