The philosopher, narrator and essayist José Pablo Feinmann died

Philosopher, thinker, great storyteller and key figure in the political discussion of recent years, Jose Pablo Feinmann died today at age 78. He was one of the most active Argentine intellectuals in the arena of mass media and political debate and had been hospitalized in critical condition for several weeks, dealing with the aftermath of a stroke that had seriously affected his health in 2016. A Peronist intellectual, critical of Menemism, his firm support for Kirchnerism has placed him at the center of public debate in recent years.

Feinmann was born in the Belgrano R neighborhood, Buenos Aires, in 1943. He received a degree in Philosophy from the University of Buenos Aires, in 1969, and from that moment he taught but also wrote novels, essays, plays, film scripts and enormous amount of notes in newspapers and magazines. He was a popular intellectual and, possibly due to his political and emotional relationship with Peronism, he always set out to reach large audiences. For many years he wrote back covers and columns for the newspaper Page 12 and before it had been a consecrated signature of the remembered magazine Humor.

He published more than thirty books, which have been translated into various languages. His essays include Philosophy and nation (1982), López Rega, the dark face of Perón (1987), The spilled blood. Essay on Political Violence (1998); Celluloid passions. Essays and varieties on cinema (2000); Reckless writings (2002), The Runaway Story, Volumes I and II (2004), Reckless Writings II (2005), Philosophy and the mud of history (2008), Peronism. Political philosophy of an Argentine persistence, volumes I and II, The skinny (2010), Political philosophy of media power (2013) and Peronism and the primacy of politics (2015), Criticism of neoliberalism (2016) and The Argentine condition (2017).

Among his novels there are some that were very popular such as Last days of the victim (1979), made into a film by Adolfo Aristarain, Not the shot at the end (1981), The ash army (1986), The cunning of reason (1990), The impossible corpse (1992), The crimes of Van Gogh (1994), The mandate (2000), The criticism of weapons (2003), Heidegger’s shadow (2005) and Timote. Kidnapping and death of General Aramburu (2009). He was also the author of the film scripts for Last days of the victim (1982), Eva Peron (1996), Love and fear (2000) and Oh, Juancito (2004), among other films, since he wrote 14 scripts and twice won the prize awarded by the Association of Cinematographic Critics of Argentina. On television, in keeping with his traditional outreach spirit, he hosted the successful program broadcast by Canal Encuentro, Philosophy here and now, which is among the most viewed philosophical dissemination materials on the internet. Many of his texts can be read in his Web page.

As an intellectual, Feinmann was passionate about outreach.
As an intellectual, Feinmann was passionate about outreach.

He was also the author of the plays Issues with Ernesto Che Guevara Y Taste of Freud. Among his many awards, he was the 2001 Platinum Konex Prize in Film and Television Script, the 2014 Konex Prize in Political and Sociological Essay and the 2004 Konex Prize in Political Essay, a journey of disciplines that shows the versatility of Feinmann.

In addition to his intellectual outreach activity that led him to host radio and television programs, he was above all an unconditional lover of cinema. “For me, writing was writing about cinema. My first battles, my first victories or defeats, my early dazzles or frustrations and impossibilities with language happened there: on those Rivadavia sheets, squared letter size. In the film folder. To say it all, the desire to express what the cinema caused me gave me to words ”. This is how he describes his passion on the back of the book Celluloid passions. Essays and varieties on cinema, published in 2000 by Grupo Editorial Norma.

In 2016 he suffered a stroke from which he never recovered. Likewise, at the end of December 2019 he reappeared publicly in the program of Osvaldo quiroga: there he shared the interview with his friend and colleague Horacio González. During the conversation, he recounted his health problems and alluded to the political reality of Argentina in those years: “I had a very bad time these years. My bodily nightmare was accompanied by a social and political nightmare that was the government of Mauricio Macri, which tormented me as much as my health, “he said.

True to his style, he went further and reflected on the influence of Argentine political history on his body. “With the dictatorship, three months before the coup, I had a cancerous tumor in a testicle. It was also tremendous because of the terror of the coup and all the friends who left or disappeared, the threats, the speeches of the military and the fear of the internal cells that could metastasize. In other words, there was an external fear and an internal fear, so I had a very bad time there too. In other words, right-wing governments make me sick ”, he finished ironically.

Intelligent, acid, deeply literary in his writing and in his speech, many of his phrases are remembered. “Fear is knowing that the price of rebellion and thought is death” is one of them.

From his high media profile enhanced by his appearances on radio and television, in addition to the columns published in the newspaper Page 12, the mistake around the last name shared with the journalist and driver Eduardo Feinmann, activated -until today- Google searches around keywords and questions such as “Are José Pablo and Eduardo Feinmann brothers?” They weren’t, but they were related, somewhat distant and with little family contact.

Recently, following his habit of debating aloud, he had signaled his disagreement with the current government’s direction. It was after the official defeat in PASO, when he pointed out that “The government lost the elections because it did not fulfill its electoral promises.” In one of his columns in the newspaper Page 12The Kirchnerist intellectual criticized the opportunistic nature of the economic measures announced by the ruling party. “Now they open the tap and distribute some silver. But the voter is not stupid, ”he said then.


“Poverty is not a guarantee of political lucidity, on the contrary, it sinks into ignorance, that is why some poor people voted for Milei”
José Pablo Feinmann: “The Government lost the elections because it did not fulfill its electoral promises”

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