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The Search for Roots is a collection of writings that Primo Levi considered to be essential reading. Beginning with the Book of Job, that drama of the just oppressed by injustice, these thirty pieces, with introductions by Levi, reflect his profound knowledge of science and deep passion for literature, and his survival of Auschwitz—making it an anthology that is both universal and poignantly autobiographical. Levi suggests four routes through these writings, four ways of understanding the human predicament and of achieving partial salvation in an apparently indifferent universe: through laughter, through knowledge, and through understanding the injustice of suffering and the stature of man. With this in mind, he presents familiar voices: Swift, Conrad, T. S. Eliot, and Arthur C. Clarke, for example, and introduces us to less familiar ones: Lucretius, Giuseppe Belli, Fredric Brown, Stefano D’Arrigo, and Hermann Langbein. Most of the pieces, as Levi comments, reflect the fundamental dichotomies that face us all: “falsehood/truth, laughter/tears, judgment/folly, hope/despair, triumph/disaster.” As Peter Forbes writes in his Introduction, “In the context of the twenty-first century, all of Levi’s choices are striking”; they exhibit “a kind of chastened curiosity rare in our time, and an undiminished sense of wonder and horror at a universe that has such things in it.”
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Born in 1919 in Turin, Italy, Primo Levi was the son of an educated middle-class Jewish family. He became a research chemist and in December 1943 was arrested as part of the anti-fascist resistance and deported to Auschwitz. After the war, Levi resumed his career as a chemist, retiring only in 1975. His graphic account of his time in Auschwitz, If This Is a Man, was published in 1957, and he went on to write many other books, including If Not Now, When? and The Periodic Table, emerging not only as one of the most profound and haunting commentators on the Holocaust but also as a great writer on many twentieth-century themes. In 1987 he died in a fall that is widely believed to have been suicide.Language Notes:
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian
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Book Description Ivan R. Dee, 2002. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1566634458
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