Explanation of the Keywords: topics

Alphabetical list of thematic keywords.

ANIMALI - ANIMALS

ANTROPOLOGO, ETOLOGO - ANTHROPOLOGIST, ETHOLOGIST
Primo Levi as careful observer of human beings, nature, and of the life around them.

ASIMMETRIA - ASYMMETRY
Asymmetry was one of the main themes of Levi’s thesis for his laurea, his university degree. This keyword covers critical essays that examine asymmetry in his scientific works and works in general.
AUTOBIOGRAFIA - AUTOBIOGRAPHY

CENTAURO, IBRIDO - CENTAUR, HYBRID
Beginning with the 1960s and especially with his famous short story, Quaestio de Centauris, [“The Question of the Centaurs” (from Latin)], Levi often described himself as a centaur. This keyword refers to the themes of division, duplicity, and impurity (chemical, political, ethnic and existential) in his works.

CHIMICA - CHEMISTRY

CINEMA, TEATRO - CINEMA, THEATER
Cinema and the theater in the works of Levi. Plays and films adapted from Levi’s works.

COMMEMORAZIONI - COMMEMORATIONS
The commemorations of the tenth (1997), the twentieth (2007) and the twenty-fifth (2012) anniversary of the Levi’s death.

COMUNICARE - COMMUNICATE
Talking, making oneself understood, and oral and written story-telling as primary and vital needs in and outside of the Lager.

EBRAISMO - JUDAISM
Jewish languages, culture, religion and characteristics in the works of Levi.

ECOLOGIA, ECOCRITICA - ECOLOGY, ECOCRITICISM
Environment, ecology and their ethical implications in Levi's writings (especially in his tales of invention); secondary literature inspired to Ecocriticism.

EINAUDI - EINAUDI PUBLISHING HOUSE
This keyword refers to two topics: a) the circumstances that led Einaudi publishers to reject If This is a Man in 1947; b) Levi’s relationship with the publishers that published almost all of his books beginning with 1958.

ETICA - ETHICS

FANTASTICO, FANTASCIENZA - FANTASY, SCIENCE FICTION

FASCISMO - FASCISM

FILOSOFIA - PHILOSOPHY
Primo Levi and his relationship with philosophy, philosophy in Levi’s works, and the perspectives of philosophers on Levi’s works.

FORTUNA CRITICA - CRITICAL FORTUNES

GERMANIA, TEDESCHI / GERMANY, GERMANS

GIOCHI - GAMES
Younger children’s games, teenager’s games, language games, puzzle-making and puzzle-solving in Levi’s works.

INTERTESTUALITÀ - INTERTEXTUALITY
This heading records links and interferences between Levi’s and other authors’ works (not only writers but also, for example, philosophers or movie directors), or between Levi’s works and some literary movements, periods and categories (e.g. Holocaust literature); this kind of interferences will be recorded as INTERTESTUALITÀ/Categorie letterarie (INTERTESTUALITY/Literary categories). We have, in this case, a sort of hyper-heading which is very analytical – one that is divided into hundreds of indexed sub-headings. This key word covers various topics: a) comparative studies on Levi and the writers he mentions in his works; b) studies on writers who influenced or may have influenced Levi’s works; c) comparisons of Levi’s works and the works of other writers; d) critical readings of Levi’s works by writers, poets, philosophers, anthropologists etc.; e) the developing debates on the biographies on Levi written by Carole Angier, Myriam Anissimov and Ian Thomson, a topic that is so broad that it deserves a separate key word; f) the debate raised by some selected critical texts on Levi.

LAGER vs. GULAG
The historical, political anthropological comparison between these two sites of oppression – the Nazi Lager and the Soviet GULAG.

LAVORO - WORK
The ethics and concreteness of doing/making in Levi’s works.

LINGUA E STILE - LANGUAGE AND STYLE

LTI, LINGUA TERTII IMPERII - LTI, CONCENTRATION-CAMP LANGUAGE
The abbreviation LTI [language of the Third Empire/Reich (from Latin)] was coined by the linguist and musicologist Victor Klemperer, who faced the misfortune of living in the Germany of the Third Reich keeping a diary of his political-linguistic experiences. This key word refers to the slang of the Lager and to the German language in Hitler’s Germany.

MEMORIA - MEMORY

MORTE - DEATH
Accounts, opinions, hypotheses, and speculations on Levi’s death.

NATURA - NATURE
The view of nature in Levi and the presence of natural phenomena in Levi’s works.

NECROLOGIO - OBITUARIES

ONOMASTICA - ONOMASTICS

POESIA - POETRY

POLITICA - POLITICS

POLITICA, ISRAELE - POLITICS, ISRAEL
The positions Levi took on the state Israel and the policies of its governments.

PSICOLOGIA, PSICOANALISI - PSYCHOLOGY, PSYCHOANALYSIS
This keyword covers three topics: Levi and psychology; the psychology of Levi’s characters; and the attempts to analyze Levi’s psyche after his death.

RAGIONE - REASON
This keyword covers the following topics: a) the role and the limits of rationality in Levi’s works and life; b) rationality and irrationality in and outside of the Lager; c) clear-cut and darker aspects of human beings and of the life around them.

REALTÀ VIRTUALE - VIRTUAL REALITY

RELIGIONE, TEOLOGIA - RELIGION, THEOLOGY
Religion in Levi’s works, attempts at theological critical readings of Levi, and instances of the intertextuality of religious themes in his works.

RESISTENZA - THE RESISTANCE

REVISIONISMO - REVISIONISM
Three topics: a) Levi’s positions against revisionism and historical negationism; b) Levi’s works as contributions to the debate on revisionism/negationism; c) revisionist and negationist readings of Levi’s works.

SAGGIO DI CARATTERE GENERALE - GENERAL ESSAYS
This keyword covers non-fiction writings that address Levi’s works as a whole, writings with critical theories of general importance, and several texts that focus on limited topics but seem to be indispensable for the critical understanding of Levi’s works.

SCIENZA, TECNICA - SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY

SCUOLA - SCHOOLS
Four topics: a) Levi’s works in the schools; b) teaching the history of the Shoah; c) the theme of learning in Levi’s works; d) the desire to communicate with young people and the problems related to communicating with them.

SOGNO - DREAMS

SOPRAVVIVERE - SURVIVAL

STORIA - HISTORY
Historical themes in Levi’s works; the influences and the distortions that historical and political circumstances have on the readings of Levi’s works.

TELEVISIONE, RADIO - TELEVISION, RADIO

TEMPO - TIME
The perception of time and its influence on behavior and on the outlook on reality in Levi’s works.

TESTIMONIANZA BIOGRAFICA - BIOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNTS
A very careful census of the accounts of people who came into contact with Levi, including very short accounts and accounts embedded in critical essays.

TESTIMONIARE - BEARING WITNESS
Bearing witness as a necessary act, a need, and a theme in Levi’s works.

TORINO, PIEMONTE - TURIN, PIEDMONT
Levi’s hometown of Turin and Piedmont in his works – its types of atmosphere, places, dialects, slang, characteristics, history, and characters.

TRADURRE, TRADUZIONE - TO TRANSLATE, TRANSLATION

TRAUMA STUDIES

UMORISTA - HUMORIST
It was a friend of Levi’s, the musicologist Massimo Mila, who defined him as a humorist right after his death. This key word covers irony, humor, fun, his gusto in telling stories and comic inventions as a man and narrator.

VERGOGNA - SHAME
The “shame of the survivor” of the Lagers, one of the most important topics that Levi faced in The Drowned and the Saved.

VIAGGIO - TRAVELS

VIOLENZA - VIOLENCE

ZONA GRIGIA - GRAY ZONE
Levi argues in The Drowned and the Saved that the space between the categories of the victims and the perpetrators is not empty. Instead, “it is studded with obscene or pathetic figures (sometimes they possess both qualities simultaneously) whom it is indispensable to know if we want to know the human species.