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Primo Levi: Echoes of a Lost Voice
Mon 15 May 2017, 19:00 – 21:00 BST
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Primo Levi’s death, marked by the English publication of Echoes of a Lost Voice by Gabriella Poli and Giorgio Calcagno, the Italian Cultural Institute dedicates an event to the great Turinese author with Carole Angier, Robert Gordon, Anthony Rudolf, Sue Vice.
Echoes of a Lost Voice is the fruit of twelve years of close friendship between the journalist Gabriella Poli and Primo Levi. The book is composed not only from all the interviews and conversations recorded with him throughout his career, which she retrieved even from the most obscure places, but above all from her own private conversations with him, held over several years prior to his death in 1987. She published Echi di una voce perduta only five years later, in 1992, making it one of the earliest accounts of the writer and his work.
In the 30 years since then there have been several biographies and thousands of books and articles about Levi. This one is unique, partly in its privileged access to him, and partly because of its unusual form: by using Levi’s own words about himself almost exclusively, it becomes a kind of ghosted autobiography.
Primo Levi – chemist, Italian, Jew, survivor of Auschwitz – was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. His masterpiece, If This Is a Man, is still one of the most widely read books on the Holocaust today. Echoes of a Lost Voice has been translated into English for the first time to mark the 30th anniversary of Levi’s death.
Carole Angier is biographer of Primo Levi (The Double Bond: Primo Levi, A Biography, 2002) and is editor of Echoes of a Lost Voice.
Robert Gordon is Serena Professor of Italian at the University of Cambridge. Among his most relevant publications: Primo Levi’s Ordinary Virtues: From Testimony to Ethics (2001), Primo Levi, The Voice of Memory. Interviews 1961-1987 (with Marco Belpoliti (eds.), 2000).
Anthony Rudolf is writer and translator, founder of Menard Press. He has been the first publisher of Primo Levi’s poetry in English. He is author of At an Uncertain Hour: Primo Levi’s war against oblivion (1990).
Sue Vice is Professor of Literature and Holocaust Studies at the University of Sheffield. Among her most relevant publications: Holocaust Fiction (2000), Representing Perpetrators in Holocaust Literature and Film (Ed.with Jenni Adams, 2013).