Yochai AtariaDec 5, 2022
Primo Levi and Ka-Tzetnik
The Map and the Territory
Palgrave Macmillan 2022
Primo Levi and Ka-Tzetnik: The Map and the Territory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022) is about Primo Levi and Ka-Tzetnik, both Auschwitz survivors and central figures in the shaping of Holocaust memory, who dedicated their lives to bearing witness and writing about the concentration camps, seeking, in particular, to give voice to those who did not return. The two writers are generally treated as complete opposites: Levi level-headed and self-aware, Ka-Tzetnik caught up in repeating the traumatic past. In this book I show how fundamentally mistaken this approach is, and how the similarity between them is, in fact, far greater than it may seem. While Levi draws the map, Ka-Tzetnik reveals the territory itself, and, taken together, they offer a better understanding of the human experience of the camps. This book explores their writing and their lives up to their deaths—Ka-Tzetnik of old age and Levi by his own hand—offering new explanations of Levi’s suicide, little understood to this day.
Yochai Ataria is an associate professor at Tel-Hai College, Israel. He is the author of Body Disownership in Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (2018) and The Structural Trauma of Western Culture (2017). He has also co-edited the Body Schema and Body Image (2021), Jean Améry: Beyond the Mind’s Limits (2019), and Interdisciplinary Handbook of Culture and Trauma (2016).
This book was published also in Hebrew by Pardes Publication House 2021.