Primo Levi

Answering Auschwitz

The Chronicle Review spotlights Stanislao G. Pugliese’s new book, Answering Auschwitz: Primo Levi’s Science and Humanism After the Fall.

May 22, 2011

Here There Is a Why: Primo Levi, Humanist
By Carlin Romano

Writers closely identified with the Holocaust rarely escape their literary cells. Elie Wiesel has written 57 books—try naming a few of them besides Night. When Imre Kertész, the Hungarian-Jewish novelist and Auschwitz survivor, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2002, the Swedish Academy understandably cited his “writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history,” even as Kertész, the first Hungarian to win the prize, expressed hope that it might more generally shine light on the “ignored literature of Hungary.”

And then there is Primo Levi. When he plunged to his death down the stairwell of his Turin apartment building on the morning of April 11, 1987, only minutes after answering the doorbell of his third-floor apartment and thanking the concierge for his morning mail, a single question—”Did he commit suicide?”—threatened to turn Levi’s entire life and work into a simplistic verdict on the possibility of a Holocaust survivor’s transcending demons of the past.

One triumph of scholarship, however, is that it can ride the force of established reputation like a wave, and take us into new dimensions of a writer or subject. At first glance, Answering Auschwitz: Primo Levi’s Science and Humanism After the Fall, a new collection of essays edited by Stanislao G. Pugliese (Fordham University Press, 2011), looks to be more of the same—another deserved monument to 20th-century literature’s most disciplined witness to the Holocaust, that flinty, unsentimental voice like no other. But Pugliese, a professor of modern European history and Italian studies at Hofstra University, offers us a fuller portrait. . . . READ MORE

The Chronicle Review spotlights Stanislao G. Pugliese’s new book, Answering Auschwitz: Primo Levi’s Science and Humanism After the Fall. May 22, 2011 Here There Is a Why: Primo Levi, Humanist By Carlin Romano Writers closely identified with the Holocaust rarely escape … Full Story

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Writing a Book Proposal and Choosing a Publisher

Last week, Helen Tartar, Editorial Director, Fordham University Press, gave a presentation at the Walsh Library on Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus. She addressed questions facing academic authors as they go about publishing their first scholarly books.  Here is what Ms. Tartar had to say: 

Photo by Bruce Gilbert

Last weekend, as we were driving out to get cat food, my husband commented that a friend’s wife, a psychoanalyst, had called him for help with one of her patients, who was trying to complete her first book but was completely blocked. Could my husband, who is a developmental editor, offer any advice?

“Well,” he reported replying, “I’m not very good at dealing with existential terror. But I’ll see what I can do.”

Our conversation immediately turned to how he might suggest ways to get the patient to view the project as a matter of work in the most positive sense . . . READ MORE

By Helen Tartar, Editorial Director, Fordham University Press
Fordham University, May 5, 2011

Last week, Helen Tartar, Editorial Director, Fordham University Press, gave a presentation at the Walsh Library on Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus. She addressed questions facing academic authors as they go about publishing their first scholarly books.  Here is what … Full Story

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James Percoco Inducted into National Teachers Hall of Fame

James A. Percoco, author of Summers with Lincoln: Looking for the Man in the Monuments and U.S. history teacher at West Springfield High School in Virginia, has been inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony for the five honorees selected for 2011 will be held on June 17, 2011, in Emporia, Kansas, the location of the Hall of Fame. READ MORE

James A. Percoco, author of Summers with Lincoln: Looking for the Man in the Monuments and U.S. history teacher at West Springfield High School in Virginia, has been inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony for … Full Story

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