“Portable dictionary” of Jewish Piedmontese terms

In March 1976 Primo Levi sent a sort of “portable dictionary” of Jewish Piedmontese terms to Armand Lunel, author of Juifs du Languedoc, de la Provence et des Etats français du Pape [Jews in Languedoc, Provence and the French Papal States]. This “dictionary” examines the jargon of his ancestors and is quoted in his short story, “Argon,” the first chapter of The Periodic Table. The text was found by Alberto Cavaglion and published in the article Così parlava lo zio Oreste [Uncle Oreste Talked Like This] in La Stampa, June 12 2008, pp. 34-35.

Preface to Ebrei a Torino. Ricerche per il centenario della sinagoga 1884-1984, [Jews in Turin: Studies for the Centennial of the Synagogue 1884-1984] Turin: Allemandi, 1984, pp. 13-14. Levi treats the history, language and peculiarities of Turin’s Jews.

Preface to La comunità ebraica di Venezia e il suo antico cimitero, [The Jewish Community of Venice and its Ancient Cemetery], a study edited by Aldo Luzzatto (Milan: Il Polifilo, 2000). In his preface Levi begins with a description of the ancient cemetery of the community and then draws a portrait of Venetian Judaism.

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