Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Drowned and the Saved / Primo Levi, trans. by Michael F. Moore, 170 pp.

First published in 1986, the author expands on his Auschwitz experiences recounted in If This Is a Man.  This time his personal history is worked against memoirs of other survivors, as well as forty years of writing and speaking about the Lager.  Levi reads angrier here than he did in 1946, or perhaps he is only more tired.  His experiences as a witness were undoubtedly frustrating, and Levi communicates that here, in chapters about the function of memory in terrible circumstances, the importance of language, and, most interestingly, letters from Germans written to him after the German-language translation of If This Is a Man was published.

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