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Answering AuschwitzPrimo Levi's Science and Humanism after the Fall$
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Stanislao G. Pugliese

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233588

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233588.001.0001

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The Partisan and His Doppelganger: The Case of Primo Levi

The Partisan and His Doppelganger: The Case of Primo Levi

(p.114) Chapter 8 The Partisan and His Doppelganger: The Case of Primo Levi
Answering Auschwitz

Ilona Klein

Fordham University Press

Published in 1982, “Se non ora, quando?” (If Not Now, When?) is Primo Levi's first novel proper. Perhaps, Primo Levi regretted not fully living life as an Italian Jewish partisan that he re-created his lost dream through its pages and had his partisan brigade not been captured. This novel might reflect Levi's need to explore that sought after life as a partisan, which he had been denied after only three months of activity. This chapter proposes that this novel might be read and understood as the “other” story, the narrative of that partisan experience that Levi did not live in full, the story of his destroyed dream as an aspiring freedom fighter against the Nazi and Fascist tragedy. It submits, then, that the narrative of this novel develops the theme of Levi's doppelganger through the discourse of a fictional, projected alter-ego protagonist.

Keywords:   Primo Levi, Italian Jewish partisan, freedom fighter, Nazi, Fascist tragedy, Levi's doppelganger

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