Skip to main content

Pizarnik, Alejandra


PIZARNIK, ALEJANDRA (1936–1972), Argentinean poet. Born in Buenos Aires to a family of Jewish Russian immigrants, she published her first book of poetry in 1955. In 1960–64 she lived in Paris. Her fourth volume of poetry, Arbol de Diana ("Diane's Tree," 1962), established a distinctive style of short texts (verse and poetic prose) built in an intense language and surrounded by an expressive blank page. Among her books are Los trabajos y las noches ("Works and Nights," 1965); Extracción de la piedra de locura ("Extraction of the Stone of Folly," 1968); El infierno musical ("The Musical Hell," 1971); and the posthumous Textos de Sombra y últimos poemas ("Texts of Shadow and Last Poems," 1982), which includes unpublished texts. Also renowned is her prose book La condesa sangrienta (1971; The Bloody Countess, 1986), on the fascination/rejection of evil. Loneliness, existential anguish, intense but hopeless love, and the seduction and dangers of silence are her main themes, together with poetic creation as a longed-for means of salvation. Though she experienced her Jewish background as an important part of her complex identity, Jewish themes are not central in her texts and appear mostly in connection with the figure of her father. Pizarnik was a gifted translator of French poetry and wrote insightful articles on poetry and fiction. She suffered periods of mental instability; it is possible that her untimely death was voluntary. Pizarnik is one of the major Argentinean and Latin American poets of the century, and her wide influence has continued to grow. Her works have been translated into English, French, and Hebrew.


I. Bordelois, Correspondencia Pizarnik (1998); C. Caulfield (ed.), From the Forbidden Garden (2003); F.F. Goldberg, Alejandra Pizarnik: "Este espacio que somos" (1994); F. Graziano (ed.), Alejandra Pizarnik: A Profile (1987); D.B. Lockhart, Jewish Writers of Latin America. A Dictionary (1997); F.J. Mackintosh, Childhood in the Works of Silvina Ocampo and Alejandra Pizarnik (2003); M.I. Moia, "Some Keys to Alejandra Pizarnik," in: Sulfur, 8 (1983); C. Piña, Alejandra Pizarnik (1991); T. Running, "The Poetry of Alejandra Pizarnik," in: Chasqui, 14 (1985).

[Florinda F. Goldberg (2nd ed.)]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pizarnik, Alejandra." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 26 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Pizarnik, Alejandra." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (April 26, 2019).

"Pizarnik, Alejandra." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved April 26, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.