An Unwritten Novel: Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet by Thomas Cousineau

By Thomas Cousineau

"Anything and every thing, looking on how one sees it, is a surprise or a obstacle, an all or a not anything, a course or a problem," says Bernardo Soares, the putative writer of Fernando Pessoa's vintage The e-book of Disquiet. Thomas Cousineau's An Unwritten Novel bargains the final reader, in addition to scholars and lecturers, an "Ariadne's thread" that might support them to discover their approach via this labyrinthine masterpiece: a self-proclaimed "factless autobiography" within which the entire anticipated parts of the modern novel stay "unwritten."

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Extra resources for An Unwritten Novel: Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet

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However, he must respect the municipal regulations which govern the display of his wares, for he is only one of many antique-dealers concentrated in Beaufort, all with different collections: books, engravings, tapestries, etc. These paradigmatic sets are of most interest to other knowledgeable specialists. In order to attract more ordinary tourists, the Beaufort Tourist Office has instructed the dealers to take turns in mounting a composite display based around a particular theme or narrative, using articles borrowed from their fellow traders.

What happened to the painter, Albert Crucis? Was he taken away in an ambulance? Was the ambulance involved in a crash, and was everything, including the body of Crucis, incinerated in a fire which was caused by the crash? Or was Crucis killed by a pyromaniac who had Perspectives on Metaphor and Literary Fiction 29 escaped from a mental institution? There are an infinite number of possibilities for narrative resolution. In this case they revolve around a constellation of signifiers emanating from the central ‘star’ word, ‘croix’: croisade, croissant, La Croix Rouge, la croix des chevaliers de Malte, crucial, Crucis, etc.

The publication in 1962 of Max Black’s Models and Metaphors marks a milestone in the study of metaphor. In this book Black sets out to prove that behind the ‘stroke of genius’ or ‘remarkable insight’ which, typically, accounts for scientific discoveries or inventions there are conceptual processes at work, one of the most important of which is metaphor. Metaphor equates to what scientists term ‘theoretical models’; Black’s example is Clerk Maxwell’s representation of an electrical field in terms of the properties of an imaginary, incompressible fluid.

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