Primo Levi Quotes

I beg the reader not to go in search of messages. It Primo Levi Picture Quote

Luck Quotes

I beg the reader not to go in search of messages. It is a term that I detest because it distresses me greatly, for it forces on me clothes that are not mine, which in fact belong to a human type that I distrust; the prophet, the soothsayer, the seer. I am none of these; I'm a normal man with a good memory who fell into a maelstrom and got out of it more by luck than by virtue, and who from that time on has preserved a certain curiosity about maelstroms large and small, metaphorical and actual.

A scientist’s life, the author says, is indeed conflictual, formed by battles, Primo Levi Picture Quote

Picture Quotes

A scientist's life, the author says, is indeed conflictual, formed by battles, defeats, and victories: but the adversary is always and only the unknown, the problem to be solved, the mystery to be clarified. It is never a matter of civil war; even though of different opinions, or of different political leanings, scientists dispute each other, they compete, but they do not battle: they are bound together by a strong alliance, by the common faith "in the validity of Maxwell's or Boltzmann's equations," and by the common acceptance of Darwinism and the molecular structure of DNA.

He was a physicist, more precisely an astrophysicist, diligent and eager but Primo Levi Picture Quote

Effort Quotes, Travel Quotes

He was a physicist, more precisely an astrophysicist, diligent and eager but without illusions: the Truth lay beyond, inaccessible to our telescopes, accessible to the initiates. This was a long road which he was traveling with effort, wonderment, and profound joy. Physics was prose: elegant gymnastics for the mind, mirror of Creation, the key to man's dominion over the planet; but what is the stature of Creation, of man and the planet? His road was long and he had barely started up it, but I was his disciple: did I want to follow him?

Auschwitz is outside of us, but it is all around us, in Primo Levi Picture Quote

Picture Quotes

Auschwitz is outside of us, but it is all around us, in the air. The plague has died away, but the infection still lingers and it would be foolish to deny it. Rejection of human solidarity, obtuse and cynical indifference to the suffering of others, abdication of the intellect and of moral sense to the principle of authority, and above all, at the root of everything, a sweeping tide of cowardice, a colossal cowardice which masks itself as warring virtue, love of country and faith in an idea.

For me chemistry represented an indefinite cloud of future potentialities which enveloped Primo Levi Picture Quote

Hidden Quotes, Spring Quotes

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.

This cell belongs to a brain, and it is my brain, the Primo Levi Picture Quote

Picture Quotes

This cell belongs to a brain, and it is my brain, the brain of me who is writing; and the cell in question, and within it the atom in question, is in charge of my writing, in a gigantic minuscule game which nobody has yet described. It is that which at this instant, issuing out of a labyrinthine tangle of yeses and nos, makes my hand run along a certain path on the paper, mark it with these volutes that are signs: a double snap, up and down, between two levels of energy, guides this hand of mine to impress on the paper this dot, here, this one.

It is neither easy nor agreeable to dredge this abyss of viciousness, Primo Levi Picture Quote

Picture Quotes

It is neither easy nor agreeable to dredge this abyss of viciousness, and yet I think it must be done, because what could be perpetrated yesterday could be attempted again tomorrow, could overwhelm us and our children. One is tempted to turn away with a grimace and close one's mind: this is a temptation one must resist. In fact, the existence of the death squads had a meaning, a message: 'We, the master race, are your destroyers, but you are no better than we are; if we so wish, and we do so wish, we can destroy not only your bodies, but also your souls, just as we have destroyed ours.

Perhaps one cannot, what is more one must not, understand what happened, Primo Levi Picture Quote

Picture Quotes

Perhaps one cannot, what is more one must not, understand what happened, because to understand [the Holocaust] is almost to justify...no normal human being will ever be able to identify with Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, Eichmann, and endless others. This dismays us, and at the same time gives us a sense of relief, because perhaps it is desirable that their words (and also, unfortunately, their deeds) cannot be comprehensible to us. They are non-human words and deeds, really counter-human...

The trade of chemist (fortified, in my case, by the experience of Primo Levi Picture Quote

Picture Quotes

The trade of chemist (fortified, in my case, by the experience of Auschwitz), teaches you to overcome, indeed to ignore, certain revulsions that are neither necessary or congenital: matter is matter, neither noble nor vile, infinitely transformable, and its proximate origin is of no importance whatsoever. Nitrogen is nitrogen, it passes miraculously from the air into plants, from these into animals, and from animals into us; when its function in our body is exhausted, we eliminate it, but it still remains nitrogen, aseptic, innocent.

Did chemistry theorems exist? No: therefore you had to go further, not Primo Levi Picture Quote

Picture Quotes

Did chemistry theorems exist? No: therefore you had to go further, not be satisfied with the quia, go back to the origins, to mathematics and physics. The origins of chemistry were ignoble, or at least equivocal: the dens of the alchemists, their abominable hodgepodge of ideas and language, their confessed interest in gold, their Levantine swindles typical of charlatans and magicians; instead, at the origin of physics lay the strenuous clarity of the West-Archimedes and Euclid.

But many, many stories were told; from what could be gathered, all Primo Levi Picture Quote

Picture Quotes

But many, many stories were told; from what could be gathered, all fifty of the mine's inhabitants had reacted on each other, two by two, as in combinatorial analysis, that is to say, everyone with all the others, and especially every man with all the women, old maids or married, and every woman with all the men. All I had to do was to select two names at random, better if different sex, and ask a third person, "What happened with those two?" and lo and behold, a splendid story was unfolded for me, since everyone knew the story of everyone else.