Animals and Animality in Primo Levi’s Work

  • Damiano Benvegnù

Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series book series (PMAES)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Damiano Benvegnù
    Pages 51-88
  3. Damiano Benvegnù
    Pages 89-110
  4. Damiano Benvegnù
    Pages 111-146
  5. Damiano Benvegnù
    Pages 147-175
  6. Damiano Benvegnù
    Pages 177-210
  7. Damiano Benvegnù
    Pages 211-241
  8. Damiano Benvegnù
    Pages 243-273
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 275-298

About this book


Situated at the intersection of animal studies and literary theory, this book explores the remarkable and subtly pervasive web of animal imagery, metaphors, and concepts in the work of the Jewish-Italian writer, chemist, and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi (1919-1987). Relatively unexamined by scholars, the complex and extensive animal imagery Levi employed in his literary works offers new insights into the aesthetical and ethical function of testimony, as well as an original perspective on contemporary debates surrounding human-animal relationships and posthumanism.

The three main sections that compose the book mirror Levi’s approach to non-human animals and animality: from an unquestionable bio-ethical origin (“Suffering”); through an investigation of the relationships between writing, technology, and animality (“Techne”); to then enter upon a creative intellectual project in which literary animals both counterbalance the inevitable suffering of all creatures, and suggest a transformative image of interspecific community (“Creation”).


Primo Levi animal testimony literary animals posthumanism non-human animals

Authors and affiliations

  • Damiano Benvegnù
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of French and ItalianDartmouth CollegeHanover, NHUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-71257-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-71258-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site