Primo Levi, “If This is a Man” (1947)

primo-levi-if-this-is-a-man-1947Primo Levi’s harrowing account of life in Auschwitz includes many references to Dante’s Commedia, most noticeably in the chapter called “Canto of Ulysses.” In the chapter, Levi recounts a scene where he and a French prisoner discuss books from their respective homes. The canto of Ulysses (Inferno XXVI) comes to his mind and he recites several lines from it.