© Carlos Contrera
Rosencof was born in Uruguay in 1933, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants. Initially Rosencof worked as a journalist, writer and literary and artistic director. He became politically active, finally joining the National Liberation Movement Tupamaros. He was arrested in 1972 and sentenced to a 13 years’ solitary confinement in a 2-square-metre cell, a “hostage” of the military regime.
Since Rosencof was freed in 1985 during a general amnesty he has been
invited to numerous conferences and congresses at the most important
In Las cartas que no llegaron young Moishe talks about his
oppressive childhood and youth, which were marked by war, loss, flight and
indomitable courage. As an adult Moishe will report again
Las cartas que no llegaron: Every formulation is pointed and apt, its unpretentious style polished and exact, without a single superfluous word.
In his novel El enviado
The sonnets entitled La Margarita, which were written in prison and smuggled out in the seams of clothes, tell in simple words the story of a first love, of an imaginary Margarita, a girl from the neighbourhood. In 1994 the popular Uruguayan rock musician Jaime Roos put 15 of the 25 sonnets to music. The poems and CD have now been reissued in an attractive new edition, together with interviews with those involved.
Like the sonnets, Rosencof’s work Una góndola ancló en la esquina (“A Gondola Dropped Anchor on the Corner”) evokes the atmosphere of the southern quarter of
In Medio Mundo ("Half World") the author reflects on humanity and on the urgent need for man to take control of his destiny, a destiny that only depends on his strength and conviction, because God, this apparently omnipotent and eternal figure, created man as an intelligent and free being, even though the reality, both actual and historic, reveals that he left a lot of unfinished business, with many unpleasant events to follow.
In this novel the omnipotent God figure
has lost his strength and in a last attempt to exercise his absolute control he
cannot think of anything else to do but call a meeting, 2,000 years later, in a
very non biblical setting, a suburb of Montevideo, with the protagonists of
that biblical story: Jesus of Nazareth, Mary, Judas, Mary Magdalene and the
fishermen. All these characters are called together for this particular meeting
without knowing why or who it is that has brought them together. Only at the
end, at the last supper, which on this occasion is a more human affair, with
exquisite delicacies, do they realise that the God who called them together has
no more cards to play. This punishing God who tried to correct a civilisation
by drowning it in a flood and who refrained from acting during
In this latest novel, Rosencof calls on the strength of humanity, on the strength of everything and every one of us to build a better future, one that is freer and less dark. In the rewriting of certain Biblical passages, man is given that unique opportunity, beyond Biblical maxims: to love each other.
La calesita de dońa Rosa, Montevideo: Alfaguara 2017, 95 p.
Diez Minutos, Montevideo: Alfaguara 2013, 133 p.
Sala 8, Montevideo: Alfaguara digital 2012, 142 p.
Italy: Nova Delphi
Medio mundo, Montevideo: Alfaguara 2009, 162 p.
Italy: David Iori
Una góndola ancló en la esquina, Montevideo: Alfaguara 2007, 200 p.
Italy: David Iori
El barrio era una fiesta, Montevideo: Alfaguara 2005, 174 p.
Italy: Noripios ● Spain: Alcalá 2011
El enviado del fuego, Montevideo: Alfaguara 2004, 177 p.
Germany: Edition Köln 2007
Las cartas que no llegaron, Montevideo: Alfaguara 2000, 174 p.
(Film rights under option)
Brazil: Record 2013 ● France: Les Folies d’ Encre 2009 ● Germany: Residenz 1997 (extracts), Edition Köln 2004 ● Italy: Le Lettere 2008, Nova Delphi ● Spain: Alcalá 2014 ● US: University of New Mexico Press 2004, Texas Tech University Press 2014
El Bataraz, Montevideo: Alfaguara 1999, 190 p.
France: Les Folies d’ Encre 2011 ● Germany: Libertäre Assoziation 1995 ● Spain: Alcalá
Memorias del calabozo, Montevideo: Banda Oriental, 3 vols.
(With Ńato Fernandez Huidobro)
Film directed by Álvaro Brechner under the title "Una noche de 12 ańos" (A Night of 12 Years),
produced by Tornasol Film, release in September 2018
Germany: Libertäre Assoziation 1990 ● Greece: Koukkida ● Italy: Iacobelli 2009 ● Netherlands: Ravijn 1993 ● Spain: Txalaparta 1993, 2018 ● Turkey: 1992
Als der Kerker zur Theaterwerkstatt wurde (speeches and interviews)
Germany: Büro für Kultur- und Medienprojekte 1995
(poetry, speeches and interviews)
Germany: Libertäre Assoziation 1990 ● Turkey: Belge 1992
Conversaciones con la Alpargata, Montevideo: Arca 1989, 153 p.;
Banda Oriental 2004, 94 p., with a foreword by Mario Benedetti.
France: Le rayon littéraire ● US: The Kenyion Review, vol. 13, 3, 1991
Participation in anthologies:
Abécédaire incomplet de l'humour juif, France: Folies d’Encre 2011
Lo grande que es ser chiquito, Montevideo: Alfaguara 2008, 30 p.
Leyendas del abuelo de la tarde, Montevideo: Alfaguara 2004, 62 p.
Germany: Libertäre Assoziation 1991 ● Italy: Nuova Delphi ● Spain: Alcalá
La Margarita, new edition by Alfaguara 2006, 66 p. (book + CD)