Uruguay mourns writer Benedetti – BBC

Uruguay mourns writer Benedetti

Mario Benedetti in a file photo from 2005

Mario Benedetti attracted sell-out crowds when he read his work

Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti, whose novels were widely translated and poems set to music, has died at the age of 88 at his home in Montevideo.

Benedetti’s work chronicled the life of Uruguay’s middle-class and was popular throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

He lived in exile from 1973 to 1983 during military rule in Uruguay and was well-known as a supporter of the Cuban government.

His readings of his work attracted sell-out crowds in Uruguay.

"I don’t think we should be talking of a loss, because he will be with us forever," Uruguayan Culture Minister Maria Simon told local media.

Born to Italian immigrants, Benedetti wrote more than 80 novels, poems, short stories and essays during a career spanning six decades.

His 1960 novel The Truce was translated into 19 languages and made into a film.

Spanish singer Joan Manuel Serrat set Benedetti’s poems to music, including The South Also Exists, an anti-US polemic.

A left-wing activist, Benedetti went into exile when the military came to power in Uruguay in 1973. He returned to his homeland 10 years later in what he dubbed his "unexile".

Benedetti died at home on Sunday morning. He had suffered from respiratory and intestinal problems and had recently spent some time in hospital.

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2 thoughts on “Uruguay mourns writer Benedetti – BBC

  1. “¿Cómo hacerte saber que siempre hay tiempo?
    Que uno sólo tiene que buscarlo y dárselo.
    Que nadie establece normas salvo la vida.
    Que la vida sin ciertas normas pierde forma.
    Que la forma no se pierde con abrirnos.
    Que abrirnos no es amar indiscriminadamente.
    Que no está prohibido amar.
    Que también se puede odiar.
    Que el odio y el amor son afectos.
    Que la agresión porque sí, hiere mucho.
    Que las heridas se cierran.
    Que las puertas no deben cerrarse.
    Que la mayor puerta es el afecto.
    Que los afectos nos definen.
    Que definirse no es remar contra la corriente.
    Que no cuanto más fuerte se hace el trazo más se dibuja.
    Que buscar un equilibrio no implica ser tibio.
    Que negar palabras implica abrir distancias.
    Que encontrarse es muy hermoso.
    Que el sexo forma parte de lo hermoso de la vida.
    Que la vida parte del sexo.
    Que el “por qué” de los niños tiene un por qué.
    Que querer saber de alguien no es sólo curiosidad.
    Que para saber todo de todos es curiosidad malsana.
    Que nunca está de más agradecer.
    Que la autodeterminación no es hacer las cosas solo.
    Que nadie quiere estar solo.
    Que para no estar solo hay que dar.
    Que para dar debimos recibir antes.
    Que para que nos den también hay que saber como pedir.
    Que saber pedir no es regalarse.
    Que regalarse es en definitiva no quererse.
    Que para que nos quieran debemos demostrar qué somos.
    Que para que alguien sea hay que ayudarlo.
    Que ayudar es poder alentar y apoyar.
    Que adular no es ayudar.
    Que adular es tan pernicioso como dar vuelta la cara.
    Que las cosas cara a cara son honestas.
    Que nadie es honesto porque no roba.
    Que el que roba no es ladrón por placer.
    Que cuando no hay placer en las cosas no se está viviendo.
    Que para sentir la vida no hay que olvidarse que existe la muerte.
    Que se puede estar muerto en vida.
    Que se siente con el cuerpo y la mente.
    Que con los oídos se escucha.
    Que cuesta ser sensible y no herirse.
    Que herirse no es desangrarse.
    Que para no ser heridos levantamos muros.
    Que quien siembra muros no recoge nada.
    Que casi todos somos albañiles de muros.
    Que sería mejor construir puentes.
    Que sobre ellos se va a la otra orilla y también se vuelve.
    Que volver no implica retroceder.
    Que retroceder también puede ser avanzar.
    Que no por mucho avanzar se amanece cerca del sol.
    Cómo hacerte saber que nadie establece normas salvo la vida?”

    Desde los afectos

    Mario Benedetti

  2. How to let you know that there is always time?
    That one has to look for it and give it to oneself…
    That nobody lays down rules, apart from life…
    That life without certain rules loses shape…
    That shape is not lost when we open up…
    That opening ourselves up is not to love indiscriminately…
    That it is not forbidden to love…
    That we can also hate…
    That hate and love are two affections…
    That the aggression just because, hurts a lot …
    That the wounds close…
    That doors should not be closed…
    That the biggest door is affection…
    That affections define us…
    That defining oneself is not rowing against the tide…
    That not the stronger the stroke, the more you draw…
    That to look for a balance doesn’t mean to be warm…
    That refusing words is to open distances…
    That meeting is very beautiful…
    That sex is part of the beauty of life …
    That life comes from sex…
    That the children’s asking why, has its reason why…
    That wanting to know about someone, is not just curiosity…
    That knowing everything about everybody is unhealthy curiosity…
    That being thankful never hurts…
    That self-determination is not doing things alone…
    That nobody wants to be alone…
    That so as not to be alone we only have to give…
    That in order to give, we have to receive before…
    That to be given, we also have to know how to ask…
    That giving oneself as a present definitively is not to love oneself…
    That to be loved we must show what we are…
    That so that someone can be, they have to be helped…
    That help is to encourage and support…
    That adulation is not support…
    That fawning is as pernicious as to turn the face…
    That things face to face are honest…
    That nobody is honest because they do not steal…
    That when there is no pleasure in things you’re not living…
    That to feel life one must not forget that there is death…
    That one can be a living death…
    That we feel with the body and the mind…
    That we listen with our ears…
    That it is hard to be sensitive and not be hurt…
    That being hurt is not to bleed to death…
    That so as not to be hurt we build walls …
    That it would be better to build bridges…
    That across them we go to the other side and no one returns…
    That returning does not mean stepping back…
    That stepping back may also be to go forward…
    That despite going forward and forward, we do not wake up closer to the sun…
    How to let you know that that nobody lays down rules, apart from life?

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