Auschwitz as Hell

Rachel Falconer

in Hell in Contemporary Literature

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780748617630
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651733 | DOI:
Auschwitz as Hell

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This chapter takes a look at Primo Levi's classic testimony, If This is a Man, which it views as a descent narrative wherein Hell is represented as a combination of many chronotopes, each of which reveals a different image of the human subject. It explores the retrospective Levi, later reflections on the Holocaust, and people's own increasing distance from the historical event. The chapter views his writing as working against the sacralisation of Hell that occurs in some other examples of memorialisation and writing about the Holocaust.

Keywords: Primo Levi; descent narrative; chronotopes; Holocaust; sacralisation; memorialisation

Chapter.  11938 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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