The UA Centre for Latin American Studies Mario Benedetti discovers two unpublished handwritten poems by the poet.
Alicante, 4th February 2013
In 2006, Mario Benedetti donated his personal library to the University of Alicante's Centre for Latin American Studies, named after him. As a result of the e cataloguing process of over 6,000 volumes donated by Benedetti, the poems “Miedo y coraje” and “Esperas” have been discovered, which were saved inside the the book Insomnios y duermevelas, published in 2002.
Librarian Mª José Giménez discovered the handwritten poems and the Deputy Director of the reference library of Arts, Mª Victoria Játiva, announced this relevant finding to Eva Valero, Director of the Mario Benedetti Centre at the UA. From this moment, lecturers José Carlos Rovira and Eva Valero started a research process with which they have confirmed the unpublished nature of the poems discovered.
The research work carried out has allowed them to rebuild the likely cronology of the handwritten poems discovered. On 23rd April 2002, the newspaper La Nación of Buenos Aires published the item of news on the presentation of the book “Insomnios y duermevelas” by Benedetti, in which the reading of some unpublished poems was quoted (among which the recently discovered “Miedo y coraje” was included) written by the poet at the age of 82, some days before that presentation. Soon before, Benedetti had presented the book in Montevideo, on 5 June, at Casa de América of Madrid, with the participation -apart from Benedetti- of Luis García Montero and Joaquín Sabina, according to the piece of news published by the ABC paper. “The reconstruction of the route of the book was clarified at this time” as stated by Eva Valero, since “thinking that Benedetti would travel to Montevideo with this copy and then to Buenos Aires, leaving those poems inside in the oblivion, and then to the University of Alicante in 2006 with the donation of his library seems reasonable”.
Knowing that Benedetti read “Miedo y coraje” in 2002 as an unpublished poem, the UA lecturers Rovira and Valero have confirmed that the poems cannot be found in the books published by the poet since 2002; they have even made sure that the poems were not hidden under a different title.
The documents, now hosted by the UA Centre for Latin American Studies, acquire special value with these two handwritten and unpublished poems discovered, which adds to the value of the dedications to Benedetti by the leading writers of the twentieth century in the works of his personal library, along with some annotations by the poet to his own books and other documents.
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