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The Reprieve: Weak Messianism and the Event in Primo Levi's Moments of Reprieve

McAvan, E. (2011) The Reprieve: Weak Messianism and the Event in Primo Levi's Moments of Reprieve. Literature and Theology, 25 (2). pp. 172-184.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frq044
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Abstract

In this article, I analyse Primo Levi's work on Auschwitz, in particular his Moments of Reprieve. Against the overdetermined inhuman economy of the camp, I find that 'the reprieve' is what philosopher John D. Caputo has described as an Event, a stirring prompted by a call from alterity. Because it does not redeem or provide salvation, the reprieve is a weak form of messianism, suspending but not cancelling the camp. Because every other Other remains ultimately incomprehensible, I argue that even in the most repressive of the circumstances there remains the possibility of the reprieve.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © The Author 2010
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/4502
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