Marco Belpoliti: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2019

NameMr Marco Belpoliti
Address
Viktoria Laszlo
Literatur/Kulturwiss., Kilcher
Causiusstr. 59, RZ H 2
8092 Zürich
SWITZERLAND
E-mailmarco.belpoliti@gess.ethz.ch
DepartmentHumanities, Social and Political Sciences
RelationshipVisiting Professor

NumberTitleECTSHoursLecturers
851-0101-28LThe Birth of a Writer. Primo Levi and His “If this is a Man”3 credits2VM. Belpoliti
AbstractThe course retraces Levi’s writing journey which began after his return from the Auschwitz concentration camp and eventually led to the young chemist and former deportee become a writer. It thus focuses on Levi as an author in progress, following his consecutive writings and rewritings that culminated in the first publication of his work in 1947 and the now canonical re-edition of 1958.
ObjectiveThe course aim is to enter Levi’s writing workshop. Even though his first book has been regarded an immediate and spontaneous work for a long time, it went through a complex process of elaboration: from poetry to testimony, from memory to narration.
ContentThe course retraces Levi’s writing journey which began after his return from the Auschwitz concentration camp and eventually led to the young chemist and former deportee become a writer. The work he had written frantically during the first months after his return to Turin was to have a very curious destiny. Rejected by the publishers on first presentation, the book was printed in 1947 by De Silva, a small Turin publisher. However, it soon disappeared from the post-war literary horizon and only re-emerged in 1958 thanks to Einaudi. Thus began the long journey of one of the most extraordinary and profound stories of the extermination of the Jews of Europe, which has not ended yet.

The course focuses on Levi as an author in progress, following his consecutive writings and rewritings that culminated in the first publication of his work in 1947 and the now canonical re-edition of 1958, which has been translated into various languages. With what procedures, with what progressions has he become the writer we know from his debut work? To answer these questions we will analyse the parts added in the volume of 1958, focusing on the similarities characterizing the sheets inserted in the 1958 "typescript", on corrections and deletions, on the change of perspective between the two versions of the same book: an immersion in the laboratory of a writer who writes and rewrites, a tribute to Primo Levi in the centenary year of his birth.