The act of translation greatly complicates the notion of identity in Pessoa's work, as shown below. Richard Zenith's translation of the "Tudo quanto" passage is but one of what Pessoa apparently would call its "possible meanings" — or, perhaps, its "multiple" or "myriad" meanings.

There are, currently, four English translations of Livro do Desassossego, and they differ in many ways: the selection of segments, for in the trunk of papers Pessoa left behind there were many items suggesting inclusion; the sequence of the segments, for Pessoa did not entirely specify; and, of course, the wording of those segments. The "Tudo quanto" passage is treated in all but one of the English editions (the exception being Margaret Jull Costa's). Here are the three translations side by side, two phrases highlighted for comparison's sake.

Everything stated or expressed by man is a note in the margin of a completely erased text.

From what's in the note we can extract the gist of what must have been in the text, but there's always a doubt, and the possible meanings are many.

  All that a man explains or expresses comprises a note in the margin of a totally erased text.

To a greater or lesser extent, given the meaning of the note, we can deduce what should have been the sense of the text; but a doubt is always present and the possible senses multiple.

  Everything man expounds or expresses is a marginal note to a text that is completely expunged.

From the sense of the note, more or less, we derive the sense the text should have had; but there is always a doubt, and the possible meanings myriad.

Translated by Richard Zenith   Translated by Iain Watson   Translated by Alfred Mac Adam

On the following page, the passages are color-coded throughout.