A Silver Martian – Normality and Segregation in Primo Levi’s Sleeping Beauty in the Fridge, Paola Mieli
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Author : Paola Mieli
Title : A Silver Martian
Subtitle : Normality and Segregation in Primo Levi’s Sleeping Beauty in the Fridge
Year : 2014
Series : Primo Levi Papers
In Mieli’s interpretation, through surreal inventions, Levi pointed to a disquieting continuity between past aberrations and present normality, showing beyond any doubt how the present is subtly interwoven with the logic of the past. In his short story, Sleeping Beauty in the Fridge, Levi describes with great acumen the tight relationship between science new technologies, and subjective alienation, as well as the ways in which normality, and the tranquility of a prosperous life, are in fact the product of a bio-political normativity, universally accepted with careless complicity.
As a survivor moved to become a writer by the “necessity” to share his experience, Primo Levi narrated the devastating effects of the deprivation of one’s subjectivity in the lager. New York and Paris based psychoanalyst Paola Mieli traces the voice of Levi the storyteller in his reflection on the causes and implications of what he defined as an “immense biological and social experiment,” pondering on the issue of segregation in our times and on the heritage the camps have bequeathed onto the present.