Santiago Kovadloff


© Silvio Fabrikant



Santiago Kovadloff was born in Buenos Aires in 1942. The military dictatorship forced him to give up his university career. Today, he lives and works in Buenos Aires as a writer and lecturer in philosophy and literature. As a poet and essayist, he is regarded as one of his country's most outstanding intellectuals. He has repeatedly taken a stand in the press on political and cultural issues. Since 1994, he has been writing for the German and Spanish edition of Lettre International. Kovadloff has been awarded important prizes for his works; in 1992 he received the First National Prize for Literature.


Pain, whether it arises from a bodily malfunction or an intense psychic disturbance, whether it is brought on by a lost love or an unexpected death, always forces us to brutally realise we are not the person we thought we were anymore. It is only then that the possibility of being someone different arises. Pain enslaves the individual. Suffering is what the individual manages to do with pain. El enigma del sufrimiento ("The Mystery of Suffering") is a dazzling book, it will touch a great many readers in many different ways. The highly respected Argentine essayist provides a fresh reflection on this unpredictable process, capable of transporting us from pain to a moment of intense personal enrichment.


In his poems, Kovadloff repeatedly returns to the themes of the Holocaust, man’s alienation, and transience. The essays make evident references to Jewish theosophy and Martin Buber, on whom he wrote his doctoral thesis, and who is mentioned in many of his publications.

In addition to his philosophical works, Kovadloff also writes wonderfully droll books for children. These stories carry children away to a bizarre, surreal world, which inspires them to make new discoveries.


Anyone who has read Kovadloff knows of his exquisite command of language. Each word has its own place, each phrase its own harmonious melody. Even when he is dealing with a heavy and sensitive subject matter, we can rest assured that the read will be intensely pleasurable.

La Nación


Santiago Kovadloff is a writer whom I very much admire, not only intellectually but also and primarily spiritually and emotionally, because for me poetic thought penetrates deeper than logical thought, and spiritual values rank higher than everything else.

Ernesto Sábato


Original editions and rights sold:



Essays (selection):

Ciertos Hechos, 1985


Ben David, 1988


El fondo de los días, 1991


El silencio primordial, Buenos Aires: Emecé 1993, 187 p.

Brazil: José Olympio 2003


Lo irremediable, Buenos Aires: Emecé 1996, 195 p.

Brazil: José Olympio 2005


Ensayos de intimidad, Buenos Aires: Emecé 2002, 220 p.


El enigma del sufrimiento, Buenos Aires: Emecé 2008, 283 p.



For children:

Natalia, queluces y cierto lugar, Buenos Aires: Magisterio del Río de la Plata, 1989, 76 p.


Agustina y cada cosa, Buenos Aires: Colihue 1989, 65 p.


El tobillo abandonado, Buenos Aires: Colihue 1991, 85 p.


República de Evidencia, Buenos Aires: Lugar Editorial 1993, 58 p.



1998, selection of poems published in Akzente and in Rowohlt Literatur Magazin 42