Job, Primo Levi and the Search for Roots
Manuela Consonni (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
In The Search for Roots (1981), Primo Levi discusses four books that shaped his intellectual and individual itinerary. Defining the horizon of his perspective are Job and the black holes.
In his reflection on Job’s heavenly monsters Levi addresses the themes of deliverance through laughter, the unjust suffering of man, a man’s stature, and, most importantly, deliverance through knowledge.
Why does Levi chooses Job? Should we accept the reasons he gives in the preface? That in spite the fact that the book is not part of his formative readings, he instinctively attributes to it an archetypical role because of his connection with Judaism and, even more profoundly, because of its universal place in the understanding the relation of man to pain and evil.