She called her daughters. I would rather have left. This was my whole past, insupportable yet so different now, so dead. I had told myself so many times in those years—and later too, as a matter of fact—that my purpose in life was to make good, to become somebody, in order to come back some day to those alleys where I had been a girl and enjoy the warmth, the amazement, the admiration of those familiar faces, of those little people. And I had done it, I came back; and the faces, the little people had all gone. Carlotta had gone, and Slim, Giulio, Pia, the old women. Guido too, had gone. Neither we nor those times mattered any more to the people left, like Gisella. Maurizio always says that you get the things you want, but when they are no more use.
—From Cesare Pavese’s Among Women Only (Tra Donne Sola), which is the basis for Michalangelo Antonioni’s Le Amiche, playing at Film Forum tonight at 7 pm and introduced by Luc Sante. Among Women Only is included in our edition of The Selected Works of Cesare Pavese, translated by R. W. Flint.