Remembering Juan Carlos Onetti
Juan Carlos Onetti (1909-1994)
Onetti's Wikipedia entry contains the best micro fiction, except that, well, it's completely true.
In 1974, he and some of his colleagues were imprisoned by the military dictatorship. Their crime: as members of the jury, they had chosen Nelson Marra's short story El guardaespaldas (i.e. "The bodyguard") as the winner of Marcha's [Marcha is a Uruguyan newspaper] annual literary contest. Due to a series of misunderstandings (and the need to fill some space in the following day's edition), El guardaespaldas was published in Marcha, although it had been widely agreed among them that they shouldn't and wouldn't do so, knowing this would be the perfect excuse for the military to intervene [against] Marcha, considering the subject of the story (the interior monologue of a top-rank military officer who recounts his murders and atrocious behavior, much as it was happening with the functioning regime).
Onetti left his native country (and his much-loved city of Montevideo) after being imprisoned for 6 months in Colonia Etchepare, a mental institution. A long list of world-famous writers -including Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Mario Benedetti - signed open letters addressed to the military government of Uruguay, which was unaware of the talented (and completely harmless) writer it had imprisoned and humiliated.
As soon as he was released, Onetti fled to Spain with his wife, violin player Dorotea Mühr. There he continued his career as a writer, being awarded the most prestigious literary prize in the Spanish-speaking world, the Premio Cervantes.
Coming in the future, essays about his writing.