Denevi, Marco (1922–1998)

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Denevi, Marco (1922–1998)

Marco Denevi (b. 12 May 1922, d. 12 December 1998), Argentine writer. Born in Sáenz Peña, in the last years of his life Denevi was considered perhaps more a gadfly presence in Argentine literary circles than a major voice. His works are best known for the absurdist humor with which he narrates the seemingly trivial comedy of quotidian existence. This is the salient feature of Rosaura a las diez (1955), cast as detective fiction but with several features atypical of the classic genre that has had so much influence in Argentina. As a consequence, the novel deals more with porteño idiosyncrasies within a register of gritty neorealism than with the dynamics of the thriller. Ceremonia secreta (1955; Secret Ceremony, 1961), an expressionistic tale of fatalistic human rituals reminiscent of Roberto Arlt, won a prize from Life en Español magazine and was made into a movie (Secret Ceremony, 1967) with Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Mitchum, in which the shift from a Buenos Aires to a London locale deprives the story of any of its Argentine significance. Falsificaciones (1966) is a series of microtexts that are parables of human foibles, the dehumanization of modern social life, and the unknown lurking beneath the surface of routine existence. Denevi has written on Argentine national characteristics in La república de Trapalanda (1989). Other works include the novellas Nuestra Señora de la Noche (1993) and Una familia argentina (1998).

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


José María Carranza, "La crítica social en las fábulas de Marco Denevi," in Revista Iberoamericana, no. 80 (1972): 477-494.

Donald A. Yates, "Un acercamiento a Marco Denevi," in El cuento hispanoamericano ante la crítica, edited by Enrique Pupo-Walker (1973), pp. 223-234.

Ivonne Revel Grove, La realidad calidoscópica de la obra de Marco Denevi (1974).

Christina Pina, "Marco Denevi: La soledad y sus disfraces," in Ensayos de crítica literaria año 1983 (1983), pp. 311-417.

Myron I. Lichtblau, "Narrative Perspective and Reader Response in Marco Denevi's Rosaura a las diez," in Symposium 40, no. 1 (1986): 59-70.

Guillermo Gotschilich Reyes, "Ceremonia secreta de Marco Denevi: Enigma y ritualización," in Revista Chilena de Literatura, no. 33 (1989): 87-101.

Additional Bibliography

Delaney, Juan José. Marco Denevi y la sacra ceremonia de la escritura: Una biografía literaria. Buenos Aires: Corregidor, 2006.

Denevi, Marco, and Juan Carlos Pellanda. Conversaciones con Marco Denevi, ese desconocido. Buenos Aires: Corregidor, 1995.

                               David William Foster