Primo Levi, a Jewish-Italian chemist captured with other members of a partisan band in German-occupied northern Italy and deported to Auschwitz, survived his ordeal to write one of the more acclaimed testimonies of Nazi inhumanity, Se questo è un uomo (Survival in Auschwitz). Taking as a starting point a parallel Levi explicitly draws between the aims of postwar pilgrimages to Auschwitz commemorations and the effect he hoped his books would have on his readers, this article shows how his second book, La tregua (The Reawakening), which relates his roundabout and oft-delayed journey home to Turin after the Red Army’s liberation of Auschwitz, offers insights and calls forth responses akin to the insights and responses associated with a particular form of pilgrimage, the ancient polis practice of civic-religious pilgrimage, theōria. The connection is made through consideration of Andrea Nightingale’s analysis of how Plato sought to legitimise his mode of philosophical practice by casting it as a form of theōria.
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"Primo Levi’s Journey Home from Auschwitz in the Light of Ancient Civic Pilgrimage: Levi’s The Truce as a Form of Theōria,"
International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage:
3, Article 6.
Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijrtp/vol7/iss3/6