Author Levi's Book
The Drowned and the Saved
In his final book, published in 1986 a year before his suicide, the Italian chemist Primo Levi sums up issues and lessons of the Holocaust, based on his own experiences and extensive readings of the literature. His themes involve memory, how people lie to themselves and others, what enables some to survive and others not. He studies the psychology of victims and oppressors, particularly how they resemble and collaborate with one another as well as how th...
The Periodic Table
Primo Levi, the Italian chemist who was taken to Auschwitz at the age of 24, presents a kind of literary autobiography of a chemist. Each chapter is named for a chemical element -- from Nickel to Titanium; from Hydrogen, Gold, and Sulfur to Vanadium and Arsenic. Sometimes the chapter involves an incident with that particular element at its center, sometimes the element serves more as a metaphor for the action. We learn about detective hunts in the lab, a...
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