Primo Levi

1919 (Turin) – 1987 (Turin)

Ginzburg turned Levi’s first book down, though became a friend and described him as a touchstone, serene and ironic. Améry, another friend, was like Levi a concentration-camp survivor. Levi said the happiest episode of his friendship with Calvino was helping him translate a book by Queneau. He first met Roth in London, and described to him his factual, disinterested approach to writing (like the factory-reports he was used to compiling). Levi-Montalcini, a lifelong friend, pointed out the inconsistencies with the popular theory that his fall to death was an act of suicide.

Primo Levi knew…