Seminar by Mirna Cicioni on Primo Levi

JE_PrimoLevi2-853x1024‘Dirty Secrets’? Primo Levi and the Resistance, April 2, 6.30pm Italian Institute of Culture, Dr Mirna Cicioni, April 2, 6.30pm, Italian Institute of Culture Melbourne, 233 Domain Rd, South Yarra.


It is well known that Primo Levi was deported to Auschwitz as a Jew, but was arrested (on 9 December 1943) as a member of one of the first Resistance units in the Val d’Aosta. I look at some debates which took place in Italy in early 2013, after the publication of two books whose main focus is a ‘dirty secret’ of Levi’s partisan unit: the trial and execution of two young members of the unit. My discussion is mainly in the context of Levi’s work, but it also touches on other literary accounts of “partisan summary justice” and on what the British historian John Foot calls Italy’s “divided memory”, namely the tendency for conflicting narratives (personal, public, cultural) to emerge from crucial moments of Italian history.


Mirna Cicioni has taught Italian at La Trobe and Monash. She has published widely on Primo Levi and other post-WWII Italian Jewish writers. She is currently working as a freelance community interpreter, but hasn’t stopped reading and writing. For catering purposes please, please book sending an email to

Free event.

The seminar is presented by RISM.