Thomas Laqueur: Primo Levi, 5 September 2002
Show More Primo Levi’s Ordinary Virtues: From Testimony to Ethics by Robert Gordon.
Oxford, 316 pp., £45, October 2001, 0 19 815963 3Show More
Primo Levi by Ian Thomson.
Hutchinson, 624 pp., £25, March 2002, 0 09 178531 6Show More
The Double Bond: Primo Levi, a Biography by Carole Angier.
Viking, 898 pp., £25, April 2002, 0 670 88333 6Show More
“... Primo Levi is among the most read and most resonant witnesses to the greatest human disaster of a disastrous age. He created more powerful images, more mind-sustaining turns of phrase through which to think about these matters than any other writer. The ‘drowned and the saved’, for example: that appallingly stark, Darwinian division between those who managed to secure a few extra grams of food for themselves, or respite from labour, or shelter from the cold, or friendship, and those who ended ‘on the bottom’, the ‘Muselmänner’, whom a pitiless system had reduced to the merely biological, the already dead whom everyone shunned ...”