Primo Levi, Holocaust survivor and renowned memoirist, is one of the most widely read writers of post-World War II Italy. His works are characterized by the lean, dispassionate eloquence with which he approaches his experience of incarceration in Auschwitz. His memoirs--as well as his poetry and fiction and his many interviews--are often taught in several fields, including Jewish studies and Holocaust studies, comparative literature, and Italian language and literature, and can enrich the study of history, psychology, and philosophy.The first part of this volume provides instructors with an overview of the available editions, anthologies, and translations of Levi's work and identifies other useful classroom aids, such as films, music, and online resources. In the second part, contributors describe different approaches to teaching Levi's work. Some, in presenting Survival in Auschwitz, The Reawakening, and The Drowned and the Saved, look at the place of style in Holocaust testimony and the reliability of memory in autobiography. Others focus on questions of translation, complicated by the untranslatable in the language and experiences of the concentration camps, or on how Levi incorporates his background as a chemist into his writing, most clearly in The Periodic Table.
About the Author
Nicholas Patruno is professor emeritus of Italian at Bryn Mawr College. In addition to his extensive research on Levi, women in the Holocaust, and immigration writers, he has published primarily on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Italian writers, including Giovanni Verga, Elio Vittorini, and Eugenio Montale. He is the author of Language in Giovanni Verga's Early Novels and Understanding Primo Levi, and he has commented on Levi's life and works for NBC's Today Show. Roberta Ricci is associate professor and chair of Italian studies at Bryn Mawr College. She has published on philological issues connected with the varianti d'autore, paratextuality, commentary, reception, readership, and authorship, in reference to the manuscript tradition of early modern Italian literature and the Latin elegy. She is the author of Scrittura, riscrittura, autoesegesi: Voci autoriali intorno all'epica in volgare: Boccaccio, Tasso and is working on a book on Florentine humanism.