Alberto Moravia

Italian writer and journalist (1907-1990)

Alberto Moravia (November 28, 1907September 26, 1990), born Alberto Pincherle, was an Italian fiction-writer, screenwriter and essayist. His novels were initially attacked by the Fascist government and placed on the Index by the Catholic church, but later won great critical and popular success.

Moravia and Elsa Morante, Capri, 1940s

Quotes edit

  • Quando non si è sinceri bisogna fingere, a forza di fingere si finisce per credere; questo è il principio di ogni fede.
    • When you aren't sincere you need to pretend, and by pretending you end up believing yourself; that's the basic principle of every faith.
    • Gli indifferenti (1929; repr. Milano: Corbaccio, 1974) p. 238; Tami Calliope (trans.) The Time of Indifference (South Royalton, Vt.: Steerforth Press, 2000) p. 207.
  • Un male incerto provoca inquietudine, perché, in fondo, si spera fino all'ultimo che non sia vero; ma un male sicuro, invece, infonde per qualche tempo una squallida tranquillità.
    • An uncertain evil causes anxiety because, at the bottom of one's heart, one goes on hoping till the last moment that it may not be true; a certain evil, on the other hand, instills, for a time, a kind of dreary tranquillity.
    • Il Disprezzo (Milano: Bompiani, 1954) p. 77; Angus Davidson (trans.) Contempt (New York: New York Review of Books, 2005) p. 75.
  • Good writers are monotonous, like good composers. They keep trying to perfect the one problem they were born to understand.
  • In principio, dunque, era la noia, volgarmente chiamata caos. Iddio, annoiandosi della noia, creò la terra, il cielo, l'acqua, gli animali, le piante, Adamo ed Èva; i quali ultimi, annoiandosi a loro volta in paradiso, mangiarono il frutto proibito. Iddio si annoiò di loro e li cacciò dall'Eden.
    • In the beginning was boredom, commonly called chaos. God, bored with boredom, created the earth, the sky, the waters, the animals, the plants, Adam and Eve; and the latter, bored in their turn in paradise, ate the forbidden fruit. God became bored with them and drove them out of Eden.
    • La noia (Milano: Bompiani, 1960) pp. 10-11; Angus Davidson (trans.) Boredom (New York: New York Review of Books, 1999) p. 8.

A GHOST AT NOON Alberto Moravia

. Love has great capacity not only for illusion but also for forgetfulness. p29.

. The truth is that one easily forgets what one does not want to remember. p29.

Quotes about edit

  • We were good friends. The news of his recent death hit me hard. I still feel the pain of his loss. And of course I remember how I responded to his early writing. When I was very young Gli Indifferenti was of crucial importance as I formed my first views about writing. I’d have to say that for me Moravia’s earlier work was also his strongest. I love the work up to and including Roman Stories. I think he thought they were perhaps too popular, too much in the mode of a sort of national narrative. Whereas for me the stories in this collection are extraordinary. He managed in that book to depersonalize himself in a masterful that I mean that he recreated himself in the form of many different characters in such a convincing way. His gift for getting inside the personality of characters so totally different from himself was truly remarkable. This was a gift comparable to that of Maupassant, a writer who managed to get inside many diverse characters at a time, so as to paint a complete fresco of the France of his period, of the life of the peasants, of the servants, of the city and of the provinces. He was a really great writer who is absolutely forgotten now. I would like somehow to bring him back. (PG: Is his work translated into Italian?) NG: Yes, but now it is totally ignored. There is a work of his which I particularly love, a novel called A Life, which I’m in the process of translating now.

External links edit

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