The Periodic Table , collection of memoirs by Primo Levi , published in Italian as Il sistema periodico in and regarded as his masterwork. It is a cycle of 21 autobiographical stories, each named after and inspired by a chemical element. To Levi, who was a chemist as well as a writer, each element had an associative value—its properties symbolizing certain thoughts and triggering specific memories. The Periodic Table. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback.
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Primo Levi was born on July 31, in Turin, Italy. He pursued a career in chemistry, and spent the early years World War II as a research chemist in Milan. Upon the German invasion of northern Italy, Levi, an Italian Jew, joined an anti-fascist group and was captured and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. He was able to survive the camp, due in part to his value to the Nazis as a chemist.
After the war ended, Levi did chemistry work in a Turin paint factory while beginning his writing career. These two books recount Levi's story of surviving concentration camp life. Levi also published poetry, short stories, and novels, some under the pen name Damianos Malabaila. His , largely autobiographical work, The Periodic Table, cemented his world fame. Awards in tribute to his writing included the Kenneth B.
Smilen fiction award, presented by the Jewish Museum in New York. Ironically, despite his surviving Auschwitz, Primo Levi appears to have died by suicide, in Turin on April 11, Il sistema periodico. Primo Levi. Il sistema periodico Nuovi Coralli.
Il sistema periodico
Primo Levi was born on July 31, in Turin, Italy. He pursued a career in chemistry, and spent the early years World War II as a research chemist in Milan. Upon the German invasion of northern Italy, Levi, an Italian Jew, joined an anti-fascist group and was captured and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. He was able to survive the camp, due in part to his value to the Nazis as a chemist. After the war ended, Levi did chemistry work in a Turin paint factory while beginning his writing career.
The Periodic Table
The Periodic Table Italian : Il sistema periodico is a collection of short stories by Primo Levi , published in , named after the periodic table in chemistry. In , the Royal Institution of Great Britain named it the best science book ever. The stories are autobiographical episodes of the author's experiences as a Jewish-Italian doctoral-level chemist under the Fascist regime and afterwards. They include various themes that follow a chronological sequence: his ancestry, his study of chemistry and practising the profession in wartime Italy, a pair of imaginative tales he wrote at that time,  and his subsequent experiences as an anti-Fascist partisan, his arrest and imprisonment, interrogation, and internment in the Fossoli di Carpi and Auschwitz camps, and postwar life as an industrial chemist. Every story, 21 in total, has the name of a chemical element and is connected to it in some way.
It is his most primo-levian book, as Italian novelist and critic Italo Calvino put it. In these pages there is a historical witnessing that is served up to the readers in a literary style of stunning happiness, where moral power, humor and playful language blend together. Like a great teacher, Levi offers us his experiences as lessons with a persuasive energy that is enlivened by levity and irony. We find him whole and also broken up into his prime elements, just as the title promises. From time to time, the element that the chapter is named after is also the material that is the protagonist - or, more precisely - the catalyst of its moral and narrative energy.