Why do we believe Primo Levi?
The narrative strategy of Se questo è un uomo is based on a selection of memories which Primo Levi discusses and questions on every page.
Mario Barenghi examines the mechanisms of this organization of memory and text that turns personal trauma into shared memory. Oscillating between the 'scientific' urge to understand and the solemn, sacral warning, Primo Levi imparts to his discourse a complex curvature which prevents its arriving at any definite conclusion: no simplification or catharsis is possible. The narrative climax of the last two chapters prepares for the real ending, which lies outside Se questo è un uomo: the death of Hurbinek, the boy who couldn't speak, at the beginning of La tregua.