Mario Benedetti Biography

Mario Orlando Hardy Hamlet Brenno Benedetti Farrugia (September 14, 1920 – Montevideo, 17 May 2009). Best known as simply Mario Benedetti was a Uruguayan Writer, Novelist, Playwright and Writer, belonging to the Generation of 1945.


His prolific work has more than eighty titles, which have been translated into more than twenty languages, some of them also musicalized or brought to audiobooks. Widely appreciated by left-wing militants, Mario Benedetti always militated in this ideology. He was also the subject of numerous awards and recognitions for his poetic work.

Mario Benedetti was born on September 14, 1920 in the town of Paso de los Toros in Uruguay, becoming the son of Brenno Benedetti and his wife Matilde Farrugia. According to his biographers can be considered the year 1945 as the moment from which Benedetti will deal fully with the literary career. That year he joined the weekly Marcha as editor. Already in a stable job, Mario Benedetti married Luz López Alegre, his only wife, on March 23, 1946.

From 1950 he also became part of the editorial board of the renowned magazine Número. That same year, he also began his militant work, joining the movement against the United States Military Treaty. He also earned his literary work his first accolade, receiving the Ministry of Public Instruction Award for his work This Morning (compilation of short stories).

In 1955, he was appointed Literary Director of the weekly La Marcha. In 1964, he entered the field of Theatrical Criticism. Likewise, during this time he served as co-director of the literary page of the newspaper The Morning, which came out weekly under the name “At the Foot of the Letters”.

During these years he would have an active life in the literary world, where he would exercise various tasks and places, serving as humorist in the magazine Peloduro (1954); Film Critic in The Popular Tribune (1964); Jury of the Contest of the House of the Americas (1964); Member of the Board of Directors of Casa de las Américas (1966); Founder and Director of the Center for Literary Research of The House of the Americas (1968); Director of the Department of Hispanic American Literature of the Facultas of Humanities and Sciences of the University of the Republic in Uruguay (1971).

Years of exile and exile

Likewise, he continued his militant activity. In 1971, he accompanied several members of the National Liberation Movement-Tupamaros to found the Movement of Independents March 26, which in turn would come to participate in the coalition of left-wing parties known as the Broad Front. However, 1973 brings with it a coup d’état from Uruguay, which will mark a major change in his life.

He resigned from the University and a few years later sees how the weekly where he has worked for the past 19 years is closed by order of the new President Juan María Bordabewy. His political position makes him decide to go into exile. During the ten-year stay outside Uruguay, he would spend most of his time in Madrid, after a long stay in Cuba.

He would also continue his literary work. In 1983 he had the opportunity to return to his native Uruguay, to begin living thereafter the years of “exile” as he appointed his return on several occasions. In Uruguay he would also perform several literary tasks, including Member of the Editor-in-Law of Brecha magazine in 1983.

Final years

Over the following decades, Benedetti would share his residence between Madrid and Uruguay, while he would devote himself entirely to his literary work, which would make him worthy of numerous accolades, among which the VIII Reina Sofía Prize of Ibero-American Poetry (1999), the José Martí Ibero-American Prize (2001), the Francisco de Miranda Award (2007), the Alba Prize (2007), as well as the Honoris Causa Doctorate from the University of Alicante (1997).

Finally, Mario Benedetti died in Montevideo, Uruguay, on May 17, 2009, three years after the departure of his beloved wife Luz. His remains were veiled in the Hall of the Lost Steps of the Uruguayan Legislative Palace, and then transferred with honors to his final abode, in the National Pantheon of the Central Cemetery of Montevideo.

Major works

Among his main literary works are his plays: The Reportage (1958); Round trip (1963); Peter and the Captain (1979); The departure trip (2008). Also Mario Benedetti stood out as a novelist, within his work are Who of Us (1953); The Truce (1960); Thank you for the fire (1965); The Birthday of John Angel (1971); Spring with a broken corner (1982); Coffee Eraser (1992); Scaffolding (1966). Those who join their books on Tales and Essays.

However, the work of this writer that has deserved the most recognition is his Poetry, among which stand out his poems The indelible eve (1945); Only in the meantime (1950); I Love You (1956); Poems of the Office (1956); Poems of Today (1961); Inventory One (1963); Notion of Homeland (1963); When we were children (1964); Next neighbour (1965); Against the drawbridges (1966); At Sleep level (1967); Burn the ships (1969); Emergency letters (1973); Poems of Others (1974); The House and the Brick (1977). Cotidiana (1979); Express (1980); Wind of Exile (1981); The Night of the Ugly (1983); Tactics and Strategy (1984); Random Questions (1986); Yesterday and Tomorrow (1987); Songs of the most here (1988); The Solitudes of Babel (1991); Inventory Two (1994); Love, Women and Life (1995); Oblivion is full of memory (1955); Life That Parentheses (1998); Rincón de haikius (1999); The World I Breathe (2001); Insomnia and sleep-sin (2002); Inventory Three (2003); Existing still (2003); Self-defense (2003); Memory and Hope (2004); Goodbye and Welcome (2005); Songs of which he does not sing (2006); Self-Witness (2008).

Image source: loscoloresolvidados.com

Mario Benedetti Biography
Source: Education  
August 22, 2019


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