José Pablo Feinmann

Argentina

© Laura Pribluda

 

 

José Pablo Feinmann was born in Buenos Aires in 1943, where he has always lived and where he studied and taught philosophy at the University. He is the author of numerous essays and novels, as well as plays and scripts that have been successfully brought to the screen.

 

 

Whichever genre Feinmann works in, his writing is always characterised by a concern with contemporary issues: the relationship between current problems and history; the tangled links between science and politics; or questions of individual and collective guilt. Philosophy, for Feinmann, is a daily necessity, and his approaches to thought have struck such a chord that he has been able to draw an unusually wide audience: his courses are attended by hundreds of people, and the prestigious newspaper Página/12, which published a series of weekly supplements entitled La filosofia y el barro de la historia (“Philosophy and the Mud of History”) in late 2006/early 2007, had to double the number of instalments.

In 2008 this outstanding work was published by Planeta in Buenos Aires. Feinmann takes his readers along on a philosophical journey through the past centuries, from Descartes via Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, the Frankfurter School and Sartre to Foucault's postmodernism. The great Argentinean thinker Feinmann, who courts controversy in his occasional television appearances, sets out to teach, and does so in a highly serious manner. Yet he also aims to provide new, critical food for thought of his own.

 

 

In his work, Peronismo (“Peronism”), José Pablo Feinmann reveals the most controversial political phenomenon in Argentina. Peronismo is an impassioned and shocking book as well as a critical one. Without shying away from polemic or controversy, it shines a light onto a story as dark as it is vital, as fascinating as it is tragic: it examines in depth the extreme ban on Peronism and finally unmasks Perón due to his participation in aberrant events.

 

A fresco of contemporary Argentine political culture, a story of life, an intellectual and philosophical biography, a tragic melodrama, a collection of theatrical conversations; the essay, the dialogue, the meditation, all the classic genres are here. A genuine portrait of an era, with parts worthy of a treatise writer and an intense inner sorrow.

Horacio González

 

 

For Feinmann, fiction represents another, often more sublime way of approaching philosophical issues. His novel, La sombra de Heidegger (“Heidegger’s Shadow”) is the concluding volume in a trilogy which also includes the novels La astucia de la razón (“The Cunning of Reason”) and La crítica de las armas (“The Critique of Weapons”). The focus of La sombra de Heidegger is the character Dieter Müller, a German professor and a pupil of Heidegger who had always recognised his master’s intellectual superiority. But unlike Heidegger – who was appointed Director of Heidelberg University in 1933 with the support of the Nazi party – he went into exile in Argentina after the war.

Built up into an involving and tragic individual fate, this novel casts a critical light on the figure of one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century.

In his prologue to Feinmann's book, Franco Volpi, the Italian translator of Heidegger's Being and Time, writes: Great philosophy is dead? Long live philosophy! It is time to return to it hand in hand with Feinmann, to breathe new life into it. [...] These pages are by no means neutral: they leave us stronger or weaker, happier or sadder, more certain or more uncertain – but never unchanged.

 

 

The novel Timote reconstructs the kidnapping and murder of the Argentine general and former president Aramburu by the Montoneros, a revolutionary Peronist organization. The event is described graphically in all facets of its significance: as a milestone in Argentine history, a clash of the generations and a dispute between the ideological camps fighting over the person of Perón.

Timote is a small town in the province of Buenos Aires where Aramburu was taken, which became a symbol for the then beginning Argentine dictatorship. Feinmann deliberately fictionalises the events, not letting them go uncommented as a reaction to the dictatorship by the Montoneros, but embedding them within the personal development of the young men and women involved. The characters’ thoughts, Aramburu’s interrogation and the group’s communiqués form the matrix of ideas that Feinmann weaves around the killing. He asks searching questions, looking behind the superficial factors: who are the Montoneros, who claim to represent the people? Who were Perón and his wife, who claimed to love the people? Who is Aramburu, who claims to protect democracy? The answers the author finds are many and varied.

Timote is going to be performed by El Teatro Argentino de La Plata as opera in 2011, with Marcelo Lombardero as stage director and Oscar Golijov as composer.

 

 

Joe Carter, an LA detective and contract killer, is forced by the mafia to take on a case. In Carter en New York, the big boss wants to know who his wife is cheating on him with. Even tough-as-nails Carter is surprised at what he finds out: She is having an affair with her husband's mistress. During his investigations, Carter dives into the Broadway world of celebrities and wannabes, learning about their dark sides and sexual obsessions, but also seeing past the facades.

Carter is the hero of a new series, a cynic and a morbid patriot blasting his way through the world of showbiz, political intrigues and criminality. Feinmann's sparkling and razor-sharp analysis of US society and its idols pulls out all the satirical stops.

 

 

 

Original editions and rights sold:

 
 

Novels:

 

Últimos días de la víctima, Buenos Aires: Espasa Calpe 1979; Seix Barral 2006, 259 p.

filmed by Adolfo Aristarain 1982

France: Albin Michel 1991, Le Livre de Poche 1993 Italy: Feltrinelli 1993 Spain: Grup 62 2012

 

Ni el tiro del final, Buenos Aires: Pomaire 1981, 269 p.

France: Albin Michel 1996 Italy: Giunti 1999

 

El ejército de ceniza, Buenos Aires: Alianza 1994, 188 p. 

France: Albin Michel 1992 Italy: Giunti 1995; Sur

 

Los crímenes de van Gogh, Buenos Aires: Planeta 1994, 306 p.

France: Gallimard 1999 Germany: Kunstmann 2001 Italy: Marcos & Marcos 1998

 

El mandato, Buenos Aires: Norma 2000, 252 p.

 

La astucia de la razón, Buenos Aires: Norma 2001, 2011, 301 p.

 

El cadáver imposible, Buenos Aires: Norma 2003, 152 p.

Germany: Kunstmann 1997 Italy: Zanzibar 1993

 

La crítica de las armas, Buenos Aires: Norma 2003, 375 p.

Italy: Baldini Castoldi Dalai 2005           

 

La sombra de Heidegger, Buenos Aires: Seix Barral 2005, 197 p.

Brasil: Planeta  2006 Italy: Neri Pozza 2007 Turkey: Dogan 2009 US: Texas Tech University Press

 

Timote, Buenos Aires: Planeta 2009, 255 p.

Film rights sold, director: Adolfo Aristarain

US: Texas Tech University Press 2012

 

Carter en New York, Buenos Aires: Planeta 2009, 234 p.

Spain: Sonidos S2 (audiobook) 2010

 

Carter en Vietnam, Buenos Aires: Planeta 2009, 198 p.

Spain: Sonidos S2 (audiobook) 2010

 

 

Essays:

 

Pasiones de Celuloide. Ensayos y variedades sobre cine, Buenos Aires: Norma 2000, 403 p.

 

Escritos imprudentes. El Horizonte y el Abismo, Buenos Aires: Norma 2002, 583 p.

 

La sangre derramada. Ensayo sobre la violencia política, Buenos Aires: Seix Barral 2003, 378 p.

 

Escritos imprudentes II. América Latina y el imperio global, Buenos Aires: Norma 2005, 435 p.

 

El cine por asalto. Ensayo y variaciones, Buenos Aires: Seix Barral 2006, 292 p.

 

La filosofía y el barro de la historia, Buenos Aires: Página/12 2006-07, Planeta 2008, 797 p.

 

Peronismo. Filosofía política de una persistencia argentina. Tomo I. De 1943 al primer regreso de Perón (1972)

Buenos Aires: Planeta 2010, 2011, 740 p.

 

Peronismo. Filosofía política de una persistencia argentina. Tomo II. Del primer regreso de Perón al golpe miltiar de 1976

Buenos Aires: Planeta 2011, 862 p.

 

El Flaco. Diálogos irreverentes con Néstor Kirchner, Buenos Aires: Planeta 2011, 319 p.

 

Filosofía política del poder mediático, Buenos Aires: Planeta 2013, 659 p.

 

 

Plays:

 

Sabor a Freud, Buenos Aires: Norma 2002, 95 p.

 

Cuestiones con Ernesto Che Guevara, Buenos Aires, 77 p.

France: L’Harmattan 2011, Théâtre du petit Montparnasse 2011

 

Scripts:

 

Últimos días de la víctima

En retirada

Tango Bar

Play murder for me

Cuerpos perdidos

Eva Perón.