Sunday, July 26, 2020


Buying and Selling

Primo Levi (1919-1987), The Periodic Table, tr. Raymond Rosenthal (New York: Schocken Books, 1984), p. 169:
Anyone who has the trade of buying and selling is easily recognized: he has a vigilant eye and a tense face, he fears fraud or considers it, and he is on guard like a cat at dusk. It is a trade that tends to destroy the immortal soul; there have been courtier philosophers, lens-grinding philosophers, and even engineer and strategist philosophers; but no philosopher, so far as I know, was a wholesaler or storekeeper.

Chi per mestiere compra o vende si riconosce facilmente: ha l'occhio vigile e il volto teso, teme la frode o la medita, e sta in guardia come un gatto all'imbrunire. È un mestiere che tende a distruggere l'anima immortale; ci sono stati filosofi cortigiani, filosofi pulitori di lenti, perfino filosofi ingegneri e strateghi, ma nessun filosofo, che io sappia, era grossista o bottegaio.

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