September 14, 1920|
Paso de los Toros
|Died||May 17, 2009
Mario Orlando Hardy Hamlet Brenno Benedetti Farrugia  audio (help·info) (September 14, 1920 – May 17, 2009), known as Mario Benedetti, was an Uruguayan journalist, novelist, and poet. He was not well known in the English-speaking world, but in the Spanish-speaking world he was considered one of Latin America's most important 20th-century writers.
He was a member of the 'Generation of 45', a Uruguayan intellectual and literary movement: Carlos Maggi, Manuel Flores Mora, Ángel Rama, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Idea Vilariño, Carlos Real de Azúa, Carlos Martínez Moreno, Mario Arregui, Mauricio Muller, José Pedro Díaz, Amanda Berenguer, Tola Invernizzi, Ida Vitale, Líber Falco, Juan Cunha, Juan Carlos Onetti, among others.
He also wrote in the famous weekly Uruguayan newspaper Marcha.
From 1973 to 1985, when a military dictatorship ruled Uruguay, Benedetti lived in exile in Buenos Aires, Lima, Havana and Spain. Following the restoration of democracy, he divided his time between Montevideo and Madrid. He was granted Honoris Causa doctorates by the Universidad de la República, Uruguay, the Universidad de Alicante, Spain and the Universidad de Valladolid, Spain. In 1986 he was awarded Laureate Of The International Botev Prize. On June 7, 2005, he was named the recipient of the Premio Menéndez y Pelayo. His poetry was also used in the 1992 Argentine movie The Dark Side of the Heart (El lado oscuro del corazón) in which he read some of his poems in German.
He died in Montevideo on 17 May 2009. He had suffered from respiratory and intestinal problems for more than a year. His remains are buried at the National Pantheon, Central Cemetery of Montevideo.
Before dying, he dictated to his personal secretary, Ariel Silva what would become his last poem:
- Mi vida ha sido como una farsa
- Mi arte ha consistido
- En que esta no se notara demasiado
- He sido como un levitador en la vejez
- El brillo marrón de los azulejos
- Jamás se separó de mi piel
A free translation into English of these few lines might be as follows:
- My life has been like a farce
- My art has consisted
- In this not being noticed too much
- I've been as a levitator in my old age
- The brown sheen of the tiles
- Never came off my skin
For his poetry and novels Benedetti had won numerous international awards. The Truce, first published in 1960, has since been translated into over 20 languages and The Truce (1974 film). Each year below links to either the corresponding "[year] in literature" or "[year] in poetry" article:
- 1945:La víspera indeleble ("Indelible Eve"), his first published book
- 1956: Poemas de oficina ("Office Poems")
- 1977: La casa y el ladrillo ("The House and the Brick")
- 1981: Viento del exilio ("Air From Exile")
- 1986: Preguntas al azar ("Random Questions")
- 1988: Yesterday y mañana ("Yesterday and Tomorrow")
- 1991: Las soledades de Babel ("The Loneliness of Babel")
- 1994: Inventario dos (1985-1994) ("Inventory Two (1985-1994)"), published in Madrid
- 1995: ("The Exercise of Discretion: Oblivion Is Full of Memory"), published in Spain
- 1996: El amor, las mujeres y la vida. Poemas de amor.
- 1997: La vida ese paréntesis
- 2002: Insomnios y Duermevelas, ISBN 84-7522-959-X
- 2004: Defensa propia, ISBN 950-731-438-5
- Little Stones At My Window (Bilingual edition; translation and introduction by Charles Hatfield) ISBN 1-880684-90-X
- Poemas de otros
- Noción de Patria
- Sólo mientras tanto
- Quemar las naves
- A ras de sueño
- Letras de emergencia
- 2007: Vivir adrede
Short stories 
- 1960: Montevideanos
- Aquí se respira bien
- Los pocillos
- Acaso irreparable
- Escrito en Überlingen
- El reino de los cielos
- Miss Amnesia
- "Una carta de amor"
- La noche de los feos
- "La sirena viuda"
- "El buzón del tiempo"
- 1977: La vecina orilla
- 1960: El país de la cola de paja
- "La Colección"
- 1953: Quién de nosotros
- 1960: La tregua, the basis for The Truce (1974 film)
- 1965: Gracias por el fuego, the basis for a 1984 film of the same name; see List of Argentine films of 1984
- 1971: El cumpleaños de Juan Ángel
- 1982: Primavera con una esquina rota
- 1993: La borra del café
- 1996: Andamios
- 2003: El porvenir de mi pasado
- 1969: Book Cubano, including poems, articles and interviews about Cuba and his experiences there 
- 1996: Obras completas ("Complete Works"), in 28 volumes, published in Argentina
See also 
- List of Uruguayan writers
- Eduardo Galeano
- Juan Carlos Onetti
- Daniel Viglietti
- Sergio Renán
- Eliseo Subiela
- Nacha Guevara
- Martinez, Ezequiel (2000). "Los 80 años de Mario Benedetti". Especial Mario Benedetti en El Clarín. Retrieved 27 October 2006.
- "The Associated Press: Famed Uruguayan writer Benedetti dies at 88". www.google.com. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- Gregory, Stephen William George (1999) The collapse of dialogue: Intellectuals and politics in the Uruguayan crisis, 1960-1973 Thesis, Modern Language Studies, University of New South Wales. OCLC 44284108, abstract
- Generación del 45: severa en la crítica y brillante en la creación.
- El lado oscuro del corazón at the Internet Movie Database
- Benedetti dies (Spanish)
- El Diario de Ecuador: Mario Benedetti dictates his last poem (in Spanish)
- Web page titled "Biblioteca de autores contemporaneos / Mario Benedetti - El autor" (in Spanish), retrieved May 27, 2009
- Mario Benedetti Foundation (in spanish)
- Excerpt from "Spring with a Broken Corner" in Guernica Magazine
- Best Uruguayan Writer of All Time
- Poet of Uruguay's Revolutionary Moment by Nick Caistor, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 8, 2009