L'accusatore narrante. L'"esigenza" di giustizia in alcune pagine di Primo Levi

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] The narrator accuser. The "need" for justice in some pages of Primo Levi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


From its juridical and criminological perspective, this essay explores the ‘Justice of Primo Levi’, i.e. how the concept of Justice seems to be viewed by Primo Levi thoughout his literary works. The interest here is to explore the victims’ quest for justice and the particular relationship between victims and perpetrators that this quest originates through the autobiographical literary and poetical works by Primo Levi, a victim himself. Levi’s masterpieces – If this is a Man, The Drowned and the Saved, and some of his poems – allow Law and Criminology scholars to delve into the experience of victimization with the extraordinary lucidity and precision that the Italian writer is capable of. Primo Levi describes sorrow and death caused by genocide, crimes against humanity, and gross violations of human rights, in all their different realizations, in ways reminiscent of C.S. Lewis when he describes sorrow and death caused by disease. A Grief Observed is the stunning title of C.S. Lewis’ diary. A Crime Observed is the imaginary title that the Author of this article would attribute to Levi’s autobiographical books and poetry if read through the lenses of Law and Criminology. This peculiar ‘observation’ of crime – of the out-of-scale crimes that legal systems can hardly manage – returns a unique knowledge of the quest for Justice that victims often demand. We discover that Primo Levi, the Victim, expresses his demand for Justice in the form of a ‘narrative’ accusation, and not in the form of revenge or desire for punishment against the perpetrators.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] The narrator accuser. The "need" for justice in some pages of Primo Levi
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationGiustizia e letteratura II
EditorsG. Forti, C. Mazzucato, A. Visconti
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Domanda di giustizia
  • Modelli di giustizia
  • Models of justice
  • Quest for justice
  • Victims
  • Vittime


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