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By Sodi, Risa; Levi, Primo; Dante Alighieri

ISBN-10: 0820412198

ISBN-13: 9780820412191

ISBN-10: 1453909958

ISBN-13: 9781453909959

This unique and well timed quantity info the impression of Dante's Inferno on Primo Levi's vintage Holocaust narrative, Se questo è uomo, and his final e-book of essays, I sommersi e i salvatie. Such key innovations as reminiscence, justice, and the area of the impartial sinners - «la zona grigia» for Levi - are given specific emphasis. 3 questions shape the spine of the ebook: Can reminiscence be conquer? the place is justice for the Holocaust survivor? and, Is there a center floor among sufferer and oppressors, and the way does Levi outline it? abundant use of interviews with the writer exhibit how Levi relates those 3 inquiries to such modern figures as Sigmund Freud, Franz Stangl, Rudolf Höss, Jean Améry, Liliana Cavani, and Kurt Waldheim

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In his travels through the inferno, Dante encounters a cackle of sinners, some Memory and the Memory of Offense 51 unknown to him, some immediately recognizable to him. Some of them recognize Dante as well. Yet, almost to a man, they shrink from telling him their stories. Dante cajoles them, tricks them, orders them, shames them into revealing bits of their past lives, their sins and their contrapas- so. Why is the telling so difficult? Without exception, it is because the memory of the offense is so burdensome, so painful that even the act of speaking of it doubles the bitter sting of the infernal punishment.

Thus, it is also appropriate that, when Levi refers to the Commedia in his works, it is exclusively to the Dantesque (retributive) justice of the Inferno and not to the ethereal, absolutionary justice of Purgatory or Paradise. It is quite beyond both Dante's intentions in the Inferno and Primo Levi's in his various writings to free the subjects of their discourse from punishment or to remit them from penalty. Nonetheless, retributive justice often becomes mired in the difficulty of apportioning punishment to guilt.

They were responsible for keeping order among the new arrivals, removing the cadavers from the gas chambers, cutting the women's hair, sorting and classifying clothes, shoes and luggage, transporting the bodies to the crematoria, managing the ovens, and extracting and elminating the ashes. At Auschwitz, the Special Squad had anywhere from 700 to 1,000 members at any one time. Twelve squads succeeded each other over the life of the camp. Each squad worked for a few months and then was killed; the next squad, as its first task, was charged with burning the cadavers of its predecessor.

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A Dante Of Our Time : Primo Levi and Auschwitz by Sodi, Risa; Levi, Primo; Dante Alighieri


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