21 Days to Go! NTA Countdown to ALTA41: THE BOOK OF DISQUIET

Join us as we count down to ALTA41: Performance, Props, and Platforms with the National Translation Award in Poetry and Prose long- and shortlisted titles! We will be featuring the titles in alphabetical order, moving first through the longlisted and then the shortlisted titles, alongside blurbs penned by our judges for the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. This year’s judges for poetry are Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Jennifer Feeley, and Sawako Nakayasu, and this year’s prose judges are Esther Allen, Tess Lewis, and Jeremy Tiang.

For quick reference, you may find the NTA longlists here, and the NTA shortlists here. Today we’re shining the spotlight on The Book of Disquiet, longlisted for the National Translation Award in Poetry:

pessoa_book_of_disquiet_for_pwThe Book of Disquiet
by Fernando Pessoa
translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa
(New Directions)

In this new, complete edition of Fernando Pessoa’s best-known yet almost unclassifiable work, editor Jerónimo Pizarro has put the book’s hundreds of philosophical-poetic fragments, aphorisms, and ruminations into the order in which they were written. This, coupled with Margaret Jull Costa’s exquisite translation—remarkable for its sparse beauty—breathes new life into this modern Portuguese classic, and allows the voices of the author’s two most prominent alter egos to emerge more distinctly. Pessoa’s extraordinary book, melancholic yet strangely comforting, jars the reader out of any complacency, as if to say: Wake up, take a look at the world around you.

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