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On Sebastiano Timpanaro

Perry Anderson, 10 May 2001

... had written nearly a hundred years earlier, but had left in a drawer, was published. Its title was Primo maggio: a novel about socialism. It was well known that in his last years, De Amicis had preached what was generally held to be a sentimental doctrine of social commiseration and inter-class harmony. The all but unanimous reaction of critics – and of the ...

Górecki’s Millions

David Drew, 6 October 1994

... he is, or is not, an agnostic. It was only in 1991 that Górecki finally brought himself to read Primo Levi’s testimony from Auschwitz; and because there was no Polish translation of it, he had had to read it in the language he had learnt as a schoolboy and Untermensch in his native Silesia. (Even in Germany, nearly half a century after the events ...

In the Egosphere

Adam Mars-Jones: The Plot against Roth, 23 January 2014

Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books 
by Claudia Roth Pierpont.
Cape, 353 pp., £25, January 2014, 978 0 224 09903 5
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... discovery, how to enlarge, how to amplify, how to be free.’ He values the moral engagement of Primo Levi over the playfulness of Calvino, but in The Counterlife he seems to split the difference. There’s irony in a formula from the book like ‘there really is no eluding one’s fate’ but it’s necessarily of a very flat kind, with fate’s ...

The Suitcase: Part Three

Frances Stonor Saunders, 10 September 2020

... signed as shower rooms.Example: Auschwitz, ‘ultimate drainage point of the German universe’ (Primo Levi), where the belongings collected at the selection ramp were taken in trucks to be sorted in the warehouses of Kanada – the land of plenty – and, when more space was needed, Kanada II. Two Kanadas, still not enough to contain the landslip of ...

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