This essay puts forward a new methodological approach to reading and translating Primo Levi’s literary testimony, starting from the connection between poetry and prose in Se questo è un uomo. In particular, the essay combines the poetics of translation elaborated by Henri Meschonnic with the linguistics of enunciation, as developed by Émile Benveniste and others, to define and analyse the ‘poem of extermination’ which underlies Levi’s prose work. By challenging the relative critical biases that posit the transparency of prose and the untranslatability of poetry, the essay reconsiders a wider perspective of textual connections, from Babel to the ‘black hole of Auschwitz’, and finally suggests a new understanding of Dante’s ‘sacred poem’ in the literary space created by the ethical commitment to bear witness.
|Translated title of the contribution||Reading and Translating Primo Levi: Poem and Enunciation|
|Number of pages||25|
|Early online date||8 Aug 2014|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2014|
- Dante, enunciazione, Levi, poema, traduzione