Cesare Pavese was an Italian poet, novelist, literary critic and translator; he is widely considered among the major authors of the 20th century in his home country.
Early life and education
Cesare Pavese was born in Santo Stefano Belbo, in the province of Cuneo. It was the village where his father was born and where the family returned for the summer holidays each year. He started infant classes in San Stefano Belbo, but the rest of his education was in schools in Turin. His most important teacher at the time was Augusto Monti, writer and educator, whose writing style was devoid of all rhetoric.
As a young man of letters, Pavese had a particular interest in ... more »
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Cesare Pavese Poems
The Cats will Know
Again the rain will fall on the sweet pavements, a light rain like a breath or a footstep.
In the Morning you Always Come Back
Dawn's faint breath breathes with your mouth at the ends of empty streets. Gray light your eyes,
Stunned by the world, I reached an age when I threw punches at air and cried to myself. Listening to the speech of women and men, not knowing how to respond, it's not fun.
Man and woman watch each other lying in bed: their two bodies stretched out wide and exhausted. the man is still, only the woman takes long breaths that quiver her ribs. The legs distended
You Have a Face of Carved Stone
You have a face of carved stone, blood of hardened earth, you came from the sea. All is gathered and scrutinized
Death will Come with your Eyes
Death will come with your eyes— this death that accompanies us from morning till night, sleepless, deaf, like an old regret
Black Earth Red Earth
Black earth red earth, you come from the sea, from the arid green, where there are ancient
Why be ashamed? When one has done time, if they let one out, it's because like everybody else who belongs to the streets, one has been in prison. From morning till evening we wander the avenues
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,
End of Fantasy
This body won't start again. Touching his eye sockets one feels a heap of earth is more alive, that the earth, even at dawn, does not keep itself so quiet. But a corpse is the remains of too many awakenings.
Quotationsmore quotations »
''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).
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 i...Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), Italian poet, novelist, translator. The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950, entry for May 5, 1936 (1952, trans. 1961).
''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).
''One does not kill oneself for love of a woman, but because loveany lovereveals 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). ...
''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)...
Comments about Cesare Pavese
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The Cats will Know
Again the rain will fall
on the sweet pavements,
a light rain
like a breath or a footstep.
Again the breeze and the dawn
will blossom lightly
beneath your footstep
as you reenter.
Among flowers and sills
the cats will know it.
There will be other days.
There will be other voices.
You will smile alone.
The cats will know it.
You will hear antique words,
tired and empty words
like the disused costumes
from yesterday's festivals.
You too will make gestures.
You will respond with words—
face of Spring,
you too will make ...