The Scientific Indian

A Tranquil Star by Primo Levi

I have been reading Primo Levi, that man who was sent to to vey core of inhumanity and returned more humane than anyone, that man who I am proud to look up for inspiration. There are only a few who can move us the way Levi does with his prose, his courage and his life. A few links to share.

A story (translated) published recently at New Yorker called A Tranquil Star.

Once upon a time, somewhere in the universe very far from here, lived a peaceful star, which moved peacefully in the immensity of the sky, surrounded by a crowd of peaceful planets about which we have not a thing to report. This star was very big and very hot, and its weight was enormous: and here a reporter’s difficulties begin. We have written “very far,” “big,” “hot,” “enormous”: Australia is very far, an elephant is big and a house is bigger, this morning I had a hot bath, Everest is enormous. It’s clear that something in our lexicon isn’t working.

Scriptorium page on Levi.

An earlier post here.


  1. #1 Anne-Marie
    October 24, 2007

    I read his The Periodic Table a few years ago and it made a big impact on me, thanks for the link. He is a good example of someone who communicates really well about both science and humanitarian issues.

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