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Primo Levi (1919-1987) was the author of a rich body of work, including memoirs and reflections on Auschwitz, poetry, science fiction, historical fiction and essays. In particular, his lucid and direct accounts of his time at Auschwitz, begun immediately after liberation in 1945 and sustained until weeks before his suicide in 1987, has made him one of the most admired of all Holocaust writer-survivors and one of the best guides we have for the interrogation of that horrific event. But there is also more to Levi than the voice of the witness. He has increasingly come to be recognised as one of the major literary voices of the twentieth century. This Companion brings together leading specialists on Levi and scholars in the fields of Holocaust studies, Italian literature and language, and literature and science, to offer a stimulating introduction to all aspects of the work of this extraordinary writer.
The Holocaust in Italian Culture, 1944–2010 is the first major study of how postwar Italy confronted, or failed to confront, the Holocaust. Fascist Italy was the model for Nazi Germany, and Mussolini was Hitler's prime ally in the Second World War. But Italy also became a theater of war and a victim of Nazi persecution after 1943, as resistance, collaboration, and civil war raged. Many thousands of Italians—Jews and others—were deported to concentration camps throughout Europe. After the war, Italian culture produced a vast array of stories, images, and debate through which it came to terms with the Holocaust's difficult legacy. Gordon probes a rich range of cultural material as he paints a picture of this shared encounter with the darkest moment of twentieth-century history. His book explores aspects of Italian national identity and memory, offering a new model for analyzing the interactions between national and international images of the Holocaust.
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