The Ammerdown Centre,
Ammerdown Park, Radstock,
Somerset, BA3 5SW
Tel: 01761 433709
centre@ammerdown.org
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> > The Moral of the Story After Auschwitz-Writing by Primo Levi and Others

The Moral of the Story After Auschwitz- Writing by Primo Levi and Others

This weekend course will focus on some of the attempts to write about the Holocaust in memoir, fiction and poetry, paying particular attention to work by Primo Levi, including ‘If This Is a Man’ and ‘The Periodic Table’ (especially the chapter on ‘Vanadium’). Can stories teach us anything about what happened then and how we should respond now, nearly seven decades later? What does it mean to survive such terrible events and where does responsibility lie for what took place? We shall read and discuss selected extracts from a variety of authors, as well as poems by Primo Levi himself, Paul Celan and Anthony Hecht, always bearing in mind Friedrich Nietzsche’s aphorism: “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”

Philip Lyons has taught English literature classes and run creative writing groups in many settings, including universities, prisons and psychiatric hospitals. Since completing a doctoral thesis on Literary and Theological Responses to the Holocaust in 1988, he has also worked as a nursing assistant, a counsellor, an adviser for the long-term unemployed and an organiser of adult education classes. Philip is the author of two poetry pamphlets and one full-length collection. He has written articles on such diverse topics as prison education, teaching children about the Holocaust through literature, and writing autobiographical poetry.

Note: Although it is not a prerequisite to have read the two books by Primo Levi mentioned above in order to attend the course, Philip recommends doing so if possible, in order to enhance informed discussions. If time allows, he also recommends other key texts as pre-reading material. This recommended reading list will be sent to anyone who books on the course.

Led by: Philip Lyons

Please arrive by 6pm on Friday. Course ends with lunch on Sunday.

This weekend course will focus on some of the attempts to write about the Holocaust in memoir, fiction and poetry, paying particular attention to work by Primo Levi, including ‘If This Is a Man’ and ‘The Periodic Table’ (especially the chapter on ‘Vanadium’). Can stories teach us anything about what happened then and how we should respond now, nearly seven decades later? What does it mean to survive such terrible events and where does responsibility lie for what took place? We shall read and discuss selected extracts from a variety of authors, as well as poems by Primo Levi himself, Paul Celan and Anthony Hecht, always bearing in mind Friedrich Nietzsche’s aphorism: “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”

Philip Lyons has taught English literature classes and run creative writing groups in many settings, including universities, prisons and psychiatric hospitals. Since completing a doctoral thesis on Literary and Theological Responses to the Holocaust in 1988, he has also worked as a nursing assistant, a counsellor, an adviser for the long-term unemployed and an organiser of adult education classes. Philip is the author of two poetry pamphlets and one full-length collection. He has written articles on such diverse topics as prison education, teaching children about the Holocaust through literature, and writing autobiographical poetry.

Note: Although it is not a prerequisite to have read the two books by Primo Levi mentioned above in order to attend the course, Philip recommends doing so if possible, in order to enhance informed discussions. If time allows, he also recommends other key texts as pre-reading material. This recommended reading list will be sent to anyone who books on the course.

 

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Special offers:

Multi-purchase: If you book three or more residential courses all at once, Ammerdown will give you 5% discount on the total fees (N.B. this 5% discount does not apply when a bursary has already been agreed)

Extend your stay: Subject to availability, you are welcome to extend your stay before or after your course. If you choose to do so, Ammerdown will give you a 5% discount on our standard ‘Private Stays’ rates: please contact the centre to arrange this.