Kako drugače reči "jaz": Prisotnost knjig v delih Prima Levija


  • Irena Prosenc Šegula Univerza v Ljubljani, Filozofska fakulteta



Ključne besede:

italijanska književnost, Primo Levi, knjige, branje, avtobiografija, antologija


Primo Levi’s literary production is extremely varied and cannot be limited to autobiography despite the fact that the author is primarily studied for his autobiographical works. However, his texts related to autobiography show the strongest and most consistent presence of books, which is analyzed in this article. The beginnings of Levi’s writing can be traced to autobiographical motifs. Autobiography, which is present in a considerable part of the author’s work, is particularly connected to essays that often include autobiographical elements. Levi analyzes himself as an author as well as a reader, thus putting into practice the motto of “recognizing, analyzing, and weighing,” derived from his profession as a chemist. As a self-analyzing reader, he is a carrier of abstract notions deriving from previous readings as well as the owner of books intended as concrete objects displayed on his bookshelves. Books are his “soul companions” over various periods of his life and a conspicuous part of luggage on his wanderings through postwar Europe. The clearest image of Levi as a reader is found in The Search for Roots: A Personal Anthology. Levi’s selection of thirty texts by other authors combines depictions of books as concrete objects, literary works, and notions permeated with autobiographical elements. The choice of excerpts, varying from literary to scientific texts, is based mostly on autobiographical motifs. In Levi’s autobiographical texts, books and reading assume an important role in reminiscing and testifying about past events. The author also elaborates on his eclectic reading habits, inherited from his family, as well as on the way he handles books as objects. In his autobiographical narrative, books are given the same attention as other objects, people, and places, often including their titles, a physical description, the circumstances in which the author came into their possession, and the places where he read them. After Levi’s annihilating experience of imprisonment in Auschwitz, reading is also a means of returning to civilization and reacquiring the identity that the concentration camp had every intention of destroying. Levi’s “hybrid” cultura identity includes classics of Italian literature as well as chemistry textbooks, which are both important in creating the roots of the author’s identity within his family as well as within human civilization.


Podatki o prenosih še niso na voljo.

Biografija avtorja

  • Irena Prosenc Šegula, Univerza v Ljubljani, Filozofska fakulteta
    Irena Prosenc Šegula je docentka za italijansko književnost na Oddelku za romanske jezike in književnosti Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani. Ukvarja se z italijanskimi avtorji dvajsetega stoletja (zlasti P. Levijem), avtobiografijo, intertekstualnostjo in recepcijo mita v italijanski književnosti. Proučuje italijansko renesančno književnost in srednjeveško novelistiko in spremlja recepcijo italijanske književnosti v Sloveniji.



31. 12. 2010




Kako citirati

Prosenc Šegula, I. . (2010). Kako drugače reči "jaz": Prisotnost knjig v delih Prima Levija. Ars & Humanitas, 4(1-2), 40-54. https://doi.org/10.4312/ars.4.1-2.40-54