The Partisan and His Doppelganger: The Case of Primo Levi

Ilona Klein

in Answering Auschwitz

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233588
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241811 | DOI:
The Partisan and His Doppelganger: The Case of Primo Levi

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Published in 1982, “Se non ora, quando?” (If Not Now, When?) is Primo Levi's first novel proper. Perhaps, Primo Levi regretted not fully living life as an Italian Jewish partisan that he re-created his lost dream through its pages and had his partisan brigade not been captured. This novel might reflect Levi's need to explore that sought after life as a partisan, which he had been denied after only three months of activity. This chapter proposes that this novel might be read and understood as the “other” story, the narrative of that partisan experience that Levi did not live in full, the story of his destroyed dream as an aspiring freedom fighter against the Nazi and Fascist tragedy. It submits, then, that the narrative of this novel develops the theme of Levi's doppelganger through the discourse of a fictional, projected alter-ego protagonist.

Keywords: Primo Levi; Italian Jewish partisan; freedom fighter; Nazi; Fascist tragedy; Levi's doppelganger

Chapter.  5651 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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