Ashkenazi Literary Diaspora in the Argentina of the Junta Militar: The Poetic Legacy of Juan Gelman, Tamara Kamenszain, Alicia Borinsky, and Alicia Kozameh
The following research intends to trace the tradition that was forged by the Ashkenazi literary Diaspora via a comprehensive examination of the work of four Argentinean Jewish poets of Eastern-European Ashkenazi descent, all of whom were forced to leave Argentina and live in exile either in Mexico or the United States. During the period of Argentina’s last dictatorship (1976-1983), the nation was suspended within a dimension of viselike terror vis-à-vis countless encounters with the notorious Junta Militar.
The most notable manifestation of the Junta’s savagery was the alarming state of disquiet and subsequent “disappearance” of approximately 13,000 individuals perceived as a threat to the established order. A large percentage of the vanished faction were of Jewish origin as it is a prevailing anti-Semitic truism that Jews are viewed as intellectuals, and, as such, harbor Socialist leanings.
Among these individuals are the four following poets, whose works were extensively awarded and honored: Alicia Borinsky—Guggenheim Fellowship and Latino Literature Prize—, Juan Gelman—Juan Rulfo Award and Cervantes Prize—, Tamara Kamenszain—Guggenheim Fellowship and Pablo Neruda Presidential Medal—, and Alicia Kozameh—Argentine National Poetry Prize—.
The most obvious link between these four extraordinary individuals and writers is that they were all forced into exile either in Mexico or the United States, however, one cannot overlook other existing similarities, such as they are all Jewish, all individuals of Eastern-European Ashkenazi descent, and heirs to a body of work created by writers that were part of the Diaspora.
Keywords - Exile, Latin American Literature, Political Poetry, Dictatorship, Juan Gelman, Tamara Kamenszain, Alicia Borinsky, Alicia Kozameh, Argentinean Jewish Poets of Eastern-European Ashkenazi Descent.