RABINOVICH, JOSÉ (1903–1978), Yiddish and Spanish author, playwright, and poet. Born in Bialystok, in 1924 Rabinovich arrived in Argentina, where he made his living in the printing business. Before his emigration he had written a number of texts in Yiddish and continued to do so in Argentina; part of these works were translated into Spanish, the language he adopted at a later stage. Influenced by the hardships of his life in Russia, by the difficulties faced by Jewish immigrants in Argentina and, later, by the Holocaust, all his writing is haunted by an atmosphere of hostility, material and moral misery, poverty, and fear. His Jewish characters often face the religious aporia of God's indifference and injustice. Many of his themes deal with proletarian issues and come under the rubric of leftist social-realist literature. His works include the following: novels and short stories: Cabizbajos ("Lowered Heads," 1943); Tercera clase ("Third Class," 1944); Pan duro ("Hard Bread," 1953); El perro de Maidanek ("The Dog of Majdanek," 1968); Cuentos de pico y pala ("Stories of Pick and Shovel," 1971); and the autobiographical So-bras de una juventud ("Youth Leftovers," 1977); dramas: Con pecado concebida ("Conceived in Sin," 1975); El gran castigo ("The Great Punishment," 1976); poetry: Hombre escatimado ("Skimped-on Man," 1969); Rapsodia judía ("Jewish Rhapsody," 1969); El violinista bajo el tejado ("The Fiddler under the Roof," 1970); Rapsodia rusa ("Russian Rhapsody," 1971); Misa de un play boy ("A Playboy Mass," 1972); Dios mediante ("With God's Help," 1976).
R.A. Arrieta, Historia de la literatura argentina, vol. 4 (1959); D.W. Foster, Cultural Diversity in Latin American Literature (1994); N. Lindstrom, Jewish Issues in Argentine Literature: From Gerchunoff to Szichman (1989); D.B. Lockhart, Jewish Writers of Latin America. A Dictionary (1997); L. Senkman, La identidad judía en la literatura argentina (1983); A. Weinstein and M. Nasatsky, Escritores judeo-argentinos: bibliografía 1900–1987 (1994).
[Florinda F. Goldberg (2nd ed.)]