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Feierstein, Ricardo

FEIERSTEIN, RICARDO

FEIERSTEIN, RICARDO (1942– ), Argentinian writer. Feierstein was born in Buenos Aires. In his youth he joined Zionist and socialist movements; later he lived for some years on a kibbutz. His literary writings, his achievements as editor of the journal Raíces and director of the Milá and Acervo Cultural publishing houses, and his contributions to periodicals reflect his continuous involvement with Jewish cultural life in Argentina. In his writing, Feierstein seeks to close the gap between ideologically oriented and aesthetic literature. His poetry, narratives, and essays seek to build a harmonious individual identity as an Argentinian, a Jew, and a socialist, and the successes and failures of such attempts lie at the core of his writing. His poem "Nosotros, la generación del desierto" ("We, the Generation of the Wilderness," 1984, tr. 1989) speaks for a whole generation that lives between historical events and conflicting trends, unable to establish its own ground. The trilogy of novels Sinfonía inocente exposes the unrealized coming-of-age of an Argentinian Jew from adolescence (Entre la izquierda y la pared, 1983), to his kibbutz experience (El caramelo descompuesto, 1979), to his search for reintegration in a politically shattered Argentina (Escala uno en cincuenta. 1984). In Mestizo (1988; tr. 2000), a murder mystery frames the search for a fullly realized Argentinian-Jewish identity, while his later novel, La logia del umbral (2002), exposes the painful collective failure of such a project (especially in the shadow of the amia terrorist bombing in 1994). His views of Argentinian Jewry and their existential experience as a dynamic cultural mestizaje (a term meaning racial but also cultural mix in Latin America) are discussed in his books Judaísmo 2000 (1988) and Contraexilio y mestizaje: Ser judío en la Argentina (1990). He also edited Historia de los judíos argentinos (1993); Cuentos judíos latinoamericanos (1989); Cien años de narrativa judeo-argentina 18891989 (1990). His poems and stories have been translated into English, French, German, and Hebrew. Feierstein was visiting lecturer at American and German universities, and received awards in Argentina and Mexico.

bibliography:

R. DiAntonio and N. Glickman, Traditionand Innovation: Reflections on Latin American Jewish Writing (1993); R. Gardiol, The Silver Candelabra and Other StoriesA Century of Jewish Argentine Literature (1997); N. Lindstrom, Jewish Issues inArgentine Literature (1989); D.B. Lockhart, Jewish Writers of LatinAmerica. A Dictionary (1997); L. Senkman, La identidad judía en la literatura argentina (1983); S.A. Sadow and J. Kates, We, the Generation in the Wilderness (1989).

[Florinda Goldberg (2nd ed.)]

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