Cesare Pavese

Italy
9 Sep 1908 // 27 Aug 1950
Writer / Poet

Quotes

Next >>

At great periods you have always felt, deep within you, the temptation to commit suicide. You gave yourself to it, breached your own defenses. You were a child. The idea of suicide was a protest against life; by dying, you would escape this longing for death
Literature is a defense against the attacks of life. It says to life: «You can't deceive me. I know your habits, foresee and enjoy watching all your reactions, and steal your secret by involving you in cunning obstructions that halt your normal flow»
To choose a hardship for ourselves is our only defense against that hardship. This is what is meant by accepting suffering. Those who, by their very nature, can suffer completely, utterly, have an advantage. That is how we can disarm the power of suffering, make it our own creation, our own choice; submit to it
Reality is a prison, where one vegetates and always will. All the rest thought, action is just a pastime, mental or physical. What counts then, is to come to grips with reality. The rest can go
Perfect behavior is born of complete indifference
If it were possible to have a life absolutely free from every feeling of sin, what a terrifying vacuum it would be
Every luxury must be paid for, and everything is a luxury, starting with being in this world
Childhood is not only the childhood we really had but also the impressions we formed of it in our adolescence and maturity. That is why childhood seems so long. Probably every period of life is multiplied by our reflections upon the next
All sins have their origin in a sense of inferiority otherwise called ambition
Many men on the point of an edifying death would be furious if they were suddenly restored to health
Next >>
Search

 

On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays