By Risa Sodi, Millicent Marcus (editors)

Primo Levi’s carry on scholarly, serious and public recognition grows with the passing of time.  He instructions a place of prominence in discourses ranging around the disciplines of Holocaust reports, Jewish reviews, Italian literature, politics, background and philosophy.  sure of his suggestions (the “grey zone”) or definite recommendations popularized via his works (the Musulmann phenomenon) play an important function in modern highbrow discourse.  additionally, Levi’s reflections at the act and the potential for witness, and of recounting trauma, are more and more mentioned by means of various thinkers.This e-book provides a baker’s dozen of interpretative keys to Levi’s output and thought.  It deepens our knowing of universal subject matters in Levi reviews (memory and witness) whereas exploring strange and revealing byways (Levi and Calvino, or Levi and theater, for example).  Of unique curiosity and software are the chapters that situate his proposal inside wider contexts: his epistemological connection to historical Greeks, and his contributions to Holocaust phenomenology.

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Because I regard with Jewish severity the duties of our lives on earth, and with Jewish serenity the mystery of life beyond the tomb . . because I love all men as in Israel it was commanded . . 18 When Fascism came to power in 1922, it carried with it no innate antisemitism. But an alliance with Nazi Germany laid the foundation for tragedy. Levi, like most Italians—Jew and Christian alike—was shocked when the Fascist regime published a “Manifesto of the Racial Scientists” in the summer of 1938.

Fascism makes an appeal to a frustrated middle class; Levi noted with the astuteness of a sociologist in “Nickel,” the “ironic gaiety of a whole generation of Italians, intelligent and honest enough to reject Fascism, too sceptical to oppose it actively, too young to passively accept the tragedy that was taking shape and to despair of the future” (63). The Fascists live in fear of being humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies; in “Nickel,” Levi takes up Cesare Pavese’s dictum to embrace “the two experiences of adult life”: success and failure.

Levi, like most Italians—Jew and Christian alike—was shocked when the Fascist regime published a “Manifesto of the Racial Scientists” in the summer of 1938. The following autumn, the regime promulgated a series of antisemitic laws patterned on the Nuremberg Laws in Nazi Germany. In the chaos of the Second World War, Levi joined the militant underground Resistance but was captured in December 1943. In February 1944, he was sent to Auschwitz; he managed to survive through a fortuitous combination of his extensive knowledge of chemistry, the humanity of a precious few other prisoners, and simple luck.

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