Journal of Chaohu University ›› 2022, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (6): 73-80.doi: 10.12152/j.issn.1672-2868.2022.06.008

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Personal Witness and Reflection in "the Grey Zone": On the Nonfiction Writing of Primo Levi

ZHANG Li-yao:School of Chinese Language and Literature, Northwest Normal University   

  1. School of Chinese Language and Literature, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou Gansu 730000
  • Received:2022-08-07 Online:2022-11-25 Published:2023-03-02

Abstract: Primo Levi initially chose a "nonfiction" writing method to face Auschwitz, faced up to the shame of being in "the Grey Zone", and wrote against deliberate forgetting and historical revision. In the process of writing for decades, Levi gradually pondered what is "truth", and constructed a new narrative space by combining nonfiction and fiction to a certain extent, bypassed or shelved his paradox that "the bottom victims who have died are the real witnesses, and the survivors, as exceptions, are only false witnesses in a sense". In the new narrative space, Levi used ironic rhetorical techniques and constructed a personal concise and accurate narrative style to make his works rise to the height of "workness", so he completed testimony at a higher level.

Key words: Primo Levi, nonfiction, witnessing, "the Grey Zone"

CLC Number: 

  • I024