Primo Levi and the Identity of a Survivor

By Nancy Harrowitz

© 2016

Primo Levi (1919–1987) was an Italian chemist, writer, and Holocaust survivor who used a combination of testimony, essays, and creative writing to explore crucial themes related to the Shoah. His voice is among the most important to emerge from this dark chapter in human history.

In Primo Levi and the Identity of a Survivor, Nancy Harrowitz examines the complex role that Levi’s Jewish identity played in his choices of how to portray his survival, as well as in his exposition of topics such as bystander complicity. Her analysis uncovers a survivor’s shame that deeply influenced the personas he created to recount his experiences. Exploring a range of Levi’s works, including Survival at Auschwitz and lesser-known works of fiction and poetry, she illustrates key issues within his development as a writer. At the heart of Levi’s discourse, Harrowitz argues, lies a complex interplay of narrative modes that reveals his brilliance as a theorist of testimony.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 190 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
Product Formats

SaveUP TO 9239

Book Formats

SKU# SP004476

  • PUBLISHED DEC 2017

    From: $19.46

    Regular Price: $25.95

    ISBN 9781487523282
  • PUBLISHED JAN 2017

    From: $19.46

    Regular Price: $25.95

Quick Overview

In Primo Levi and the Identity of a Survivor, Nancy Harrowitz examines the complex role that Levi’s cultural identity played in his choices of how to portray his survival, as well as his exposition of topics such as bystander complicity.

Primo Levi and the Identity of a Survivor

By Nancy Harrowitz

© 2016

Primo Levi (1919–1987) was an Italian chemist, writer, and Holocaust survivor who used a combination of testimony, essays, and creative writing to explore crucial themes related to the Shoah. His voice is among the most important to emerge from this dark chapter in human history.

In Primo Levi and the Identity of a Survivor, Nancy Harrowitz examines the complex role that Levi’s Jewish identity played in his choices of how to portray his survival, as well as in his exposition of topics such as bystander complicity. Her analysis uncovers a survivor’s shame that deeply influenced the personas he created to recount his experiences. Exploring a range of Levi’s works, including Survival at Auschwitz and lesser-known works of fiction and poetry, she illustrates key issues within his development as a writer. At the heart of Levi’s discourse, Harrowitz argues, lies a complex interplay of narrative modes that reveals his brilliance as a theorist of testimony.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 190 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘Essential.’


    R.C. Conrad
    Choice Magazine vol 54:11:2017

    "…this groundbreaking work…brings new urgency and depth to our understanding of Levi’s testimonial achievement."


    Miranda Johnson, University of Sydney
    University of Toronto Quarterly, vol 87 3, Summer 2018

    "Primo Levi and the Identity of a Survivor is a major contribution to research and fills a gap in Levi studies. Nancy Harrowitz’s meaningful and original interaction with the texts opens up new areas of discussion and contemplation."


    Elizabeth Scheiber, Professor of French and Italian, Rider University
  • Author Information

    Nancy Harrowitz is an associate professor of Italian and Jewish studies at Boston University.
  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgements

    1 Introduction

    2 Primo Levi’s Jewish Identity

    3 Primo Levi’s Writerly Identity: From Science to Storytelling

    4 Against Autobiography

    5 Shame’s Identity

    6 Conclusion: Cautionary Tales, Early Poetry

    Bibliography

    Index

Related Titles