Mario Benedetti

One of the most recognized writers in the world has undoubtedly been Mario Benedetti , an important writer of Uruguayan nationality who marked the generations through his lyrics. He was a quite controversial writer who had his own positions in the political field which also caused him a life in exile and having to keep traveling from one place to another constantly.

Personal information

  • When was he born: 09/14/1920
  • Where he was born: Paso de los Toros, Uruguay
  • When he died: 05/17/2009
  • Where he died: Montevideo, Uruguay

Who was Mario Benedetti?

Mario Benedetti was an important and recognized writer whose poetry quickly became an essential reference in the literary field through his themes on love , nature , politics and the existence of human beings .

  • Biography of Mario Benedetti
  • Death
  • Personal life of Mario Benedetti
  • Style
  • Physical characteristics
  • Personality
  • Acknowledgments
  • Works by Mario Benedetti
  • Phrases
  • Importance
  • Presence in popular culture
  • Curiosities

Biography of Mario Benedetti

His full name was Mario Orlando Hamlet Hardy Brenno Benedetti Farugia . He was born on September 14, 1920 in the Paso de los Toros in Uruguay . His parents were Brenno Benedetti and Matilde Farrugia . He completed primary studies at the German School of Montevideo and also at the Liceo Miranda . Due to various financial problems, he was unable to complete his high school studies and at age 14 he began to work in a company selling auto parts .

I also work as a stenographer in Argentina and Uruguay, in a real estate company and sold books . Then he decided to dedicate himself to journalism and made several publications. His career began in 1945 when he founded the Marca seminar . Starting in 1971, he actively participated with the leftist coalition in his country known as the Broad Front . He had a position at the University that he later left after the coup d’état and was later exiled to Buenos Aires and then to Spain .

He made his literary career together with the group called generation of 45 until he finally managed to consolidate himself as a short story writer. His work manages to address all literary styles. After a visit to the United States, he declared himself anti-imperialist and it is please Marxism that made him also support the Castro regime in Cuba.


Mario Benedetti died on May 17, 2009 in Montevideo when he was 88 years old due to complications from asthma . His body is buried in the national pantheon of the Central Cemetery of Montevideo .

Personal life of Mario Benedetti

The love of his life was Luz López Alegre whom Mario Benedetti met when he was a teenager and with whom he fell in love from the first moment. They got married in 1946 and stayed together for 60 years . When he was exiled he had to separate from his wife who stayed in the country to be able to take care of their mothers. His wife passed away on April 13, 2006 and from that moment the life of the writer changed considerably.


In his literary style , personification , dramatization and hyperbole could be appreciated . In his themes it is common to find experiences and daily life through their explicit or tacit protagonists . It focused on the use of the language type colloquial and used consistently the voseo to well identified with the reader. Situations comic and mood linked to the pathetic were normal in his works and also included some touches of surreal visions that caught the attention of those who read his work.

His entire literary style had great philosophical and existential depth and covered above all the great problems that were related to society , the spirit , psychology and the religious field . They also used stanzas and verses , irregular meter and rhythmic free verses . His style has been seen as a sample of the dominance he had over the letters and over the observation of the environment.

Physical characteristics

Mario Benedetti was a man of short stature , had a little overweight, her hair colored dark brown and black eyes deep . He used to wear a well-trimmed mustache. He had a smile that many classify as charismatic.


Mario Benedetti had a fairly sociable personality , a high level of concentration, and made an effort to hide his deep emotions . He liked to find meaning in life and also to feel appreciated . He was a very responsible , hard-working man and full of knowledge, he was always ready to solve problems that came his way.


The main awards that Mario Benedetti obtained are the following:

  • Jrist Botev Prize for Bulgarian Literature.
  • 1987 Amnesty International Golden Flame Award for his novel Spring with a broken corner.
  • Morosoli de Plata Award from the Uruguayan Foundation Lolita Rubial.
  • León Felipe Award of Spain for civic values.
  • VII Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry.
  • Son Latinos Award.
  • Ibero-American José Martí Award.
  • Etnosur Award.
  • XIX Menéndez Pelayo International Award.
  • Morosoli de Oro Award from the Lolita Rubial Foundation.
  • Literature Award from the Cultural Fund of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas.

He also had several recognitions, some of them were:

  • Honorary Doctorate from the University of Valladolid.
  • Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Havana.
  • Tribute to Benedetti. House of America in Madrid.
  • Title of Illustrious Citizen of Montevideo.
  • Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Córdoba (Argentina).
  • Patron of Honor of the Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library Foundation .

Works by Mario Benedetti

Among his main stories can be found the following:

  • The report
  • Montevideans
  • Round trip
  • Data for the widower
  • Complete stories
  • Forgotten memories
  • Blindness and frankness
  • The future of my past
  • Paris Stories
  • In the image and likeness, short story anthology (posthumous edition of the Benedetti Foundation)

He also wrote several novels , some of the most important were:

  • Truce
  • Thanks for the fire
  • Juan Ángel’s birthday
  • Spring with a broken corner
  • The coffee grounds


There were many poems written by Mario Benedetti, all of them important, some examples are:

  • Just in the meantime
  • Office poems
  • Inventory one
  • Notion of homeland
  • Emergency letters
  • Poems of others
  • The house and the brick
  • 50 sonnets
  • Goodbye and welcome
  • New corner of Haikus

Examples of his literary criticism are mentioned below:

  • Genius and figure of José Enrique Rodó
  • Letters of the mestizo continent
  • About arts and crafts
  • Complicit criticism

Some of his essays were:

  • The country of the straw tail
  • The Latin American Writer and the Possible Revolution
  • Daniel Viglietti
  • Notes on some subsidiary forms of cultural penetration
  • Culture between two fires
  • Underdevelopment and bold letters


Some of the most important and remembered phrases pronounced by Mario Benedetti were:

  • “Do not tempt me that if we are tempted we will not be able to forget.”
  • “After all, death is just a symptom that there was life.”
  • “Who would have guessed, the weak really never give up.”
  • “There are few things as deafening as silence.”
  • “I love, you love, he loves, we love, you love, they love. I wish it were not conjugation but reality ”.
  • “I never thought that happiness had so much sadness”.
  • “My strategy is that on any given day I don’t know how or under what pretext you finally need me.”
  • “Perfection is a polished collection of mistakes.”
  • “If you knew what you have, as clearly as you know what is missing!”


The importance that Mario Benedetti’s work had both for culture and for literature in the universal sphere lies in its great capacity to break down intellectual barriers and to extend his poetry to all the edges that are part of society . All women have managed to give a new impetus to poetry , essays , narrative and even songs thanks to their imminent vocation as a communicator who always sought to establish an adequate climate so that the reader could feel part of the dialogue

Presence in popular culture

In popular culture it is possible to find both the history and the work of Benedetti in many areas even in the world of music where several of his verses became a song, an example can be found by Joan Manuel Serrat who composed a suitcase mind in his poems. Also some of its themes have been used in the creation of some films such as:

  • Thanks for the fire
  • La trugua, nominated for an Oscar for Best Film.


Some curiosities of Mario Benedetti are the following:

  • The author managed to publish more than 80 books which were later translated into more than 25 different languages.
  • A total of twelve years were exiled from their country due to different political reasons.
  • His voice can be found in various ok sets that he performs reciting his poems.
  • He donated part of his personal library to the University of Alicante.

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