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Italian and Italian American Studies

New Reflections on Primo Levi

Before and after Auschwitz

Editors: Sodi, R., Marcus, M. (Eds.)

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About this book

This book presents a baker's dozen of interpretative keys to Levi's output and thought.  It deepens our understanding of common themes in Levi studies (memory and witness) while exploring unusual and revealing byways (Levi and Calvino, or Levi and theater, for example).

About the authors

RISA SODI is Director of Undergraduate Studies and Senior Lector in Italian Language and Literature at Yale University, USA.
 
MILLICENT MARCUS is Professor of Italian at Yale University, USA.

Reviews

"Critical study of Levi has surged recently, and this is a fine addition to that literature. Sodi and Marcus (both, Italian,

Yale) have assembled an international group of prominent and emerging scholars of Italian, Holocaust, and Levi

literary studies. The primary obstacles to early dissemination of Levi's Survival in Auschwitz were the belief, on the

part of leading publishers, that the Holocaust could not be assimilated into conventional literary genre studies and the

early postwar repression of Italian Holocaust history to pursue the anti-Fascist narrative. Levi is credited with the

eventual Italian escalation of interest in Holocaust literary production and scholarship. Among the collection's best

essays are those that treat Levi's politics and involvement in anti-Fascist groups; his predeportation identity based on a

theory of "parallel nationalization," whereby Italianization was privileged over Jewish identity; and shifting Italian

Holocaust memory from 1958 (with the republication of Survival in Auschwitz) to 1963 (publication of The

Reawakening) and its subsequent decline. Other essays explore Freudian trauma theory in The Reawakening, Levi

and Italo Calvino, literariness of the Survival in Auschwitz canto section, and Levi's attitude toward Muselmänner.

One essay provides a questionable reading of If Not Now, When? through the lens of the American Western film

genre." - Choice

"It is usually said that the life of a writer is a life of the mind. Primo Levi is an exception: he wrote his masterpieces because he was acquainted with grief. The essays in this volume grasp this essential trait of his writings and acknowledge that they cannot be simply classified as contributions to the intellectual history of recent times. With extraordinary precision, all of them, together, open the door to the moral center of the writer's lived experience, to his unique art, and to the most profound oftragedies of the twentieth century." - Giuseppe Mazzotta, Sterling Professor in the Humanities for Italian, Yale University, and author of Dante's Vision and the Circle of Knowledge

"In their diverse ways, these essays testify to what by now should be irrefutably clear: Primo Levi was one of the most important writers of the past half-century. The brilliance of his achievement is clarified in the critical studies of this learned and engaging book." - Alvin H. Rosenfeld, Professor of English and Jewish Studies at Indiana University and author of A Double Dying: Reflections on Holocaust Literature and The End of the Holocaust

"An indispensable, wide-ranging collection of essays on a great writer and memorialist. Contributors analyze in depth not only his literary legacy but also his belated recognition as a world-class author, his relation to the Italian Jewish community, and Italy's 'cultural reticence' in dealing with the Holocaust." - Geoffrey Hartman, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Emeritus, Yale University, author of The Longest Shadow: In the Aftermath of the Holocaust


Table of contents (13 chapters)

Table of contents (13 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 1-13

    Marcus, Millicent (et al.)

  • Primo Levi’s Politics

    Pages 17-29

    Pugliese, Stanislao

  • The Itinerary of an Identity

    Pages 31-43

    Harrowitz, Nancy

  • Primo Levi and Holocaust Memory in Italy, 1958–1963

    Pages 45-59

    Gordon, Robert S. C.

  • Trauma and Latency in Primo Levi’s The Reawakening

    Pages 63-77

    Druker, Jonathan

Buy this book

eBook $59.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-230-11967-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
Softcover $79.99
price for USA in USD
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
New Reflections on Primo Levi
Book Subtitle
Before and after Auschwitz
Editors
  • R. Sodi
  • M. Marcus
Series Title
Italian and Italian American Studies
Copyright
2011
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Risa Sodi and Millicent Marcus
eBook ISBN
978-0-230-11967-3
DOI
10.1057/9780230119673
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-10385-6
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-28825-0
Series ISSN
2635-2931
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 214
Topics