J.M. Coetzee on the life and work of Antonio Di Benedetto
Antonio di Benedetto was an Argentine journalist and writer. Wikipedia
Born: November 2, 1922, Mendoza, Argentina
Died: October 10, 1986, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Movies: Aballay, the Man Without Fear
Di Benedetto began writing and publishing stories in his teens, inspired by the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Luigi Pirandello. Mundo Animal, appearing in 1952, was his first story collection and won prestigious awards. A revised version came out in 1971, but the Xenos Books translation uses the first edition to catch the youthful flavor.
Antonio di Benedetto wrote five novels, the most famous being the existential masterpiece Zama (1956). El Silenciero (The Silencer, 1964) is noteworthy for expressing his intense abhorrence of noise. Critics have compared his works to Alain Robbe-Grillet, Julio Cortázar and Ernesto Sábato.
In 1976, during the military dictatorship of General Videla, di Benedetto was imprisoned and tortured. Released a year later, he went into exile in Spain, then returned home in 1984. He travelled widely and won numerous awards, but never acquired the worldwide fame of other Latin American writers, perhaps because his work was not translated to many languages.
- Mundo animal (Animal World). 1952. Translated by H. E. Francis, with an Afterword by Jorge García-Gómez. Grand Terrace, CA: Xenos Books.
- Zama 1956. Translated with a foreword by Esther Allen. New York : New York Review Books (NYRB), .
- El silenciero 1964.
- Las suicidas 1969.