Mystery of Levi and His 'Suicide' Leap; ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS

Daily Mail (London), February 12, 2005 | Go to article overview

Mystery of Levi and His 'Suicide' Leap; ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS


QUESTION Having recently read Primo Levi's wonderful book If This Is A Man, I was shocked to be told he had committed suicide. Is this true?

BORN in Turin on July 31, 1919, Primo Levi took to the Italian countryside with several comrades in 1943 in an attempt to join the Italian anti-Fascist resistance.

He was arrested by the occupying German army and when it was discovered he was Jewish, he was deported to Auschwitz in 1944.

Levi spent ten months at the camp before it was liberated by the Red Army.

Of the 650 Italian Jews in his 'shipment', he was one of only 20 who left there alive.

A chemistry graduate, Levi became an industrial chemist after the war while writing the highly acclaimed works charting his experience in Auschwitz, If This Is A Man and The Truce.

A series of acclaimed memoirs, short story collections and novels followed, including the awardwinning If Not Now, When?

When Levi died on April 11, 1987, after falling down the stairwell of the apartments where he lived, it was generally assumed he had committed suicide.

His mother was dying of cancer and he himself had prostate problems which he feared (wrongly, it turned out) were due to cancer. He had been on antidepressants for some time.

However, he left no suicide note and some of his friends believe he was simply made dizzy by the antidepressants and fell against the stairwell railing, which was below waist-height, and pitched over it by accident.

If he did jump rather than fall, there may have been reasons more complex than depression.

Levi had been a mountainclimber in his youth, and a climber friend once told me that all the time she is climbing she can feel the sheer drop calling to her to let go, to find out - even if only for a moment - what it would feel like to fly.

This is, apparently, a common experience among climbers.

Maybe Levi, the old mountain hand, felt the depth below him calling him one last time.

Claire Jordan, Edinburgh.

QUESTION Apart from drilling holes in it and hanging baubles from it, does the human earlobe serve any purpose? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mystery of Levi and His 'Suicide' Leap; ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.