“Only those who do not know how to think what they feel obey grammar. People who want to control their own expression use grammar. The story is told about Sigismund, King of Rome, that he made a grammatical error in one of his public speeches and responded to the person who pointed it out to him in this way: “I am King of Rome and am above grammar.” And the story goes on to say that from then on he was known as Sigismund ‘super-grammaticam.’ A wonderful symbol! Every person who knows how to say what he talks about is in his way King of Rome. The title isn’t bad, and its soul is being oneself.”

(Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet (trans. Alfred Mac Adam), from fragment 11)

people are leaving

“Look: Tomorrow my best, my most intimate friend is going to Paris to stay. Aunt Anica (take a look at her letter) in all likelihood is soon going off to Switzerland with her daughter, who’s married now. Another one is going to Galicia for a long time. My second-best friend is moving to Porto. So in my human environment everything is organizing (or disorganizing) itself to drift away, and I don’t know if it’s to isolate me or to lead me to another path I cannot as yet see. Even the fact that I am going to publish a book is going to change my life. I am losing something – being unpublished. And so changing for the better, because change is bad, is always changing for the worse. And losing a defect or a deficiency or a negation is always losing something. Imagine Mother not living with her painful, daily feelings, a creature who is so sensitive!”

(Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet (trans. Alfred Mac Adam), from fragment 2)