Tenth Lecture

The tenth Primo Levi Lecture was given by Fabio Levi on October 24, 2018, at Cavallerizza Reale in the Great Hall of the University of Turin to a large audience including some classes of the school Istituto per geometri Guarino Guarini in Turin.

Dialoghi/Dialogues has been published by Einaudi in spring 2019.

I am a person who needs to communicate constantly, who suffers if he cannot communicate. I need to speak and to write, to have a two-way communication, in possible.

This sentence, so simple and direct, reveals a multitude of compelling needs; to express himself and to listen, finding interlocutors everywhere, of every age, social condition, and level of culture. Primo Levi spoke – about Auschwitz and much more – to Italian students who were born after WWII, to Germans from the post-nazi era, and also to the person he had become forty years after the Lager, in dialogues he constructed with patience, straightforwardness, and intelligence. As it illustrates the various waves and inflections, this Lezione addresses Levi’s ever-renewing pool of interlocutors: the readers of today and tomorrow.


There are at least three reasons why this title is in the plural. First, you cannot count the number of school children and others with whom Primo Levi had reasoned with personally. Second, his writings enabled there to be an exchange that was just as intense with a very broad public.  Third, there was an inner dialogue among the various kinds of spirit in Levi’s mind that never stopped producing new ideas.