Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

sábado, abril 30, 2011

Ernesto Sabato, RIP

Ernesto Sabato (1911-2011)

The New York Times reports:

Argentine writer Ernesto Sabato, whose novel "The Tunnel" is hailed as an existentialist classic and who presided over a probe into the crimes committed by the nation's military rulers, died on Saturday at age 99.

"Humankind cannot live without heroes, martyrs and saints," Sabato, an intellectual known as a tireless activist for justice and human rights, once said....

Sabato, who trained as a physicist before becoming a writer, had three novels to his name -- "The Tunnel" published in 1948, "On Heroes and Graves" published in 1961 and "Abaddon, The Exterminator" in 1974.

Known for his bald pate, tinted glasses, brush mustache and open-necked shirts, he was viewed as a hero by many in his South American homeland.

After the end of Argentina's notorious 1976-83 military rule, Sabato was chosen to preside over the National Commission on the Disappeared (CONADEP), which investigated the fate of tens of thousands of Argentines who disappeared at the hands of the military -- kidnapped, tortured and killed.

The Buenos Aires Herald adds this:

British newspaper 'The Independent', recently re-reviewed his book, "The Tunnel", and said, "the book belongs among the existential landmarks of post-war fiction." It was also honoured by being placed in the Penguin Publishers Hall of Fame.

“I’ve never considered myself a professional writer, in the way that of those who publish one book per year. To the contrary actually, many times I’d go ahead and burn what I had written that very morning,” mentioned Sabato on more than one occasion.

He will be missed.

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