Life impairs the expression of life. If I were to live a great love, I would never be able to describe it.
I myself do not know if this I that I reveal to you in these serpentine pages really exists or if it is only an aesthetic, false conceit that I made of myself. Yes, that’s the way things are. I live myself aesthetically in another. I sculpted my life like a statue made of material different from my being. Sometimes I do not recognize myself, so external am I to myself and in so purely artistic a fashion did I use my awareness of myself. Who am I behind this unreality? I don’t know. I must be someone. And if I do not seek to live, act, or feel, it is — believe me — so that I don’t distort the established lines of my false personality. I want to be just as I wanted to be and am not. If I were to yield, I would destroy myself. I want to be a work of art, at least of the soul, since I cannot be one of the body. For that reason I sculpted myself in calm and madness and I put myself in a kiln, far from the fresh air and honest lights — where my artificiality, an absurd flower, can flourish in distant beauty.
Sometimes I think about how beautiful it would be to be able, […] my dreams, to create myself a continuous life, succeeding itself, within the flow of entire days, with imaginary guests, with created people, and to go along living, suffering, enjoying this false life. There I would suffer disasters; great joys would shower on me. And nothing of me would be real. But it would all have a proud, serious logic, all of it according to a rhythm of a voluptuous falsity, all of it taking place in a city made from my soul, lost up to the platform alongside a calm train, very far within me, very far… And all dear, inevitable, as in exterior life, but the aesthetics of the Death [?] of the Sun.
— Fernando Pessoa, Book of Disquiet, 164