Soriano, Osvaldo (1943–1997)

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Soriano, Osvaldo (1943–1997)

Osvaldo Soriano (b. 1943; d. 29 January 1997), Argentine writer. Born in Mar del Plata, Soriano is perhaps best known for the film adaptations of several of his novels, especially No habrá más penas ni olvido (1980; A Funny Dirty Little War, 1986), which uses the microcosm of a small town in the province of Buenos Aires as the arena for the bloody internal conflicts within the Peronist Party during its brief return to power (1973–1976). The events described in the novel become an allegory of Argentine sociopolitical violence and the irrational yet deadly forces it unleashes. Cuarteles de invierno (1982)—the film version starred the actor, psychiatrist, and dramatist Eduardo Pavlovsky, whose own works constitute a prominent entry in contemporary Argentine culture—focuses on the arbitrary exercise of violent power as yet another microcosmic example (it too takes place in a small town on the pampas) of a constant in Argentine history and life.

Soriano, as a significant example of the generation of writers in Argentina to emerge during the neofascist tyranny of the 1976–1983 period, has shown a particular talent for using a narrative voice colored by an intense black humor to describe common men (his narrative world is resolutely sexist) enmeshed in a horrendously violent political process. In his first novel, Triste, solitario y final (1976), an acerbic attack on U.S. culture is an oblique condemnation of Argentine cultural dependency.

See alsoCinema: From the Silent Film to 1990; Literature: Spanish America.


Nora Catelli, "Ni penas ni olvido: Entrevista con Osvaldo Soriano," in Quimera, no. 29 (1983): 26-31.

Lois Baer Barr, "Cuarteles de invierno: The Reign of the Unrighteous," in Revista de Estudios Hispánicos 19, no. 3 (1985): 49-59.

Corina S. Mathieu, "La realidad tragicómica de Osvaldo Soriano," in Chasqui 17, no. 1 (1988): 85-91.

Marta Giacomimo, "Espacios de soledad: Entrevista con Osvaldo Soriano," in Quimera, no. 89 (1989): 45-51.

Additional Bibliography

Berger, Silvia. Cuatro textos autobiográficos latinoamericanos: Yo, historia e identidad nacional en A. Gerchunoff, M. Agosín, A. Bioy Casares y O. Soriano. New York: P. Lang, 2004.

Croce, Marcela. Osvaldo Soriano: El mercado complaciente. Buenos Aires: América Libre, 1998.

Montes-Bradley, Eduardo. Osvaldo Soriano: Un retrato. Buenos Aires: Grupo Editorial Norma, 2000.

Spahr, Adriana. La sonrisa de la amargura: 1973–1982: La historia argentina a través de tres novelas de Osvaldo Soriano. Buenos Aires: Corregidor, 2006.

                                   David William Foster

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Soriano, Osvaldo (1943–1997)

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