Uruguayan writer Mario
Benedetti died on May 17 in Montevideo at the age of 88.
The author of more than eighty books including poetry, novels,
short stories, and essays as well as screenplays had been in delicate
health since May 6 when he was discharged from the hospital following
twelve days of hospitalization after a chronic intestinal ailment
During his life, he was awarded the Menéndez Pelayo International
Prize (2005), the José Martí Iberoamerican Prize
(2001), and the Reina Sofía Iberoamerican Poetry Prize (1999),
Because of his leftist ideas, Benedetti was forced to leave Uruguay
after the 1973 coup. During the Uruguayan dictatorship, he sought
exile in Argentina, Spain, Peru, and Cuba, to then return to his
country in 1983. Renewing ties with his country of birth was a
central theme in his work.
His last published work, a book of poetry entitled "Testigo
de uno mismo", was presented in August of last year and
at the time of his death he was working on a new book of poems
bearing the provisional title "Biografía para encontrarme."
A tribute to Benedetti was even planned for next Wednesday. Meanwhile,
the Uruguayan government decreed a day of national mourning and
his remains are to be lain in state in the Salón de los
Pasos Perdidos in the Congressional building.
Meyer © Mario Benedetti and Roberto Fernández Retamar.
La Habana, Cuba.