Edgardo Cozarinsky was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1939. He studied literature in Buenos Aires and founded the film magazine ´Flashback´.
During the 60’s and 70’s he wrote reviews and film criticism as well as a number of essays, among them a study of Henry James entitled ´El laberinto de la apariencia´ (1964 t: The labyrinth of appearance). The volume ´Borges y el cine´, a collection of rare film criticism that Borges composed between 1931 and 1945, with an accompanying essay by Cozarinsky, was published in 1970 (in Europe the book appeared under the title ´Borges en/y/sobre el cine´ ´Borges In/And/On Film´, 1988). In 1979 Cozarinsky was awarded the essay prize given by the newspaper La Nación for ´El relato indefendible´ (t: The indefensible report), an essay on gossip as narrative mode.
In 1974, he left Argentina due to the dramatic political climate which arose after Juan Perón’s death and went into exile in Paris, where he has lived ever since.
Above all, Edgardo Cozarinsky is known for his extensive work in film. He shot his first experimental feature film in Argentina in 1970. His second feature film ´Les apprentis sorciers´ (1977 t: The sorcerer’s apprentices) laid the cornerstone of his French film career. Over the following years he worked on film scripts, short films, feature films, TV productions and a series of semi-documentary portraits of artists, among them Jean Cocteau, Sarah Bernhardt, Italo Calvino, Van Gogh and Andrei Tarkovsky.
One of his best-known films is ´La guerre d’un seul homme´ (1981 t: One man’s war), about the German occupation of Paris, a montage of archival material drawn from French newsreels and the diary entries of Ernst Jünger.
Just as Cozarinsky’s cinematic essays are both fiction and documentary, so his writing blurs the boundaries between essay and narrative. With ´Vudú Urbano´ (1985 Engl. ´Urban Voodoo´, 1990) he embarked on a ‘sentimental journey’, from which he sent thirteen so-called ‘postcards’. In this case it concerns fictitious anecdotes meant to conjure images in the reader’s imagination. These are based on collective images and clichés, comparable to picture postcards. Cozarinsky wrote this book in English – in the language he calls foreigner’s English, – with the aim to make the original untraceable. The city, exile, and travel into the past are also central themes of the nine stories from ´La novia de Odessa´ (2001 Engl. ´The Bride from Odessa´, 2004) as well as of the volume of essays ´El pase del testigo´ (2001 t: The witness’ pass).
Author: International Festival of Literature (ilb)
Lejos de donde
The Moldavian Pimp
(El Rufian Moldavo) Random House UK
Museo del Chisme
The Bride from Odessa
Translated by Nick Caistor, Farrar, Straus & Giroux: New York
El pase del testigo
(The Witness Pass). Sudamericana
La novia de Odessa
Emecé: Buenos Aires
Borges en/y/sobre el cine
Film / TV
Apuntes para una biografía imaginaria
Fantômes de Tanger
Boulevards du crépuscule: Sur Falconetti, Le Vigan et quelques autres en Argentine
Autoportrait d’un inconnu
La guerre d’un seul homme