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Cesare Pavese quotes

9 September 1908 – 27 August 1950, Italian author

Every luxury must be paid for, and everything is a luxury, starting with being in this world.
Cesare Pavese

No woman marries for money; they are all clever enough, before marrying a millionaire, to fall
in love with him first.
Cesare Pavese

Things which cost nothing are those which cost the most. Why? Because they cost us the
effort of understanding that they are free.
Cesare Pavese

From someone who doesn't want to share your destiny, you should neither accept a
cigarette.
Cesare Pavese

We do not remember days, we remember moments.
Cesare Pavese

What doesn't slumber under the shells of us all? One just needs courage to uncover it and be
oneself.
Cesare Pavese

The great lovers will always be unhappy, because for them love is great and so they ask of
their beloved the same intensity of thought that they have for her – otherwise they feel
betrayed.
Cesare Pavese

Perfect behavior is born of complete indifference. Perhaps this is why we always love madly
someone who treats us with indifference.
Cesare Pavese

Love is the cheapest of religions.
Cesare Pavese

If it were possible to have a life absolutely free from every feeling of sin, what a terrifying
vacuum it would be!
Cesare Pavese

Misfortunes cannot suffice to make a fool into an intelligent man.
Cesare Pavese

There comes a day when, for someone who has persecuted us, we feel only indifference, a
weariness at his stupidity. Then we forgive him.
Cesare Pavese

The man of action is not the headstrong fool who rushes into danger with no thought for
himself, but the man who puts into practice the things he knows.
Cesare Pavese

Don't mix wine and women.
Cesare Pavese

Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar
comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the
essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky - all things tending towards the eternal or
what we imagine of it.
Cesare Pavese

You've got to understand life, understand it when you're young.
Cesare Pavese

Life without smoking is like the smoke without the roast.
Cesare Pavese

You cannot insult a man more atrociously than by refusing to believe he is suffering.
Cesare Pavese

Life is pain and the enjoyment of love is an anesthetic.
Cesare Pavese

It is not that the child lives in a world of imagination, but that the child within us survives
and starts into life only at rare moments of recollection, which makes us believe, and it is not
true, that, as children, we were imaginative?
Cesare Pavese

He told me that it isn't what you do but how you do it that shows whether you are clever or
not.
Cesare Pavese

How can you have confidence in a woman who will not risk entrusting her whole life to you,
day and night?
Cesare Pavese

War makes men barbarous because, to take part in it, one must harden oneself against all
regret, all appreciation of delicacy and sensitive values. One must live as if those values did
not exist, and when the war is over one has lost the resilience to return to those values.
Cesare Pavese

Idleness makes hours pass slowly and years swiftly. Activity makes the hours short and the 
years long.
Cesare Pavese

People who don't know any better will always be in the dark because the power lies in the
hands of men who take good care that ordinary folk don't understand, in the hands, that is,
of the government, of the clerical party, of the capitalists.
Cesare Pavese

Human imagination is immensely poorer than reality.
Cesare Pavese

Certainly, to have a woman who waits at home for you, who will sleep with you, gives a warm
feeling like having something you must say; it makes you glow, keeps you company, helps
you to live.
Cesare Pavese

The only joy in the world is to begin. It is good to be alive because living is beginning,
always, every moment. When this sensation is lacking - as when one is in prison, or ill, or
stupid, or when living has become a habit - one might as well be dead.
Cesare Pavese

But all years are stupid. It's only when they're over that they become interesting.
Cesare Pavese

The art of living is the art of knowing how to believe lies. The fearful thing about it is that,
not knowing what truth may be, we can still recognize lies.
Cesare Pavese

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

Love is desire for knowledge.
Cesare Pavese

Love has the faculty of making two lovers seem naked, not in each other's sight, but in their
own.
Cesare Pavese

A man succeeds in completing a work only when his qualities transcend that work.
Cesare Pavese

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

But she didn't laugh. "When you have children," she said, staring at her glass, "you accept
life. Do you accept life?"
Cesare Pavese

When a man mourns for someone who has played him false, it is not for love of her, but for
his own humiliation at not having deserved her trust.
Cesare Pavese

But the real, tremendous truth is this: suffering serves no purpose whatever.
Cesare Pavese

All sins have their origin in a sense of inferiority, otherwise called ambition.
Cesare Pavese

Life is not a search for experience, but for ourselves. Having discovered our own fundamental
level we realize that it conforms to our own destiny and we find peace.
Cesare Pavese