Articles / News / Cuba / Casa de las Americas Mourns Death of Mario Benedetti
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Casa de las Americas Mourns Death of Mario Benedetti
Havana, May 19.- Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti has just died; sad news for Latin American literature. In the mid 1940s Benedetti began to weave a vast and diverse work of not only the poetry and narrative that would captivate millions of readers, but also of essays, plays, critiques, and news articles.
Captivating, incisive, and controversial, Benedetti had the capacity to attract crowds wherever he brought his verses and to generate heated intellectual and political debates. His dozens of books are among the most read in Latin American literature of the second half of the 20th century.
Our friend Mario Benedetti has just died. The news is painful for those who could always count on his voice and solidarity. Since his first visit to Cuba in 1966, his commitment to the construction of a new society was exemplary.
His strong convictions threw him into exile (a good part of which he spent in Havana). He never hesitated to defend his ideas, which were also our ideas, in all the forums he attended. He was hounded for his support of Cuba, but he never gave up for a single moment the support of a Revolution he considered his own.
Our very close friend Mario Benedetti has just died. The news caused us great consternation, to use a term Mario himself engraved in his poem to Che. Mario was not only a great writer and a great friend in solidarity, but also a tireless worker of the Casa de las Americas —a task to which he would also bring his beloved Luz— ever since his first visit when he participated as a jury of the Casa's Prize for Literature.
He became a member of the Cooperation Committee of the Casa's magazine and later found the Center for Literary Research in 1967. He worked for many intense years at the Casa and helped to shape its essence, which it maintains today. Casa de las Americas has published several of his titles and released recordings of his poetry recitals.
In a sad coincidence, Mario leaves us when Casa de las Ameritas is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Nevertheless, his voice, his memory, his books and that other great work of his, the Casa itself, remain with us. (Taken from Granma Newspaper)
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