Primo Levi, fully Primo Michele Levi

Primo
Levi, fully Primo Michele Levi
1919
1987

Italian Jewish Chemist, Writer and Holocaust Survivor

Author Quotes

I, however, drew another lesson, more simple and more specific, and I think that every supporter of our science could confirm it: not to have faith almost the same (sodium is almost the same as potassium, but sodium nothing like this would happen), practical uniform, the estimated on various top-down and or possibly of substitutes and patches. Although insignificant, disparities could lead to dramatically different results - as railway switches - and much of the profession of chemist lies precisely in preventing such disparity in their knowledge closely in anticipation of their consequences. Indeed something that applies not only to chemists.

In our days many men have lived in this cruel manner, crushed against the bottom, but each for a relatively short period; so that we can perhaps ask ourselves if it is necessary or good to retain any memory of this exceptional human state. To this question we feel that we have to reply in the affirmative. We are in fact convinced that no human experience is without meaning or unworthy of analysis, and that fundamental values, even if they are not positive, can be deduced from this particular world which we are describing.

It so happened that the next day fate had destined for me a different and unique gift: a meeting with a woman, young, flesh and blood, warm up my body in coats cheerful middle damp fog boulevards, patient, wise and confident as he walked the streets, still surrounded by rubble. For a few hours we felt that we belong, and not just for this meeting and for life, as indeed it turned out later. For a few hours I felt fresh and full of new features, cleansed and healed a long illness, ready at last to enter into life with joy and energy.

Not that he [Uzbek] rejected Mendel's proposals or rebelled against his decisions; but he exercised a subtle, passive abrasion against every active thrust: like dust in a watch, Mendel thought to himself. He's got dust in him, even though he is young. It's stupid to say the young are strong. You understand many things better at thirty than at twenty and you can also bear them better.

Real problems sooner or later are resolved; on the contrary, pseudo-problems are not.

The Gedalists were nearly run down by a Dodge truck on which two grand pianos had been loaded: two uniformed officers were playing, in unison, with gravity and commitment, the 1812 Overture of Tchaikowsky, while the driver wove among the wagons with brusque swerves, pressing the siren at full volume, heedless of the pedestrians in his way.

There are few men who know how to go to their deaths with dignity, and often they are not those whom one would expect.

To destroy a man is difficult, almost as difficult as to create one: it has not been easy, nor quick, but you Germans have succeeded. Here we are, docile under your gaze; from our side you have nothing more to fear; no acts of violence, no words of defiance, not even a look of judgment.

We cannot understand [Fascism], but we can and must understand from where it springs, and we must be on our guard...because what happened can happen again...For this reason, it is everyone's duty to reflect on what happened.

Darwin was not afraid to look deeply into the void. His bold view can be seen as either noble and pessimistic or noble and admirable. For people of science, he is a hero. Denying man a privileged place in creation... he reaffirms with his own intellectual courage the dignity of man.

For me chemistry represented an indefinite cloud of future potentialities which enveloped my life to come in black volutes torn by fiery flashes, like those which had hidden Mount Sinai. Like Moses, from that cloud I expected my law, the principle of order in me, around me, and in the world. I would watch the buds swell in spring, the mica glint in the granite, my own hands, and I would say to myself: I will understand this, too, I will understand everything.

How important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once...

If a writer is convinced that he is honest, then it is very difficult for him to be a bad writer.

In our times, hell must be like this. A huge, empty room: we are tired, standing on our feet, with a tap which drips while we cannot drink the water, and we wait for something which will certainly be terrible, and nothing happens and nothing continues to happen. What

It was not possible for us nor did we want to become islands; the just (i giusti) among us, neither more nor less numerous than in any other human group, felt remorse, shame and pain for the misdeeds that others and not they had committed, and in which they felt involved, because they sensed that what had happened around them and in their presence, and in them, was irrevocable. Never again could it be cleansed; it would prove that man, the human species ? we, in short ? had the potential to construct an enormity of pain, and that pain is the only force created from nothing, without cost and without effort. It is enough not to see, not to listen, not to act.

Nothing belongs to us anymore; they have taken away our clothes, our shoes, even our hair; if we speak, they will not listen to us, and if they listen, they will not understand. They will even take away our name: and if we want to keep it, we will have to find ourselves the strength to do so, to manage somehow so that behind the name something of us, of us as we were, still remains.

Sandro mountain view was capable they reconcile the world and make you forget the nightmare hanging of Europe. There was the place where it was made ??- as marmots, whose podsvivraniya and emoticons imitated. In the mountain he was happy with a silent and contagious happiness - as radiant light. Provoked in me a strange union of heaven and earth, which flowed and need my freedom, prime thirst to understand what drove me to chemistry.

The harsher the oppression, the more widespread among the oppressed is the willingness, with all its infinite nuances and motivations, to collaborate: terror, ideological seduction, servile imitation of the victor, myopic desire for any power whatsoever? Certainly, the greatest responsibility lies with the system, the very structure of the totalitarian state; the concurrent guilt on the part of individual big and small collaborators is always difficult to evaluate? they are the vectors and instruments of the system?s guilt? the room for choices (especially moral choices) was reduced to zero.

There are people who wring their hands and call it an abyss, but do nothing to fill it; there are also those who work to widen it, as if the scientist and literary man belong to two different human subspecies, reciprocally incomprehensible, fated to ignore each other and not apt to engage in cross-fertilization.

To give a name to a thing is as gratifying as giving a name to an island, but it is also dangerous: the danger consists in one's becoming convinced that all is taken care of and that once named, the phenomenon has also been explained.

We collected in a group in front of their door, and we experienced within ourselves a grief that was new for us, the ancient grief of the people that has no land, the grief without hope of the exodus which is renewed in every century.

Dawn came on us like a betrayer; it seemed as though the new sun rose as an ally of our enemies to assist in our destruction.

For people condemned to death, tradition prescribes an austere ceremony, calculated to emphasize that all passions and anger have died down, and that the act of justice represents only a sad duty towards society which moves even the executioner to pity for the victim. Thus the condemned man is shielded from all external cares, he is granted solitude and, should he want it, spiritual comfort; in short, care is taken that he should feel around him neither hatred nor arbitrariness, only necessity and justice, and by means of punishment, pardon. But to us this was not granted, for we were many and time was short. And in any case, what had we to repent, for what crime did we need pardon?

Human memory is a marvelous but fallacious instrument. The memories which lie within us are not carved in stone; not only do they tend to become erased as the years go by, but often they change, or even increase by incorporating extraneous features.

If he believes time has run its course, a man is a sad thing too.

Author Picture
First Name
Primo
Last Name
Levi, fully Primo Michele Levi
Birth Date
1919
Death Date
1987
Bio

Italian Jewish Chemist, Writer and Holocaust Survivor