Lino Pertile lecture: “L’inferno di Dante e il Lager di Primo Levi”


Friday, January 27, 2012, 3:00pm to 4:00pm


Villa I Tatti

Canto 5

On 27 January, the “International Day of Commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust,” Professor Lino Pertile, director of I Tatti, delivered a lecture juxtaposing two types of suffering: that of the damned, as imagined by Dante in theInferno, and that of the prisoners of the Nazi extermination camps, as described by Primo Levi in Se questo è un uomo.  The lecture raised questions such as: Is there a degree of suffering and degradation beyond which a man or a woman ceases to be a human being? Is there a point beyond which our spirit dies and only pure physiology survives? And to what extent, if any, may poetry and literary culture be capable of preserving the integrity of our humanity?