American psychotherapist Edward Tick’s Warrior’s Return. Restoring the Soul after War (Sounds True, 2014) has been translated into Italian and published last March by Nerosubianco publisher with the title Il ritorno del guerriero. Guarire l’anima dopo la guerra.
The book will be launched on Thursday 5 May in Turin at 18:00. The Centre for Peace and Non-Violent Culture “Sereno Regis” will host the event. The author will join the event remotely to dialogue with the translators Gianluca Cinelli and Patrizia Piredda and answer the questions from the public.
The book will be launched again the following day (Friday 6 May) in Cuneo at 16:30. The event will be hosted by the Institute for the History of Italian Resistance in Cuneo (http://www.istitutoresistenzacuneo.it). The Italian translators and the publisher will be discussants.
Primo Levi’s work presents an extraordinarily rich and articulated case of intertextuality. Being a curious, omnivorous, and asystematic reader, Levi explored multiple fields of knowledge – literary, scientific, historical, etc. – browsing between specialized and popular books and magazines, for reasons of research or pure entertainment, often approaching foreign cultures in the original language, driven by his eclectic curiosity and an intense desire to know and understand. Already fathomed in part by Levi himself in his anthology The Search for Roots (1981), his library remains however to be discovered. This volume intends to trace the features of a critical map of the grafts, intertexts and transplants that link Levi’s work to the books of others, by comparing it with twenty-one authors, in a “polyglot and multipurpose” gallery that includes classics such as Dante, Shakespeare, Leopardi, Baudelaire, and Carroll; authors of modern literature such as Kafka, Mann, and Calvino; and scientists such as Galileo, Darwin, Heisenberg, and Lorenz.
Table of contents
Domenico Scarpa: Prefazione xi Gianluca Cinelli e Robert S. C. Gordon: Introduzione 1
Parte I – Gli strumenti umani Antonio Di Meo: Primo Levi e William Henry Bragg 19 Mario Porro: Primo Levi e Galileo Galilei 37 Patrizia Piredda: Primo Levi e Werner Heisenberg 55 Alberto Cavaglion: Primo Levi e Giuseppe Gioachino Belli 73 Enzo Ferrara: Primo Levi e Stanislaw Lem 87 Stefano Bartezzaghi: Primo Levi e Lewis Carroll 107
Parte II – La condizione umana Vittorio Montemaggi: Primo Levi e Dante 127 Valentina Geri: Primo Levi e William Shakespeare 143 Simone Ghelli: Primo Levi e Pierre Bayle 161 Martina Piperno: Primo Levi e Giacomo Leopardi 179 Damiano Benvegnù: Primo Levi e Konrad Lorenz 197 Pierpaolo Antonello: Primo Levi e Charles Darwin 215
Parte III – Comprendere e narrare il Lager Charles L. Leavitt IV: Primo Levi e Elio Vittorini 237 Uri S. Cohen: Primo Levi e Vercors 255 Sibilla Destefani: Primo Levi e Charles Baudelaire 273 Stefano Bellin: Primo Levi e Franz Kafka 287 Davide Crosara: Primo Levi e Samuel Beckett 305
Parte IV – La ricerca di sé Martina Mengoni: Primo Levi e Thomas Mann 327 Gianluca Cinelli: Primo Levi e Herman Melville 345 Mattia Cravero: Primo Levi e Ovidio 361 Marco Belpoliti: Primo Levi e Italo Calvino 381
Nuto Revelli’s Il disperso di Marburg after 25 years. Marburg, July 18, 2019
(Cuneo 1919-2004) was an officer of the Italian Royal Army and fought in Russia
in 1942-1943. Following the armistice of September 8, 1943 between Italy and
the Allies, Revelli joined the anti-fascist partisan groups and fought as
commander of the 4th GL Band (later renamed “Carlo Rosselli”
Brigade) until the liberation of Italy in April 1945. The experience of war engendered
deep hatred against the Germans, which Revelli had met on the Russian front as
allies and then as enemies in the mountains of his region (Piedmont). For
decades this hatred remained unchanged and the intensity of such feeling was
captured in the first books that Revelli published in the post-war period, Mai
tardi (1946 and then republished in 1967) and La guerra dei poveri (1962).
In these books the Germans are represented as cruel beasts, enemies to hate and
In the 1980s,
while collecting oral accounts from peasants in the Alpine valleys of Piedmont,
Revelli heard from a former partisan a strange war story, the legend of a
German officer who rode off in the countryside and who was kind to the local
inhabitants and children, a peaceful and apparently “good” man. One day of 1944
this man disappeared, possibly killed in an ambush of partisans, and since then
no one knew anymore about him. This legend disturbed Revelli because it challenged
his memories of war and seemed too lenient to be true. Nevertheless, it was the
story of a missing-in-action soldier. The memory of soldiers missing in Russia
during the retreat from the Don River had tormented Revelli since the end of
the war. A missing soldier, the writer said, is the cruellest legacy of any
Thus, he decided
to engage in the search for the identity of this missing man, and after ten
years of work, oral interviews with witnesses and research in German military
archives, he succeeded. He discovered that the missing man was a 23-year-old
German officer, a student who had not joined the National Socialist Party, who was
not enthusiastic about the war and had already lost his older brother in
Russia. A young man like so many others, who had been involved into the
enormity of the war and had been overwhelmed by a cruel fate.
Fifty years after the war, Revelli thus found the way to reconcile with the hated enemy through a historical quest that in the end also turned out to be an experience of friendship, as far as he befriended the German historian Christoph Schminck-Gustavus, who remained close to Revelli. And, above all, this was a story of reconciliation with the human side of the so-called enemy. The book that tells this story, Il disperso di Marburg, was published in 1994 and for the occasion Revelli visited the German town of Marburg where Rudolf Knaut, the missing officer, was born. This year, on July 18, Marburg hosted an event dedicated to Revelli and to Il disperso di Marburg to celebrate the centenary of the writer’s birth (July 21). Gianluca Cinelli gave two lectures at the Institut für romanische Philologie at Philipps-Universität Marburg and at the Technologie- und Tagungszentrum in the presence of a large audience.
Das Bild des italienischen Soldaten im deutschsprachigen Diskurs über die Vergangenheitsverwaltung, in Aufgeschlossene Beziehungen. Deutschland und Italien im transkulturellen Dialog. Literatur, Film, Medien, ed. by Tabea Meineke, Anne-Rose Meyer-Eisenhut, Stephanie Neu-Wendel and Eugenio Spedicato, Würzburg, Verlag Königshausen & Neumann, 2019, 67-80
Among the contributions appeared in the book Aufgeschlossene Beziehungen (Open-minded Relationships), devoted to the exploration of the way in which the Italian and German cultures have built their transcultural dialogue since WW2, one chapter by Gianluca Cinelli investigates how German post-war narratives, both literary and historical, represented the Italian soldiers in a very negative way, thus paving the way to the consolidation of an old anti-Italian prejudice spread all over Germany. The German combatants came across the Italians during WW2 as allies between 1940 and September 8, 1943, when Italy surrendered to the Allies. What emerges from this contribution is that little attention has been paid in Germany to this topic. Nonetheless, Italian soldiers were represented as lazy and unfit for war, unworthy in battle and unreliable as allies, cowardly and too soft to endure the hardship of modern warfare. And even worse, they were depicted as traitors following Italy’s withdrawal from the conflict in 1943, after which a remarkable number of Italians began to fight against the Germans as partisans.
The chapter builds on historical and literary sources, by combining the testimonies of former German cambatants (from privates of the Afrikakorp to memoirs of such Whermacht higher officers as Rommel or Kesselring) with historic evidence collected by mainly German scholars (from Hammerman to Klinkhammer and Schlemmer). The main thesis of the chapter consists in claiming that the anti-Italian prejudice largely depended on the effectiveness of Nazi propaganda and on the circulation of a number of testimonies that depicted the Italians as inferiors not only as for their military virtues but also on a racial basis. In the end, only the massive integration of Italian immigrants starting from the 1950s began to challenge the dominant stereotype and to rehabilitate the memory of the former allies-and-enemies as human beings and fellow citizens.