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Primo Levi: Biography, Books, Chemistry, Early Life, Family, Facts, History (2002)

Published on Dec 19, 2015 8,116 views

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Levi was born in 1919 in Turin, Italy, at Corso Re Umberto 75, into a liberal Jewish family. His father Cesare worked for the manufacturing firm Ganz and spent much of his time working abroad in Hungary, where Ganz was based. About the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/037...

Cesare was an avid reader and autodidact. Levi's mother Ester, known to everyone as Rina, was well educated, having attended the Istituto Maria Letizia. She too was an avid reader, played the piano, and spoke fluent French. The marriage between Rina and Cesare had been arranged by Rina's father. On their wedding day, Rina's father, Cesare Luzzati, gave Rina the apartment at Corso Re Umberto, where Primo Levi lived for almost his entire life.

In 1921 Anna Maria, Levi's sister was born; he was to remain close to her all his life. In 1925 he entered the Felice Rignon primary school in Turin. A thin and delicate child, he was shy and thought he was ugly; he excelled academically. His school record includes long periods of absence during which time he was tutored at home, at first by Emilia Glauda and then by Marisa Zini, daughter of philosopher Zino Zini.[3] The children spent summers with their mother in the Waldensian valleys southwest of Turin, where Rina rented a farmhouse. His father remained in the city, partly because of his dislike of the rural life, but also because of his infidelities.[4]

In September 1930 Levi entered the Massimo d'Azeglio Royal Gymnasium a year ahead of normal entrance requirements.[5] In class he was the youngest, the shortest and the cleverest, as well as being the only Jew. For these reasons, he was bullied.[6] In August 1932, following two years at the Talmud Torah school in Turin, he sang in the local synagogue for his Bar Mitzvah. In 1933, as was expected of all young Italian schoolboys, he joined the Avanguardisti movement for young Fascists. He avoided rifle drill by joining the ski division, and spent every Saturday during the season on the slopes above Turin.[7] As a young boy Levi was plagued by illness, particularly chest infections, but he was keen to participate in physical activity. In his teens, Levi and a few friends would sneak into a disused sports stadium and conduct athletic competitions.

In July 1934 at the age of 14, he sat the exams for the Massimo d'Azeglio liceo classico, a Lyceum (sixth form) specialising in the classics, and was admitted that autumn. The school was noted for its well-known anti-Fascist teachers, amongst them the philosopher Norberto Bobbio, and Cesare Pavese, who would later become one of Italy's best-known novelists.[8] Levi continued to be bullied during his time at the Lyceum, although six other Jews were in his class.[9] Upon reading Concerning the Nature of Things by Sir William Bragg, Levi decided that he wanted to be a chemist.

Christopher Hitchens' book The Portable Atheist, a collection of extracts of atheist texts, is dedicated to the memory of Levi, "who had the moral fortitude to refuse false consolation even while enduring the 'selection' process in Auschwitz". The dedication quotes Levi in The Drowned and the Saved, asserting, "I too entered the Lager as a nonbeliever, and as a nonbeliever I was liberated and have lived to this day."

The Primo Levi Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to studying the history and culture of Italian Jewry, was named after the author and established in New York City in 2003.[38]
In the Warehouse 13 episode "No Pain, No Gain," Primo Levi's scarf is featured as an artifact. The wearer gains "deep insight and intellect. Side effects may include prolific bouts of writing and intense thought provocation".
A quotation from Levi appears on the sleeve of popular Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers second album, Gold Against the Soul. The quote is from Levi's poem "Song of Those Who Died in Vain".
"Primo on the Parapet" is a song by Peter Hammill dedicated to Levi. The refrain says:
Here's a toast to Primo,
let's learn not to forget.
Here's a toast to Primo,
forgive but don't forget.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primo_Levi

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