Biography of Héctor Alberto o "Héctor A. Murena" Álvarez (1923-1975)

Poet, Narrator, essayist, playwright and translator Argentine, born in Buenos Aires in 1923 and died in his hometown in 1975. Although his real name was that of Héctor Alberto Álvarez, he/she signed all his literary works with the nickname of Héctor. A. Murena. Possessor of a vast cultural training that allowed him to express his literary work in all genres that were in vogue at the time, left a broad and fertile creative legacy that stand out above all his splendid essays, always focused on the Argentine identity - and, by extension, Spanish-American-with regard to the European origin of the culture of most of their inhabitants.

Inclined since his early youth to the humanistic disciplines, attended college of philosophy and letters, which would leave a significant mark on all his essays and literary production. His first writings came to light within the pages of the South magazine, which worked closely with its founder, writer Victoria Ocampo. There began to exhibit a work greatly influenced by the literature of his compatriot Eduardo Mallea, especially in concern over the fate of America, the sense of history (with its powerful subjective load) and recurrence in frequent philosophical topics that give form to literary creation of numerous Latin American of the 20th century (the pessimism, Existentialism writers(, etc.).

Aside from his ongoing collaborations in the aforementioned South magazine, Héctor. A. Murena published many writings in the newspaper La Nación, whose huge broadcasting nationwide Argentine won the young Buenos Aires author deserved literary recognition. Despite this, it was not a precocious writer when to press his works of creation, as his first printed book, a collection of poems entitled the new life (Buenos Aires: Ed. Sudamericana, 1951), saw the light when Murena was already twenty-eight years of age.

Two years later, Héctor. A. Murena returned to the shelves of the bookstores with his first dramatic installment, entitled the judge (Buenos Aires: Ed. Sudamericana, 1953), the work that followed, the next year, the appearance of his most celebrated and disseminated book, an essay entitled the original sin of America (Buenos Aires: South, 1955). Clearly influenced, in this generic aspect of its production, by the trials of the poet and philosopher Argentine Ezequiel Martínez Estrada. Murena exhibited here the central thesis of his essay thinking about the conception of America (referred by him as a top unit which includes the three subcontinents) and its "condemned" to not discover their own identity as and how much does not have present the cultural heritage received from Europe. To the Buenos Aires copyright, lack of a historic past in America necessarily implies the lack of a specifically American cultural identity, taking into account that the discoverers, colonizers and immigrants who arrived in the new world left European soil their own cultural heritage. Or, expressed with one of the statements that better synthesize the thought of Murena, "America is the European soul expelled from the ancient site of history".

The rest of his literary production is completed with the circle of havens poems (Buenos Aires: Sur, 1958), the scandal and the fire (Buenos Aires: Ed. Sudamericana, 1959) and the demon of harmony (Buenos Aires: South, 1964); novels the fatality of the bodies (Buenos Aires: South, 1955), the laws of the night (Buenos Aires: Sur, 1958), the heirs of the promise (Buenos Aires: South, 1965) and Epitalamica (Buenos Aires: South, 1969); the volume of short stories collected under the title of the center of hell (Buenos Aires: South, 1956); and the collections of factual texts entitled Homo atomicus (Buenos Aires: South, 1961), essays on subversion (Buenos Aires: South, 1962) and the metaphor and the sacred (Caracas: new time, 1973).


-GONZALEZ LANUZA, Eduardo. "Murena and the new Argentine poetry" in Sur (Buenos Aires), 203 (1951), pp. 52-59.

-GOMEZ, Fabio. "H. a. Murena or the joys of pessimism", in Zona Franca (Caracas), 51 (1967), pp. 39-41.

-JIMÉNEZ, José Olivio. "Héctor A. Murena (1923-1975)", RI (Pittsburgh), XLII, 95 (1976), pp. 275-284.

-JITRIK, Noé. "H. a. Murena", in six Argentine novelists of the new promotion (Mendoza: Cuadernos de Version, 1959), pp. 59-63.

-RODRÍGUEZ MONEGAL, Emir. "The case Murena", in the judgement of the parricides (Buenos Aires: Ed. Deucalion, 1956), 94-97.

-TULL, John F. Jr. "Two archetypal characters in the novel of Héctor. A. Murena", in Romance Notes (Chapel Hill), 11 (1969), pp. 251-255.

-VIRASORO, Manuel. "Christianity in a book of Murena", in studies, 533 (1962), pp. 189-198.

-ZARAGOZA, Cecilia. "Three novels of Murena", Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos (Madrid), 206 (1967), pp. 348-352.

J. R. Fernández Cano.