Tim Blake Nelson is hardly the first person to have his life changed by reading the works of Primo Levi. The profound moral probity, intellectual integrity and artistic brilliance of Levi’s writings about his survival of Auschwitz have stirred anyone who has encountered his work. But Nelson is uniquely positioned to extend to Levi’s influence beyond his own life to that of others.
At a modest exhibition on “Jewish Life and Culture” in the Piedmont region, which the Turin Jewish community hosted during the Olympics in the hall of the State Archives, the first thing a visitor notices is a glass-covered display case with 14 books in a half-dozen European languages.
All are the works of Primo Levi, the city’s native son.