KOVADLOFF, SANTIAGO (1942– ), Argentine poet, essayist, and cultural critic. Born in Buenos Aires, he received a degree in philosophy from the University of Buenos Aires. Kovadloff was also an accomplished translator of Brazilian and Portuguese literature into Spanish. He was the author of numerous volumes of poetry, including Zonas e indagaciones (1978), Canto abierto (1979), Ben David (1988), La vida es siempre más o menos (1994), and Hombre en la tarde (1997). Ben David is the collection that most overtly undertakes an examination of identity. In addition to his poetry, Kovadloff published short stories in Mundo menor (1986). While a skillful poet, he was most recognized for his insightful and keenly critical essays. Along with Marcos Aguinis, Kovad loff was one of the most visible and widely respected cultural critics in Argentina. He contributed regularly to newspapers and periodicals in Argentina and abroad. Kovadloff published several volumes of influential essays on a wide variety of subjects. His early volumes – Una cultura de catacumbas (1982), Argentina, oscuro país (1983), Por un futuro imperfecto (1987) – dealt almost exclusively with the political violence and repression that seized Argentina during the military dictatorship (1976–1983). Essays from these volumes, in addition to new ones, were gathered in La nueva ignorancia (1992). Many of Kovadloff 's essays specifically address Jewish issues within the context of Argentine society. A constant theme in his essays is the need for greater cultural pluralism in Argentina. In more recent volumes, Kovadloff takes on topics as diverse as the multiple meanings of silence in El silencio primordial (1993), Moses and Judaism in Lo irremediable: Moisés y el espíritu trágico del judaísmo (1996), the difficulty of everyday life in Sentido y riesgo de la vida cotidiana (1998), and the search for personal spirituality in Ensayos de intimidad (2002). In 1992, Kovadloff received the National Literary Award for his essays. In 1998 he became a member of the Argentine Academy of Letters and in 2000 he was awarded first prize for poetry from the city of Buenos Aires.
[Darrell B. Lockhart (2nd ed.)]