Essay on Primo Levi- Pain Retold, Is Pain Redoubled"

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"Pain retold, is pain redoubled"
What prompts someone to write about their suffering, and how do they convey a sense of their emotions to the reader?

     
Primo Levi is a Holocaust war victim, a survivor from Auschwitz, who for years was plagued by guilt because he survived - a feeling that is passed on in Jewish tradition, which I understand being a fellow Jew. Jewish heritage is very important to all Jews; myself included, which is one reason why I can connect with the poet/author, his poems and his other works. Levi decided to write, rather than keep in, his feelings, and subsequently wrote both poetry, and a variety of prose, both fiction and autobiographical.
The emotions in two of his poems,
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Levi places a lot of emphasis on his titles and opening lines. The title 'Shema' is the name of the most important Jewish prayer. This prayer teaches us to remember always that we are followers of Gd and that we should not forget it. Literally, Shema means Hear, or Listen - it is a word that all throughout my history has inspired and healed. Levi uses it convey the importance of his story. It is a powerful word that carries with it much importance and history. There are several other references to certain aspects in the Jewish faith, "…When you are in your house…when you go to bed and when you arise" which reinforce the Jewish ideal that the story should be retold and never lost.
     'The Survivor' refers to the deeds that one must do to survive. "Sometimes…the things you do to survive are worse than the survival itself" (Se Questo ? Un Uomo). In the first few lines Levi refers to The Ancient Mariner, a poem where the sailor is doomed to wander the world with the weight of his crimes around his neck. Levi sees this as a personification of himself- that he will forever walk the world knowing that he is alive, and the others not. This reference holds so much importance- the guilt of a previous person transposed into his native language portrays the outpouring of guilt that he feels, coupled with loneliness and the eternal weariness.
     Another of Levi's books, 'The Periodic Table'