Famous Suicides Cesare Pavese

About the famous Italian writer Cesare Pavese, biography and history of the suicide.

CESARE PAVESE (1908-1950)

Life: Italian novelist and poet, Pavese's works include Carcere, Bella Estate, and La Casa in Collina. Pavese's father died when he was 6. His mother was a stern disciplinarian who showed little warmth and affection. His life and his works sought to offset his disillusionment with politics, morality, love, and to mitigate his loneliness. Some believe that his death was caused by an unhappy love affair with an American actress. Upon hearing of his death, the actress commented, "I didn't know he was such a famous writer."

Death: One month before his death, Pavese received the Strega Prize, Italy's major literary award. His last diary entry read, "The thing most feared in secret always happens. . . . All it needs is a little courage. The more the pain grows clear and definite, the more the instinct for life asserts itself and the thought of suicide recedes. It seemed easy when I thought of it. Weak women have done it. It needs humility not pride. I am sickened by all this. No words. Action. I shall write no more." He then took an overdose of sleeping pills.

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