Presented in collaboration with Centro Primo Levi
Affection and Survival
Primo Levi and Friendship in the Camp
A lecture by
Uri Cohen, Tel Aviv University
Affection is a lesser known aspect of the human and Jewish experience in the camps. Mostly it is related to the fractured past of which the camp is the present. Having written some of the essential pages on the human experience in the Lager, Primo Levi continued contemplating and writing about it throughout his life. This talk will question affection in Levi’s writing and its place in the camp as a strategy of survival. Affection saves, but it also prompts Levi’s internal inquiry that leads to the heart of his defining conceptual innovation: the Gray Zone.
Uri S. Cohen holds a PhD. from the Hebrew University and has served on the faculty of Columbia University (2004-2011). He currently teaches Hebrew and Italian literature at Tel Aviv University where he moved through an award from the Rothschild Foundation. He is the author of Survival: Senses of Death between the World Wars in Italy and Palestine (2007), Orly Castel Bloom (2011), and The Security Style (2017) on the Hebrew culture of war. He is currently working on a counter-biography of Primo Levi.