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Ernesto Sabato
ErnestoSabato001.JPG
Born(1911-06-24)June 24, 1911
Rojas, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
DiedApril 30, 2011(2011-04-30) (aged 99)
Santos Lugares, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
OccupationNovelist and essayist, painter[1]
LanguageSpanish
EducationPhD in Physics
Alma materUniversidad Nacional de La Plata
Period1941–2004
GenreNovel, essay
Notable worksEl Túnel
Sobre héroes y tumbas
Abaddón, el exterminador
Notable awardsLegion of Honour
Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger
Miguel de Cervantes Prize
Jerusalem Prize
SpouseMatilde Kusminsky Richter (1936–1998)
ChildrenJorge Federico Sabato
Argentine novelist, essayist, painter and physicist. According to the BBC he "won some of the most prestigious prizes in Hispanic literature" and "became very influential in the literary world throughout Latin America".[2] Upon his death El País dubbed him the "last classic writer in Argentine literature".[3]

Sabato was distinguished by his bald pate and brush moustache and wore tinted spectacles and open-necked shirts.[4] He was born in Rojas, a small town in Buenos Aires Province. Sabato began his studies at the Colegio Nacional de La Plata. He then studied physics at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, where he earned a PhD. He then attended the Sorbonne in Paris and worked at the Curie Institute. After World War II, he lost interest in science and started writing.

Sabato's oeuvre includes three novels: El Túnel (1948), Sobre héroes y tumbas (1961) and Abaddón el exterminador (1974). The first of these received critical acclaim upon its publication from, among others, fellow writers Albert Camus and Thomas Mann.[1] The second is regarded as his masterpiece, though he nearly burnt it like many of his other works.[2] Sabato's essays cover topics as diverse as metaphysics, politics and tango.[2] His writings led him to receive many international prizes, includingthe Miguel de Cervantes Prize (Spain), the Legion of Honour (France), and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (France).[1]

At the request of President Raúl Alfonsín, he presided over the CONADEP commission that investigated the fate of those who suffered forced disappearance during the Dirty War of the 1970s. The result of these findings was published in 1984 bearing the title Nunca Más (Never Again).

Biography

Early years

Ernesto Sabato was born on June 24, 1911, in Rojas, Buenos Aires Province, son of Francesco Sabato and Giovanna Maria Ferrari, Italian immigrants from Calabria. His father was from Fuscaldo, and his mother was an Arbëreshë (Albanian minority in Italy) from San Martino di Finita.[5] He was the tenth of a total of eleven children. Being born after his ninth brother's death, he carried on his name "Ernesto".[6]

In 1924 he finishe

Sabato was distinguished by his bald pate and brush moustache and wore tinted spectacles and open-necked shirts.[4] He was born in Rojas, a small town in Buenos Aires Province. Sabato began his studies at the Colegio Nacional de La Plata. He then studied physics at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, where he earned a PhD. He then attended the Sorbonne in Paris and worked at the Curie Institute. After World War II, he lost interest in science and started writing.

Sabato's oeuvre includes three novels: El Túnel (1948), Sobre héroes y tumbas (1961) and Abaddón el exterminador (1974). The first of these received critical acclaim upon its publication from, among others, fellow writers Albert Camus and Thomas Mann.[1] The second is regarded as his masterpiece, though he nearly burnt it like many of his other works.[2] Sabato's essays cover topics as diverse as metaphysics, politics and tango.[2] His writings led him to receive many international prizes, includingthe Miguel de Cervantes Prize (Spain), the Legion of Honour (France), and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (France).[1]

At the request of President Raúl Alfonsín, he presided over the CONADEP commission that investigated the fate of those who suffered forced disappearance during the Dirty War of the 1970s. The result of these findings was published in 1984 bearing the title Nunca Más (Never Again).

Ernesto Sabato was born on June 24, 1911, in Rojas, Buenos Aires Province, son of Francesco Sabato and Giovanna Maria Ferrari, Italian immigrants from Calabria. His father was from Fuscaldo, and his mother was an Arbëreshë (Albanian minority in Italy) from San Martino di Finita.[5] He was the tenth of a total of eleven children. Being born after his ninth brother's death, he carried on his name "Ernesto".[6]

In 1924 he finished primary school in Rojas and settled in the city of La Plata for his secondary education at the Colegio Nacional de La Plata. There he met professor Pedro Henríquez Ureña, an early inspiration for his writing career.[7] In 1929 he started college, attending the School of Physics and Mathematics at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

He was an active member in the Reforma Universitaria movement,[8] founding "Insurrexit Group" in 1933 – of communist ideals – together with Héctor P. Agosti, Ángel Hurtado de Mendoza and Paulino González Alberdi, among others.[9]

In 1933 he was elected Secretario General of the Federación Juvenil Comunista (Communist Youth Federation).[10] While attending a lecture about Marxism he met Matilde Kusminsky Richter, aged 17, who would leave her parents' house to live with Sabato.[11]

In 1934 he started to doubt communism and Joseph Stalin's regime. The Communist Party of Argentina, which had noted this, sent him to the International Lenin School for two years. According to Sabato, "it was a place where either you recovered or ended up in a gulag or psychiatric hospital".[12] Before arriving at Moscow, he traveled to Brussels as a delegate from the Communist Party of Argentina at the "Congress against Fascism and the War". Once th

In 1924 he finished primary school in Rojas and settled in the city of La Plata for his secondary education at the Colegio Nacional de La Plata. There he met professor Pedro Henríquez Ureña, an early inspiration for his writing career.[7] In 1929 he started college, attending the School of Physics and Mathematics at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

He was an active member in the Reforma Universitaria movement,[8] founding "Insurrexit Group" in 1933 – of communist ideals – together with Héctor P. Agosti, Ángel Hurtado de Mendoza and Paulino González Alberdi, among others.[9]

In 1933 he was elected Secretario General of the Federación Juvenil Comunista (Communist Youth Federation).[10] While attending a lecture about Marxism he met Matilde Kusminsky Richter, aged 17, who would leave her parents' house to live with Sabato.[11]

In 1934 he started to doubt communism and Joseph Stalin's regime. The Communist Party of Argentina, which had noted this, sent him to the International Lenin School for two years. According to Sabato, "it was a place where either you recovered or ended up in a gulag or psychiatric hospital".[12] Before arriving at Moscow, he traveled to Brussels as a delegate from the Communist Party of Argentina at the "Congress against Fascism and the War". Once there, fearing not coming back from Moscow, he left the congress to escape to Paris.[12] It was there where he wrote his first novel: La Fuente Muda, which remains unpublished.[10][12] Once back in Buenos Aires, in 1936, he married Matilde Kusminsky Richter.

In 1938 he obtained his PhD in physics from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Thanks to Bernardo Houssay, he was granted a research fellowship in atomic radiation at the Curie Institute in Paris.[10] On May 25, 1938 Jorge Federico Sabato, his first son, was born. While in France he made contact with the surrealist movement, studying the works of Oscar Domínguez, Benjamin Péret, Roberto Matta Echaurren and Esteban Francés among others. This would have a deep influence on his future writing.[13]

During that time of antagonisms, I buried myself with During that time of antagonisms, I buried myself with electrometers and graduated cylinders during the morning and spent the nights in bars, with the delirious surrealists. At the Dome and in the Deux Magots, inebriated with those heralds of chaos and excess, we used to spend many hours creating exquisite cadavers.

— Ernesto Sabato.[6][13]In 1939 he transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . Once in 1940 he came back to Argentina intent on leaving physics behind. However, serving an obligation to those responsible for his fellowship Sabato started teaching at the Universidad de La Plata for Engineering admission, and relativity and quantum mechanics for post graduate degrees. In 1943, due to an "existential crisis", he left science for good to become a full-time writer and painter.[12]

At the Curie Institute, one of the highest goals for a physicist, I found myself empty. Beaten up by disbelief, I kept going because of inertia, which my soul rejected.

— Ernesto SabatoIn 1945, his second son, Mario Sabato was born.

Writing career

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Zadunaisky, Daniel; Rey, Debora (April 30, 2011). "Argentine writer Ernesto Sabato, who led probe of dirty war crimes, dies at 99". Canadian Press. Google. Retrieved April 30, 2011.