I got to love the eclecticism the 1001 list presents. One day I’m reading a comic about superheroes and next I tackle Primo Levi’s essays on concentration camps.
As I have revealed, this is what The Drowned and the Saved is all about. It is also one of the very few non fiction titles of the list (these exceptions always come as a little surprise).
Within these short chapters Levi goes into a more psychological account of the ‘lagers’ and the various results. From the inner dialect that formed, to common stereotypes, the tricks that memory can play on you. and, the best chapter, German reactions to his earlier works . What keeps this work from being too academic is the fact that Levi only uses anecdotes as examples in order to get his point across , plus some references to films and novels written by other camp survivors.
All of this makes interesting reading, however to be honest I wasn’t really in the mood for something like this but anyways this is one of the things when you are ‘bound’ to a challenge like this. Sometimes you have to take certain books in your stride.
I’m curious about Levi’s other works now (and there are quite a few mentioned) so at least The Drowned and the Saved sparked off an interest.