By Sodi, Risa; Levi, Primo; Dante Alighieri
This unique and well timed quantity info the impression of Dante's Inferno on Primo Levi's vintage Holocaust narrative, Se questo è uomo, and his final booklet of essays, I sommersi e i salvatie. Such key suggestions as reminiscence, justice, and the world of the impartial sinners - «la zona grigia» for Levi - are given specific emphasis. 3 questions shape the spine of the publication: Can reminiscence be triumph over? the place is justice for the Holocaust survivor? and, Is there a center floor among sufferer and oppressors, and the way does Levi outline it? abundant use of interviews with the writer show how Levi relates those 3 inquiries to such modern figures as Sigmund Freud, Franz Stangl, Rudolf Höss, Jean Améry, Liliana Cavani, and Kurt Waldheim
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Trans. from German via Claudio Groff
Extra info for A Dante Of Our Time : Primo Levi and Auschwitz
Loathe to carry out the order with his own hands, he called in an underling who shot the girl with a bullet to the nape of the neck. In 1947, Muhsfeld was tried for this crime among others, convicted and hanged. " 23 Non e difficile giudicare Muhsfeld, e non credo che il tribunate che lo ha condannato abbia avuto dubbi; per contro, ii nostro bisogno e Ia nostra capacita di giudicare si inceppano davanti alia Squadra Speciale. 24 How can they be judged-and who can judge them? There is a middle ground for them in Levi's view, though it is neither decorous nor blameless.
Why doesn't Levi condemn them outright? Why don't these grey zoners take their place with the oppressors? Levi answers this question by saying that he is paralyzed by impotentia judicandi. 16 With regard to all the varieties of inmate-collaborators, he states unequivocably that no one-both those who have not had the Lager experience and those who have-can be authorized to judge the grey zoners. After unimaginable torment-months of hunger, fatigue, humilation, death, isolation, and the very "indecipherable inferno" of the concentration camp itself-when offered a chance to survive, who and how many have the reserve of strength to resist?
He manages to retain his identity, and at some cost. His campmate Null Achtzehn is not so fortunate. " 34 He himself seems to have forgotten his name. He survives as a human shell without a human spirit. " He wonders if it is still beautiful, and he meditates that it truly would be a shame to let himself be "submerged" now. It is interesting to note that he doesn't worry about dying; instead, he seems to imply, to become one of the "sommersi" is a fate worse than death. " Lorenzo was the Italian volunteer laborer who provided Levi with the material aid that saved his life (an extra liter of soup a day).
A Dante Of Our Time : Primo Levi and Auschwitz by Sodi, Risa; Levi, Primo; Dante Alighieri