Benedetti, Mario (1920–)

views updated

Benedetti, Mario (1920–)

Mario Benedetti, born on September 14, 1920, in Paso de los Toros (Tacuarembó), is a Uruguayan author of novels, poems, stories, essays, plays, songs, and literary criticism. More than seventy of his books have been translated into twenty languages and adapted to film, theater, radio, and television. As a result of his political exile, mostly in Spain, from 1973 to 1983, his works reached readers in many regions and of varying backgrounds. He is considered one of the most renowned intellectuals from the Uruguayan Generation of 1945 and is one of the most highly acclaimed writers in Latin America.

The uniqueness of his work lies in his exploration of the seemingly dull existence of the anonymous urban middle class. Over the course of half a century, Benedetti has revisited certain themes—loneliness, boredom, envy, nostalgia, conformism, mediocrity, social justice, democracy—in what can be seen as three periods. In the first period, comprising his initial works up to 1973, he introduced the apathetic middle class, listlessly accepting political corruption. The second period spans the devastating years of the Uruguayan military dictatorship, with its persecutions, imprisonments, torture, death, and exile. In the third period, from 1983 on, his books portray the human adaptation to new social, political, and literary realities, and, since the turn of the twenty-first century, emphasize the dehumanizing effects of technology and globalization.

Although he has worked in diverse genres, his books achieve unity and cohesion by illuminating and enhancing each other. Beneditti, well known for his vocación comunicante, strives to maintain a dialogue with his readers. To achieve this goal, he employs a conversational prose style, generating the immediate identification and trust of readers and listeners, his lector-mi-prójimo, those near him to whom he writes. Benedetti has received honorary doctorates and major literary prizes, such as the Golden Flame from Amnesty International (1987), the Queen Sofía Ibero-American Poetry Prize (1999), and the Menéndez Pelayo International Prize (2005).

See alsoLiterature: Spanish Americaxml .


Novels by Benedetti

La tregua (1960, 125 editions). Madrid: Alianza, 1997.

Gracias por el fueg. (1965, 57 editions). Madrid: Alianza, 1999.

El cumpleaños de Juan Ángel (1971, 37 editions). Madrid: Alfaguara, 1996.

Short Story Collections by Benedetti

Montevideanos (1959, 35 editions). Barcelona: Suma de Letras, 2000.

La muerte y otras sorpresas (1968, 34 editions). Madrid: Santillana, 1994.

Geografías (1984, 17 editions). Madrid: Alfaguara, 1994.

El porvenir de mi pasado. Madrid: Alfaguara, 2003.


Poemas de la oficina (1956, 18 editions). Madrid: Visor, 1989.

Cotidianas (1979, 14 editions). Madrid: Visor, 2001.

El olvido está lleno de memoria (1995, 9 editions). Buenos Aires: Planeta Argentina, 1999.

Inventario uno (1963, 55 editions). Madrid: Visor, 1986.

Inventario dos (1994, 7 editions). Mexico City: Patria, 1995.

Inventario Tres. Madrid: Visro, 2003.

Plays by Benedetti

Ida y vuelta. Buenos Aires: Talía, 1963.

Pedro y el capitán (1979, 32 editions). Madrid: Alianza, 1999.

Essays by Benedetti

El país de la cola de paja (1960, 9 editions). Montevideo: Arca, 1973.

El escritor latinoamericano y la revolución posible (1974, 12 editions). Mexico: Nueva Imagen, 1981.

Subdesarrolloy letras de osadía. (1987). Madrid: Alianza, 2002.

La realidad y la palabra. Madrid: Ediciones Destinos, 1991.

Literary Criticism by Benedetti

Letras del continente mestizo, 3rd edition. Montevideo: Arca, 1974.

El recurso del supremo patriarca, 9th edition. Mexico: Nueva Imagen, 1979.

El ejercicio del criterio, 6th edition. Madrid: Alfaguara, 1995.

Works on Benedetti

Alemany, Carmen, Remedios Mataix, and José Carlos Rovira, eds. Inventario cómplice. Alicante: Universidad de Alicante, 1998.

da Cunha, Gloria. El exilio, realidad y ficción. Montevideo: Arca, 1992.

da Cunha, Gloria. Mario Benedetti y la nación posible. Alicante: Universidad de Alicante, 2001.

Lago, Sylvia. Mario Benedetti: Cincuenta años de creación. Montevideo: Universidad de la República, 1996.

Manssur, Mónica. Tuya, mía, de otros: La poesía coloquial de Mario Benedetti. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1979.

Mathieu, Corina. Los cuentos de Mario Benedetti. New York: P. Lang, 1983.

                                      Gloria da Cunha

About this article

Benedetti, Mario (1920–)

Updated About content Print Article