The Memory of the Offence: Primo Levi's If this is a Man
Troubador Publishing Ltd, 2001 - 89 pages
Since Primo Levi's 'If this is a Man' is at once a significant and moving survivor account and a major work of twentieth century literature, it is essential to read it with an acute sense of its historical and cultural context. In The Memory of the Offence, Judith Woolf helps Levi's readers to a fuller understanding of his work by inter-weaving history and literature in a way which makes both come alive. This is an important book, because in these days of 'ethnic cleansing', and the institutionalization of our collective memories of the Second World War and its myriad atrocities, it looks uncompromisingly at the actuality of all that history, enabling the reader to think it through again. Following Levi's lead, it focuses tellingly on the 'minute particular', and in doing so, gives a face and an identity to what we might otherwise all too readily dismiss because of its enormity. The book is intended both for students of Italian and for the general reader. All quotations from 'If this is a Man' and all verse quotations are given in both Italian and English, while all other quotations from Italian texts are given in English.
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