every morning this week (monday 18th to friday 22nd), 9.45-10.00am, on bbc radio 4 (7 more episodes this weekend) primo levi’s the periodic table
0. “Janet Suzman introduces a major new dramatization of Primo Levi‘s short stories about our human relationship with the chemical elements that make up our universe – a book the Royal Institution of Great Britain named ‘the best science book ever’.
Starring Henry Goodman, Akbar Kurtha, Erich Redman and Juliet Aubrey. Dramatized by Graham White from the translation by Raymond Rosenthal.”
1. “Vanadium: In the course of his work as a chemist in a paint factory in the 1960s, Primo Levi receives a letter from one of the factory’s German clients, signed by a Doktor Muller. Could this be the Doktor Muller who had overseen Levi’s work as a prisoner in the lab at Auschwitz?“
2. “Argon: Primo imagines a fantasy meeting with his Piedmontese ancestors, who share a number of characteristics with the noble, rare and inert gases, such as Argon.”
3. “Sulphur: A boilerman saves Primo’s factory from disaster (played by Ben Crowe). Titanium: A little girl is fascinated by a man painting with white paint (read by Evie Killip).”
4. “Lead: Set in the ancient world, a prospector travels from northern to southern Europe in search of the valuable, but toxic, lead rock (read by Paul Copley)”