Chapter

Autobiography and the Narrator

Edited by Nancy Harrowitz

in Answering Auschwitz

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233588
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241811 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823233588.003.0015
Autobiography and the Narrator

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The critical reception of Levi as an author most approvingly points to his objectivity, his “dispassionate” witnessing, and his ability to universalize, to delineate, and to explore a broad humanistic context within which to examine the moral and ethical questions that arise from a study of the Holocaust. His scientific training is often cited as what permits him to take a long view, to write in a style which Irving Howe called “unadorned and chaste,” and that Cynthia Ozick described as “lucid and calm,” demonstrating “magisterial equanimity.” Levi himself advanced this view of his writing and his philosophy, even directly connecting his process of writing to scientific method and to chemical reaction in interviews and essays. There is no question that Levi represents himself as a chemist and survivor first and as a writer second.

Keywords: humanistic context; Holocaust; Irving Howe; Cynthia Ozick; philosophy; scientific method; chemical reaction

Chapter.  6056 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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