Fernando Pessoa

Portugal
13 Jun 1888 // 30 Nov 1935
Poet

The Books of my Youth

The earliest literary food of my childhood was in the numerous novels of mystery and of horrible adventure. Those books, which are called boy’s books and deal with exciting experiences I cared little for. With a healthy and natural life I was out of sympathy. My craving was not for the probable, but for the incredible, not even for the impossible by the degree, but for the impossible by nature.

My childhood was quiet, my education was good. But since I have consciousness of myself, I have perceived in myself an inborn tendency to mystification to artistic lying. Add to this a great love of the spiritual, of the mysterious, of the obscure, which, after all, was but a form and a variation of that other characteristic of mine, and my personality is, to intuition, complete.

Fernando Pessoa, in 'Manuscript (1906?)'
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
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."
Essays