Biography of Mario Benedetti (1920-2009)

Uruguayan writer, born in passage of bulls (Tacuarembó, Uruguay) on September 14, 1920, and died on May 17, 2009 in Montevideo. He was a prominent poet, novelist, playwright, short-story writer and critic, and, along with Juan Carlos Onetti, Uruguayan literature of the second half of the 20th century most relevant figure. In March 2001 he received the José Martí Iberoamerican Prize in recognition of all his work.

He has been Director of the Department of Hispanoamerican literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Director of the Centre for literary research in Havana. Together with Onetti, he forms the duo highlights the current narrative of his country. In his work can be divided into, at least two periods marked by their life circumstances, as well as by social and political changes of Uruguay and the rest of Latin America. In the first, Benedetti developed a realistic literature of scarce formal experimentation, on the subject of public bureaucracy, to which he belonged, and the Bohemians spirit that animates it. He made several works before 1945, year in which initiated his profession of journalist in the morning, El Diario and Tribuna Popular, among others. The great success of his poetic and narrative, books from the office, 1956 poems and Montevideans, 1959, was due to the recognition of readers in the social portrait and criticism, largely, ethical practices, which the writer asked. This attitude has resulted, a sour and controversial trial: the country of the tail of straw, 1960, and its literary consolidation in two important novels. The truce, 1960, love story, tragic end, between two clerks, and thank you for the fire, 1965, which constitutes a critique of the wider national society, with the denunciation of corruption of journalism as the apparatus of power.

In the second period of this author, his works echoed the anguish and the hope of broad social sectors, to find Socialist outputs to a Latin America subjugated by military repression. For more than ten years, Benedetti lived in Cuba, Peru and Spain as a result of this repression. Their literature became, formally bolder. He wrote a novel in verse: the birthday of Juan Ángel, 1971, as well as fantastic tales: death and other surprises, 1968. It dealt with the issue of the exile in the novel spring with a broken corner, 1982. In his poetry, were, also reflected the political and existential circumstances of Uruguayan exile and return home: the House and the brick, 1977; Winds of exile, 1982; Geographies, 1984; The solitude of Babel, 1991. Theatre denounced the institution of torture with Pedro and the captain, 1979, and the trial has made comments about contemporary literature, in books such as critical accomplice, 1988. He reflected on cultural and political issues in the desexilio and other conjectures, 1984, book collecting his journalistic work in Madrid.

In 1997 he published the novel scaffolds, markedly autobiographical sign, which realizes the impressions that a Uruguayan writer feels when, after many years of exile, returns to his country. In 1998 he returned to poetry with life, the parentheses and in May of the following year Queen Sofia won the VIII Ibero-American poetry. In 1999 he published the seventh one of his books of stories, time, thirty texts comprising mailbox. In this same year, saw the light his corner of haikus, clear sample of her mastery of this Japanese poetic genre of minimalistic after contact with him years ago thanks to Cortázarsign. In 2003 presented a new book of short stories: the future of my past. The following year he published memory and hope, a collection of poems, reflections and photographs, which summarized the musings of the author on the youth. Also in 2004 the book of poems self-defense was published in Argentina.

In March 2004 was invested doctor "honoris causa" by the University of the Republic of Uruguay. During the inauguration ceremony received a calurosisimo tribute from his fellow countrymen. In 2005 it was awarded the Menéndez Pelayo International Prize, awarded the UIMP (Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo, in recognition of "their commitment to the human in its concrete historical circumstance and his literary career".

Living in Madrid, is declared Alzheimer's disease on his wife light, so the writer decided to return to Uruguay, to accompany it until his death in 2006, culminating a relationship of 60 years. Friends and critics close to the author pointed out that loss the cause of his subsequent decline, that intestinal discomfort that resulted were complicating gradually in his death, in Montevideo, at the age of 88.

Shortly before his death, had completed a book of memoirs, in the review process. Another book of poems, biography to find me, work of 66 poems, will be released by Viewer, its publisher of poetry in Spain.