Primo Levi

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Levi, Primo

Levi, Primo (prēˈmō lāˈvē), 1919–87, Italian writer. A chemist of Jewish descent, Levi was sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz during World War II. His first memoir, If This Is a Man (1947; also tr. as Survival in Auschwitz) is a restrained yet poignant testimony, precisely observed and devoid of rancor or protest, of the atrocities he witnessed. In his other autobiographical books, The Reawakening (1963; film, 1996) and the dark, posthumously published The Drowned and the Saved (1988), Levi relates the manner in which physical torture and annihilation were accompanied by a process of moral degradation. He stresses that survival was as much a spiritual quest to maintain human dignity as a physical struggle. The Periodic Table (1975), a collection of 21 autobiographical meditations, each named for a chemical element, draws analogies between a young man's moral formation and the physical and chemical properties that circumscribe our humanity. He also wrote the novels The Monkey's Wrench (1978) and If Not Now, When? (1986), short stories, essays, and poetry. He died in a fall that was widely thought a suicide.


See his complete works, ed. by A. Goldstein (2015); interviews ed. by M. Belpoliti and R. Gordon (2001); biographies by M. Anissimov (1996, tr. 1998), C. Angier (2002), I. Thomson (2003), and B. Lang (2013).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Primo Levi came from Turin, in the Italian province of Piedmont.
(1.) Cynthia Ozick, "Primo Levi's Suicide Note," in Metaphor and Memory (New York: Alfred A.
Mirna Cicioni's Primo Levi: Bridges of Knowledge is an altogether more subtle, well-informed, and critically alert contribution.
Continue reading "Primo Levi's Comedy of Hell" at...
As the title indicates, this practical book was written to offer materials and to suggest constructive methods for teaching Primo Levi in the classroom.
In light of the growing importance surrounding the figure of Primo Levi, Patruno and Ricci's edited volume Approaches to Teaching the Works of Primo Levi is a much-welcomed contribution in the bookshelf of the Italian studies scholar.
In 2,800 pages, they provide not only the acclaimed and well-known works by Primo Levi already translated into English (If This Is a Man, known in English as Survival in Auschwitz; The Truce, previously translated as The Reawakening; and The Periodic Table), but also Primo Levi's poetry, his fiction works, and his essays that have been only partially translated.
IN HIS FIRST BOOK, THE MEMOIR IF THIS Is a Man (1947), Primo Levi describes his arrival at Auschwitz in February 1944.
Primo Levi's Resistance: Rebels and Collaborators in Occupied Italy, Sergio Luzzatto, Metropolitan Books, 304 pages
The year 2015 proved a stellar one for Primo Levi in the United States.
Primo Levi, the Italian chemist-turned-author who survived Auschwitz, is presented here for the first time after extended efforts to carefully translate all of his work.