Distribution Automatique

Friday, December 24

"I shall have to stop priding myself on being unable to
find pleasure in the things ordinary men enjoy- high days and
holidays; the fun of being one in a crowd; family affection
and so on. What I am really incapable of is enjoying out-of-
the-ordinary pleasures- solitude and a sense of mastery, and
if I am not very good at sharing the sentiments of the average
man it is because my artless assumption that I was capable of
something better has rusted my natural reactions, which used
to be perfectly normal. In general we feel rather pleased with
ourselves when we do not enjoy common pleasures, believing
this means that we are "capable of better things." But in-
capacity in the one case does not presuppose capacity in the
other. A man who is incapable of writing nonsense may be
equally incapable of writing something pleasing.

We hate the thing we fear, the thing we know may be
true and may have a certain affinity with ourselves, for each
man hates himself. The most interesting, the most fertile qualities
in every man are those he most hates in himself and in others,
for hatred includes every other feeling- love, envy, ignorance,
mystery, the urge to know and to possess. It is hate that causes
suffering. To overcome hatred is to take a step towards self-
knowledge, self-mastery, self-justification, and consequently
towards an end of suffering. When we suffer, it is always our
own fault."

Cesare Pavese
29th September, 1938
*The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950*
Walker and Company, 1961