By Sodi, Risa; Levi, Primo; Dante Alighieri
This unique and well timed quantity information the impression of Dante's Inferno on Primo Levi's vintage Holocaust narrative, Se questo è uomo, and his final ebook of essays, I sommersi e i salvatie. Such key recommendations 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 booklet: 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? plentiful use of interviews with the writer exhibit 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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It is the crux of our personality, the crutch on which our future self rests. Without memory, there can be no progress of the human spirit, no possibility that within a single lifetime, or a generation, or a century, past missteps can be retraced and redirected, past wrongs can be recognized and righted. Memory of this non-physiological kind is crucial to both the Commedia and Se questo e un uomo. If we are to indulge Dante his literary construct, then the whole of the Commedia is the poet's account of the pilgrim's journey (both poet and pilgrim being "played," of course, by Dante).
53 The concept of Schadenfreude introduced earlier may, by contrast and comparison, help us elucidate Levi's stand with regard to both pardon and revenge. To a great extent, repentence is of no account to Primo Levi. He adheres to a strict interpretation of the lex talionis, although he does not approach it in a Christian or even Judea-Christian context. Levi bases his views on justice from his observations and experiences of suffering during the Holocaust, considering a person's duty to society and oneself rather than to a higher religious ideal.
Levi argues, in fact, that not remembering is a choice open to the oppressor. H()ss and Stangl, the commandants of Auschwitz and Treblinka, respectively, were inordinately successful at this, as their memoirs and biographies attest. 7 Citing the case of Louis 54 Memory and the Memory of Offense Darquier de Pellepoix, Commissioner for Jewish Affairs under the Vichy government in France, he says, Mi pare di poter ravvisare in lui il caso tipico di chi, avvezzo a mentire pubblicamente, finisce col mentire anche in privato, anche a se stesso, e coll'edificarsi una verita confortevole che gli consenta di vivere in pace.
A Dante Of Our Time : Primo Levi and Auschwitz by Sodi, Risa; Levi, Primo; Dante Alighieri