Juan Carlos Onetti

Juan Carlos Onetti Borges (July 1, 1909, Montevideo – May 30, 1994, Madrid) was a Uruguayan novelist and author of short stories.

Juan Carlos Onetti
Portrait of the writer
Portrait of the writer
BornJuly 1, 1909
Montevideo, Uruguay
DiedMay 30, 1994 (aged 84)
Madrid, Spain
OccupationJournalist, Novelist
NationalityUruguayan

Early life

Onetti was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. He was the son of Carlos Onetti, an official of the customs of Irish descent, and Honoria Borges, a Brazilian who belonged to a Brazilian aristocratic family from the state of Rio Grande do Sul.[1] He had two brothers, one older than him, Raul and a younger sister, Rachel. He remembered his childhood as a happy time, describing his parents as a very close and loving couple with their children.

The original surname of his family was O'Nety (of Irish or Scottish origin), the writer himself commented: "the first to come here, is my great-great-grandfather, this man was an English-born man, born in Gibraltar. It was my grandfather who italianized the name".[2]

Career

A high school drop-out, Onetti's first novel, El pozo, published in 1939, met with his close friends' immediate acclaim, as well as from some writers and journalists of his time. 500 copies of the book were printed, most of them left to rot at the only bookstore that sold it, Barreiro (the book was not reprinted until the 60's, with an introduction and preliminary study by Ángel Rama). Aged 30, Onetti was already working as editing secretary of the famous weekly Uruguayan newspaper Marcha. He had lived for some years in Buenos Aires, where he published short stories and wrote cinema critiques for the local media, and met and befriended the notorious novelist and journalist Roberto Arlt, author of the novels El juguete rabioso, Los siete locos, Los lanzallamas.

He went on to become one of Latin America's most distinguished writers, earning Uruguay National Literature Prize in 1962. He was considered a senior member of the 'Generation of 45', a Uruguayan intellectual and literary movement: Carlos Maggi, Manuel Flores Mora, Ángel Rama, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Idea Vilariño, Carlos Real de Azúa, Carlos Martínez Moreno, Mario Arregui, Mauricio Muller, José Pedro Díaz, Amanda Berenguer, Tola Invernizzi, Mario Benedetti, Ida Vitale, Líber Falco, Juan Cunha, among others.[3]

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 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, 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.

As soon as he was released, Onetti fled to Spain with his wife, the violin player Dorothea Muhr. There he continued his career as a writer, being awarded the most prestigious literary prize in the Spanish-speaking world, the Premio Cervantes. He remained in Madrid until his death in 1994. He is interred in the Cementerio de la Almudena in Madrid.

Writing awards

  • Uruguay National Literature Prize (1962)
  • William Faulkner Foundation Ibero-American Award (1963)
  • Italian-Latin American Institute Prize (1972)
  • Premio Cervantes (1980)

Selected works

  • El pozo (1939) – The Pit
  • Tierra de nadie (1941) – No Man's Land
  • Para esta noche (1943) – Tonight
  • La vida breve (1950) – A Brief Life
  • Un sueño realizado y otros cuentos (1951)
  • Los adioses (1954)
  • Para una tumba sin nombre (1959) – A Grave with No Name
  • La cara de la desgracia (1960)
  • El astillero (1961) – The Shipyard
  • Juntacadáveres (1964) – Body Snatcher
  • Tres novelas (1967)
  • Cuentos completos (1967)
  • Los rostros del amor (1968)
  • Novelas y cuentos cortos completos (1968)
  • Obras completas (1970)
  • La muerte y la niña (1973)
  • Cuentos completos (1974)
  • Tiempo de abrazar (1974)
  • Réquiem por Faulkner (1975)
  • Tan triste como ella y otros cuentos (1976)
  • Dejemos hablar al viento (1979) – Let the Wind Speak
  • Cuentos secretos (1986)
  • Presencia y otros cuentos (1986)
  • Cuando entonces (1987)
  • Goodbyes and Other Stories (1990)
  • Cuando ya no importe (1993) – Past Caring

Film adaptations

Uruguayan director Alvaro Brechner adapted "Jacob y el Otro" for his 2009 film Bad day to go fishing ("Mal día para pescar"). The film premiered at 2009 Cannes Film Festival, and was the Uruguayan candidate for Oscar Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. There is an Argentinian film based on his short story "El infierno tan temido."

Legacy

An important literary award from Montevideo is named after him: Concurso Literario Juan Carlos Onetti.

References

  1. ^ http://www.biografiasyvidas.com/biografia/o/onetti.htm
  2. ^ Harss, Luis. "Juan Carlos Onetti, o las sombras en la pared Luis Harss: Los nuestros". www.literatura.us (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  3. ^ Generación del 45: severa en la crítica y brillante en la creación. Archived 2012-09-22 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading

English

  • Juan Carlos Onetti, Manuel Puig and Luisa Valenzuela : marginality and gender / Linda Craig., 2005
  • Onetti and others : comparative essays on a major figure in Latin American literature / Gustavo San Román., 1999
  • Over her dead body : the construction of male subjectivity in Onetti / Judy Maloof., 1995
  • An analysis of the short stories of Juan Carlos Onetti : fictions of desire / Mark Millington., 1993
  • The landscapes of alienation : ideological subversion in Kafka, Céline, and Onetti / Jack Murray., 1991
  • Reading Onetti : language, narrative, and the subject / Mark Millington., 1985
  • Juan Carlos Onetti / Djelal Kadir., 1977
  • Three authors of alienation : Bombal, Onetti, Carpentier / Michael Ian Adams., 1975
  • The formal expression of meaning in Juan Carlos Onetti's narrative art / Yvonne Perier Jones., 1971

Spanish

  • Bienvenido, Juan : textos críticos y testimoniales sobre Juan Carlos Onetti / Carina Blixen., 2007
  • Onetti, la fundación imaginada : la parodia del author en la saga de Santa María / Roberto Ferro., 2003
  • El sueño y la locura en la narrativa de Juan Carlos Onetti / Moira Bailey J., 1998
  • La Obra de Juan Carlos Onetti : coloquio internacional / Université de Poitiers., 1990
  • Identidad rioplatense, 1930 : la escritura coloquial : Borges, Arlt, Hernández, Onetti / Noemí Ulla., 1990
  • Juan Carlos Onetti, papeles críticos : medio siglo de escritura / Jaime Concha., 1989
  • J.C. Onetti : el espectáculo imaginario, II / José Pedro Díaz., 1989
  • Construcción de la noche. La vida de Juan Carlos Onetti / Carlos María Dominguez., 1993
  • Juan Carlos Onetti / Hugo J Verani., 1987
  • El primer Onetti y sus contextos / María C Milián-Silveira., 1986
  • Juan C. Onetti / Emir Rodríguez Monegal., 1985
  • Onetti, calculado infortunio / Fernando Curiel., 1984
  • La dialectica de la identidad en la obra de Juan Carlos Onetti / Juan Manuel Molina., 1982
  • Onetti, el ritual de la impostura / Hugo J Verani., 1981
  • Juan Carlos Onetti, o, la salvación por la escritura / Omar Prego., 1981
  • Onetti, obra y calculado infortunio / Fernando Curiel., 1980
  • El viaje a la ficción: El mundo de Juan Carlos Onetti / Mario Vargas Llosa., 2008

External links

Amanda Berenguer

Amanda Berenguer (1921 – July 13, 2010) was a Uruguayan poet.

She is remembered as a member of the 'Generation of 45', a Uruguayan intellectual and literary movement: Carlos Maggi, Manuel Flores Mora, Ángel Rama, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Idea Vilariño, Carlos Real de Azúa, Carlos Martínez Moreno, Mario Arregui, Mauricio Muller, José Pedro Díaz, Tola Invernizzi, Mario Benedetti, Ida Vitale, Líber Falco, Juan Cunha, Juan Carlos Onetti, among others.

Bad Day to Go Fishing

Bad Day to Go Fishing (original title, Mal día para pescar) is a Spanish-Uruguayan film directed by Álvaro Brechner and released in 2009. The film stars Gary Piquer, Jouko Ahola, Antonella Costa and Cesar Troncoso. It was screened as part of the official selection of the Critics Week at 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

The screenplay was written by Álvaro Brechner in collaboration with Gary Piquer, and was adapted from a short story by the Uruguayan writer Juan Carlos Onetti.

The film tells the story of a strongman and his crafty manager, who tour small South American towns staging wrestling matches. Arriving in Santa Maria, they are met with uncommon enthusiasm by the locals, snowballing into a major challenge to their livelihood and their friendship.

Carlos Maggi

Carlos Maggi (August 5, 1922, Montevideo, Uruguay – May 15, 2015, Montevideo, Uruguay) was a Uruguayan lawyer, playwright, journalist and writer.He was one of the last surviving members of the Generation of 45, a Uruguayan intellectual and literary movement: Juan Carlos Onetti, Manuel Flores Mora, Ángel Rama, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Idea Vilariño, Carlos Real de Azúa, Carlos Martínez Moreno, Mario Arregui, Mauricio Muller, José Pedro Díaz, Amanda Berenguer, Tola Invernizzi, Mario Benedetti, Ida Vitale, Líber Falco, Juan Cunha, among others.

Carlos María Domínguez

Carlos María Domínguez (born 23 April 1955 in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine writer and journalist who lives in Montevideo since 1989.

Concurso Literario Juan Carlos Onetti

The Juan Carlos Onetti Literary Contest (Spanish: Concurso Literario Juan Carlos Onetti) is an important literary award in Uruguay.Established in 2011, they are named after Juan Carlos Onetti, one of the most important Uruguayan fiction writers.

Emir Rodríguez Monegal

Emir Rodríguez Monegal (28 July 1921 – 14 November 1985), born in Uruguay, was a scholar, literary critic, and editor of Latin American literature. From 1969 to 1985, Rodríguez Monegal was professor of Latin American contemporary literature at Yale University. He is usually called by his second surname Emir R. Monegal or Monegal (or erroneously Emir Rodríguez-Monegal).

Described as "one of the most influential Latin American literary critics of the 20th century" by the Encyclopædia Britannica, Monegal wrote key books about Pablo Neruda and Jorge Luis Borges, and the Britannica Macropædia notice of the later. He was a part in "The Boom" of 1960s Latin American literature as founder and 1966–1968 editor of his influential magazine Mundo Nuevo. Umberto Eco was quoted in saying that Jorge Luis Borges had read almost everything but no one knew that indiscernable totallity better than Emir.He is remembered as a member of the Generation of 45, a Uruguayan intellectual and literary movement: Carlos Maggi, Manuel Flores Mora, Ángel Rama, Idea Vilariño, Carlos Real de Azúa, Carlos Martínez Moreno, Mario Arregui, Mauricio Muller, José Pedro Díaz, Amanda Berenguer, Tola Invernizzi, Mario Benedetti, Ida Vitale, Líber Falco, Juan Cunha, Juan Carlos Onetti, among others.

Helen Lane

Helen Lane (1921 – August 29, 2004) was an American translator of Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian language literary works into English. She translated works by numerous important authors including Jorge Amado, Augusto Roa Bastos, Marguerite Duras, Juan Goytisolo, Mario Vargas Llosa, Curzio Malaparte, Juan Carlos Onetti, Octavio Paz, Nélida Piñon, and Luisa Valenzuela. She was a recipient of the National Book Award.

Idea Vilariño

Idea Vilariño Romani (Montevideo, 18 August 1920 – 28 April 2009) was a Uruguayan poet, essayist and literary critic.

She belonged to the group of intellectuals known as "Generación del 45." In this generation, there are several writers such as Juan Carlos Onetti, Mario Benedetti, Sarandy Cabrera, Carlos Martínez Moreno, Ángel Rama, Carlos Real de Azúa, Carlos Maggi, Alfredo Gravina, Mario Arregui, Amanda Berenguer, Humberto Megget, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Gladys Castelvecchi and José Pedro Díaz among others.

She also worked as a translator, composer and lecturer.

José Pedro Díaz

José Pedro Díaz (1921 - July 3, 2006) was a Uruguayan essayist, educator and writer.

He is remembered as a member of the Generation of 45, a Uruguayan intellectual and literary movement: Carlos Maggi, Manuel Flores Mora, Ángel Rama, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Idea Vilariño, Carlos Real de Azúa, Carlos Martínez Moreno, Mario Arregui, Mauricio Muller, Amanda Berenguer, Tola Invernizzi, Mario Benedetti, Ida Vitale, Líber Falco, Juan Cunha, Juan Carlos Onetti, among others.

Juan Carlos Mondragón

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Manuel Arturo Claps

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Born in Argentina, due to political reasons his family had to go in exile; they settled in Montevideo, where afterwards Claps joined the Generation of 45, a Uruguayan intellectual and literary movement: Carlos Maggi, Ángel Rama, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Idea Vilariño, Carlos Real de Azúa, Carlos Martínez Moreno, Mario Arregui, Mauricio Muller, José Pedro Díaz, Amanda Berenguer, Tola Invernizzi, Mario Benedetti, Ida Vitale, Líber Falco, Juan Cunha, Juan Carlos Onetti, among others.

María Esther Gilio

María Esther Gilio (1928 – 27 August 2011) was a Uruguayan journalist, writer, biographer, and lawyer, distinguished for her contributions to newspapers of Uruguay and Argentina. She also wrote for publications in Brazil, Mexico, Spain, France, Italy, Chile, and Venezuela.

Nuit de chien

Nuit de Chien (This Night) is a 2008 French-German-Portuguese drama film directed by Werner Schroeter. It is based on the novel Para esta noche by Juan Carlos Onetti. It was entered into the competition at the 65th Venice International Film Festival.

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Uruguayan literature

Uruguayan literature has a long and eventful history.

Uruguayans in Spain

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Ángel Rama

Ángel A. Rama (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈaŋxel rama]; April 30, 1926 – November 27, 1983) was a Uruguayan writer, academic, and literary critic, known for his work on modernismo and for his theorization of the concept of "transculturation."

Recipients of the Mondello Prize

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