For me chemistry represented an indefinite cloud of future potentialities which enveloped my life to come in black volutes torn by fiery flashes, like those which had hidden Mount Sinai. Like Moses, from that cloud I expected my law, the principle of order in me, around me, and in the world. I would watch the buds swell in spring, the mica glint in the granite, my own hands, and I would say to myself: I will understand this, too, I will understand everything.
Primo Levi (July 31, 1919 - April 11, 1987) was an Italian chemist and author of memoirs, short stories, poems, and novels. He is best known for his work on the Holocaust, and in particular his account of the year he spent as a prisoner in Auschwitz.