Cesare Pavese

(9 September 1908 – 27 August 1950 / Santo Stefano Belbo)

Cesare Pavese Quotes

  • ''Will power is only the tensile strength of one's own disposition. One cannot increase it by a single ounce.''
    Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), Italian poet, novelist, translator. The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950, entry for Jan. 15, 1938 (1952, trans. 1961).
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  • ''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."''
    Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), Italian poet, novelist, translator. The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950, entry for May 5, 1936 (1952, trans. 1961).
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  • ''If it were possible to have a life absolutely free from every feeling of sin, what a terrifying vacuum it would be!''
    Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), Italian poet, novelist, translator. The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950, entry for March 17, 1940 (1952, trans. 1961).
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  • ''One does not kill oneself for love of a woman, but because love—any love—reveals us in our nakedness, our misery, our vulnerability, our nothingness.''
    Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), Italian poet, novelist, translator. The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950, entry for March 25, 1950 (1952, trans. 1961). See also Pavese's comment under "suicide."
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  • ''No one ever lacks a good reason for suicide.''
    Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), Italian poet, novelist, translator. Journal entry, March 23, 1938. The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950 (1950, trans. 1961). Suicide was a continuing theme in Pavese's diaries; he took his own life on Aug. 27, 1950, shortly after being awarded the Strega Prize for literature.
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  • ''A man is never completely alone in this world. At the worst, he has the company of a boy, a youth, and by and by a grown man—the one he used to be.''
    Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), Italian poet, novelist, translator. The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950, Winter 1941-1942 entry (1952, trans. 1961).
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  • ''Love is the cheapest of religions.''
    Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), Italian poet, novelist, translator. The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950, entry for December 21, 1939 (1952, trans. 1961).
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  • ''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.''
    Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), Italian poet, novelist, translator. The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950, entry for Dec. 28, 1936 (1952, trans. 1961).
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  • ''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.''
    Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), Italian poet, novelist, translator. The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950, entry for Jan. 1, 1950 (1952, trans. 1961).
    3 person liked.
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  • ''Living is like working out a long addition sum, and if you make a mistake in the first two totals you will never find the right answer. It means involving oneself in a complicated chain of circumstances.''
    Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), Italian author, poet. The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950, entry for May 5, 1936 (1952, trans. 1961).
    3 person liked.
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Best Poem of Cesare Pavese

Habits

On the asphalt of the avenue the moon makes
a quiet lake and my friend remembers other times.
A spontaneous encounter used to be enough for him
and he was no longer alone. Looking at the moon,
he breathed in the night. But the freshest scent
was of a woman encountered, the brief adventure
on unsure steps. The quiet room
and a fleeting desire to live there forever
filled his heart. Then, under the moon,
he returned with long strides, dazed and satisfied.

At that time he was his own great companion.
He woke in the morning and jumped from bed
finding his...

Read the full of Habits

Habits

On the asphalt of the avenue the moon makes
a quiet lake and my friend remembers other times.
A spontaneous encounter used to be enough for him
and he was no longer alone. Looking at the moon,
he breathed in the night. But the freshest scent
was of a woman encountered, the brief adventure
on unsure steps. The quiet room
and a fleeting desire to live there forever
filled his heart. Then, under the moon,

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