ISAACSON, JOSE (1922– ). Argentinian writer, essayist, and lyric poet of Sephardic origin. Many of his works have received awards, including Amor y Amar ("Love and To love," 1960), Elogio de la poesía ("Praise of Poetry," 1963), Oda a la alegría ("Ode to Joy," 1966), and his essay El poeta en la sociedad de masas ("The Poet in Mass Society," 1969). Other noteworthy works were Kafka: la imposibilidad como proyecto ("Kafka: Impossible as a Project," 1974) and Cuaderno Spinoza ("The Spinoza Notebook," 1977) a philosophical poem on the apogee of 18th-century reason before the advent of the crisis of contemporary thought and the alienation of 20th century man. In 1980 he received the Latin American Prize for Intellectual Jewish Merit, conferred by the Latin American Jewish Congress. From the Jewish perspective Isaacson writes about the post-emancipation period and from the perspective of Argentine history; his literary production belongs to the most pluralistic and humanist tradition generated by Liberalism. Thus he appealed both to Jewish intellectuals and to the non-Jewish cultural world which appreciated his human, universal, and abstract values. He was president of the Argentine branch of the International Pen Club. From 1953 to 1970 he was board secretary of the Jewish-Argentine quarterly Comentario.
N. Lindstrom, Jewish Issues in Argentine Literature (1989). D.B. Lockhart, Jewish Writers of Latin America. A Dictionary (1997). L. Senkman, La identidad judía en la literatura argentina (1983). A.E. Weinstein & M.G. Nasatsky (eds.), Escritores judeo-argentinos. Bibliografía 1900 – 1987 (1994).
[Jose Luis Nachenson and
Noemi Hervits de Najenson]