by Peter Graham (September 2015)
On the morning of December 15, 1943, in the tiny alpine village of Amay, south of the Swiss border, an Italian Jew by the name of Primo Levi awoke to the sound of troops bursting into the mountain inn where he was staying. The soldiers brandished rifles and machine guns and shouted, “Nobody move!” Levi had a gun, a revolver that he shared with a friend, but managed to slip it secretly into a wood stove, hoping that none of the bullets would discharge in the embers. more>>>
g murphy donovan
Interesting take, Peter. Levi is indeed ascendant, the grave notwithstanding. He is now achieving a stature that he never enjoyed as a prisoner or survivor. Easier to remember the good than dwell on the evil. Hannah was right. In the worst of times, the worst often survive, Levi isn't Pantheon material so much as he is testimony to the banality, indeed moral neutrality, of survival. And suicide, no matter the motive, is not a testimony to character either. Young men are sent to war for good reason. they care little for their mortality or that of the enemy. An old man should know better.
Beautifully written piece. Levi's work speaks for itself and is separate from the man. How his life ended may add poignancy but does not illuminate his work. Is this a man who belongs in the pantheon? I think so. But, only time will tell.
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