A Tranquil Star (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
Divided into early and late works written between 1949 and 1986, the seventeen short stories assembled in Primo Levi’s A Tranquil Star, originally published in Italian magazines and books, are here collected and translated into English for the first time. Though Levi is known primarily for his testamentary works written as witness to the Holocaust and its aftermath, these short stories are not overtly or nominally Holocaust-themed, although shadows and echoes of Auschwitz eerily reverberate throughout them. Most literary critics have appreciated A Tranquil Star’s varied themes and images that inform and are informed by Levi’s stunning, major works. While a few critics have viewed these valedictory stories as tainted by Levi’s probable suicide, most have seen them as praiseworthy reflections of his broad imagination, deep conscience, and brilliant literary talent.
About some of his stories, Levi wrote, “all interpretations are true a story must be ambiguous.” Levi’s multilayered writings, filled with images of good and evil, are “painted” either in chiaroscuro (the juxtaposition or overlapping of light, dark, and shadow) or in darkness alone; both “shadings” are used naturalistically, ironically, or ambiguously and as incisive and insightful commentary on human behavior and experience.
Light and dark exist...
(The entire section is 1758 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
The Guardian, May 5, 2007, p. 17.
Kirkus Reviews 75, no. 5 (March 1, 2007): 189.
London Review of Books 29, no. 11 (June 7, 2007): 35-36.
Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2007, p. 5.
The New York Review of Books 54, no. 12 (July 19, 2007): 51-52.
The New York Times Book Review 156 (May 27, 2007): 14-15.
The Spectator 303 (May 5, 2007): 59.
The Times Literary Supplement, July 13, 2007, p. 17.
The Washington Post, July 1, 2007, p. BW06.
(The entire section is 52 words.)