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Transgressive Legacies of Memory : The Concept of Techné in Primo Levi's 'Periodic Table'

Transgressive Legacies of Memory : The Concept of Techné in Primo Levi's 'Periodic Table'

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BOTEZ, Catalina, 2012. Transgressive Legacies of Memory : The Concept of Techné in Primo Levi's 'Periodic Table'. In: GIBBONS, Tony, ed. and others. Integrity and Historical Research. New York [u.a.]:Routledge, pp. 28-47. ISBN 978-0-415-89436-4

@incollection{Botez2012Trans-20686, title={Transgressive Legacies of Memory : The Concept of Techné in Primo Levi's 'Periodic Table'}, year={2012}, number={3}, isbn={978-0-415-89436-4}, address={New York [u.a.]}, publisher={Routledge}, series={Routledge approaches to history}, booktitle={Integrity and Historical Research}, pages={28--47}, editor={Gibbons, Tony}, author={Botez, Catalina} }

Botez, Catalina This chapter is looking at Italian writer Primo Levi’s most original work Il sistema periodico (1975), translated in English as The Periodic Table (1995), which engages in a fascinating manner with the overlapping spheres of (auto)biography, memoir, poetical myth and fiction. This compelling literary hybrid mingles landmarks of personal pre- and post-WWII experience with significant fictitious tales, mapped around elements of Mendeleev’s periodic table.<br />The concept that binds all twenty one stories together is ‘work,’ understood on the one hand as physical, hands-on work in either the concentration camp, chemical laboratory or paint factory, and on the other hand as intellectual effort of narrating, writing and making sense of a particular traumatic (hi)story. This analysis explores the potential of integrous work to restore human rectitude and alleviate the memory of offence, seen here as transgressive memory. By hypostatizing the Holocaust survivor and writer as homo faber and homo scribendus, combined under the notion of technological man in the historico-philosophical understanding of the term, I suggest that P. Levi re-works and re-writes experience into a discourse of identity rehabilitation through research. Thus, personal experience and scientific research, along with fiction writing, gain ethical meanings.<br />From Argon to Carbon, going through Phosphorous, Lead and Cerium (three chemical components most intricately related to Levi’s camp experience), the reader is borne through the circle of life itself, incomplete without the occurrence of death. This organicist view on and evaluation of life does not erase individual responsibility -and therefore human probity-, just as it does not avert thoughts and ethical dilemmas regarding the significance of technologically perpetrated genocide and the role of work and (historical or scientific) research in inflicting, preventing and recovering from it. eng Integrity and Historical Research / ed. by Tony Gibbons ... - New York [u.a.] : Routledge, 2012. - S. 28-47. - (Routledge approaches to history ; 3 ). - ISBN 978-0-415-89436-4 2012-11-16T12:26:20Z Botez, Catalina 2012 2012-11-16T12:26:20Z deposit-license Transgressive Legacies of Memory : The Concept of Techné in Primo Levi's 'Periodic Table'

Dateiabrufe seit 01.10.2014 (Informationen über die Zugriffsstatistik)

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