Other literary forms
Associated with Holocaust literature, Primo Levi (LAY-vee) was a novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and poet, although he is known primarily for his memoirs. These include Se questo è un uomo (1947; If This Is a Man, 1959; revised as Survival in Auschwitz: The Nazi Assault on Humanity, 1961) and La tregua (1963; The Reawakening, 1965). Levi himself, in a preface, characterizes his collection of stories Moments of Reprieve (1986) as a record of experiences left out of If This Is a Man and The Reawakening. (Most of these autobiographical short stories were previously published in 1981 in Lilit e altri racconti.) Il sistema periodico (1975; The Periodic Table, 1984), a collection of autobiographical pieces unified by its organization according to the chemical elements, mixes traditional genres. Levi’s poems about his experiences during the Holocaust are collected in Shema: Collected Poems (1976). Additional poems are collected in L’osteria di Brema (1975). His early pseudonymous short-story collections Storie naturali (1966) and Vizio di forma (1971) combine autobiography, science fiction, and fantasy to describe his experiences after the war. Levi’s essays are collected in La ricerca della radici (1981; The Search for Roots: A Personal Anthology, 2001).