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Primo Levi, Argon

Not all of them where materially inert, for that was not granted to them. On the contrary, they were, or had to be, quite active; but inert they undoubtedly were in the innermost selves, inclined to disinterested speculation … the events attributed to them …shared a static quality, an attitude of dignified abstention, of deliberate (or accepted) relegation to the margins of the great river of life. Primo Levi, Argon


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Written by Stella Bolaffi
Translated by Victoria Franzinetti and Colin Thorn

The author chronicles her childhood, tainted by the war, the persecution of the Jews, and the struggles of the partisan resistance movement against the Nazi Fascists in northern Italy. Page after page, a cave inhabited, according to legend, by witches in the mountains of the Lanzo valleys near Turin, the city of her birth, becomes a metaphor for the subconscious nightmares of a ten-years-old girl: her mother’s early passing after a long drawn-out illness, the Racial Laws that prohibited Jewish children from attending school, and a series of hideaways and stratagems to evade capture and deportation, as she came from a well-known Jewish family. Stella Bolaffi's subtle humor also shines through when she uses transcripts from Freudian psychoanalysis sessions to chart her childhood.


Stella Bolaffi Benuzzi was born in Turin in 1934. She is the granddaughter of Alberto Bolaffi, the pioneering Italian philatelist and founder of the Bolaffi Stamp Company, and sister of Alberto Bolaffi Jr. After graduating in Classics and Philosophy from the University of Turin, she specialized in Psychology, subsequently becoming a psycho-analyst and a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association. She is the author of several books, of which this is her first.


To request the full manuscript for research and publishing queries, email us at and we'll put you in touch with the author. No Stamps in the Italian Alps was originally published in Italia by Casa Editrice Giuntina, via degli Artisti 6/i, 50132 Firenze (ISBN 978-88-8057-473-6) under the title La balma delle streghe.
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