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Vanadium and the Grey Doctor Muller, Marco Belpoliti

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Author : Marco Belpoliti

Title : Vanadium and the Grey Doctor Muller

Subtitle : Featuring Primo Levi’s story Vanadium from The Periodic Table

Translator : Jonathan Hunt

Year : 2018

Series : Primo Levi Papers

SKU: 16-5 Category:


Featuring Primo Levi’s story Vanadium from The Periodic Table

One of Italy’s finest literary critics, Marco Belpoliti is the curator of the Italian edition of Primo Levi’s complete works. Despite his pioneering decades-long critical engagement with Levi, his work remains largely unavailable in English.

Belpoliti’s essay on Levi’s chapter “Vanadium” from The Periodic Table is a slim but insightful and thought-provoking volume, introduced by philosopher Simona Forti also includes Levi’s original short story.

After surviving Auschwitz, Primo Levi never stopped questioning how the German culture which had given humanity Goethe and Beethoven, had produced Nazism. In his quest for a deeper understanding of the circumstances and mechanisms that had turned a people into barbarians, and to confront post-war Germans with his testimony, Levi sought a dialogue with them.  The desire and need for such a dialogue manifest clearly in his fiction and non-fiction alike.

His determination to have If This is a Man translated into German, the short story “Vanadium” in The Period Table, and the chapter the final chapter “Letters from Germans” of The Drown and the Saved are the more overt examples of this tension.


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