|Escrito por LA HORA / EDITORIAL|
Ernesto Sábato ha muerto cercano a cumplir cien años. Deja una inmensa obra que se valora y se valorará en mucho tiempo, por su alto nivel ético y estético, así como la decisiva participación en la Comisión Nacional de la Desaparición de Personas, que concluyó con la publicación del estremecedor libro ‘Nunca más’, que narra el horror de las dictaduras militares argentinas, conocido en 1983 como ‘Informe Sábato’.
Uno de los temas recurrentes del escritor a lo largo de su vida es el de la crisis, social, política, histórica del mundo, y el papel de los escritores. Ese tema fue el que escogió para cumplir con la invitación de la Casa de la Cultura y visitar Quito en 1976.
“El escritor y la crisis contemporánea”, brillante y removedora conferencia, publicada por la CCE, bajo la atenta vigilancia y prólogo de Galo René Pérez, presidente de la Casa en ese momento, anticipaba lo que hoy es una trágica realidad: “Los científicos aún no nos han explicado de qué manera vamos a sobrevivir a la radioactividad expandida por efecto de los reactores nucleares”.
Consolidó su desolación al respecto en los libros ‘Antes del fin’ (1998) y ‘La resistencia (2000), que se han convertido en textos claves para entender el mundo, sus conflictos e incertidumbres y adoptar una posición activa a favor de la humanidad.
Su preocupación fue impedir que el mundo se deshaga: “Cada generación es heredera de una historia corrupta, en la que se mezclan las revoluciones fracasadas, las técnicas enloquecidas, los dioses muertos y las ideologías extenuadas; en la que poderes mediocres, que pueden hoy destruirlo todo, no saben convencer; en la que la inteligencia se humilla hasta ponerse al servicio del odio y de la opresión”.
Frente a su muerte vale recordar las palabras con las que finaliza ‘La resistencia’: “Ahora que la muerte está vecina, su cercanía me ha irradiado una comprensión que nunca tuve; en este atardecer de verano, la historia de lo vivido está delante de mí, como si yaciera en mis manos, y hay horas en que los tiempos que creí malgastados tienen más luz que otros, que pensé sublimes”.
Argentina author Ernesto Sabato dies at 99
(Reuters) – Argentine writer Ernesto Sabato, whose novel The Tunnel is hailed as an existentialist classic and who presided over a probe into the crimes committed by the nation’s military rulers, died on Saturday at age 99.
“Humankind cannot live without heroes, martyrs and saints,” Sabato, an intellectual known as a tireless activist for justice and human rights, once said.
His death was reported by local media.
Sabato, who trained as a physicist before becoming a writer, had three novels to his name — The Tunnel published in 1948, On Heroes and Graves published in 1961 and Abaddon, The Exterminator in 1974.
Known for his bald pate, tinted glasses, brush mustache and open-necked shirts, he was viewed as a hero by many in his South American homeland.
After the end of Argentina’s notorious 1976-83 military rule, Sabato was chosen to preside over the National Commission on the Disappeared (CONADEP), which investigated the fate of tens of thousands of Argentines who disappeared at the hands of the military — kidnapped, tortured and killed.
The commission compiled 50,000 pages of chilling evidence of systematic kidnap, torture and rape waged against anyone even remotely suspected of sympathizing with leftist guerrillas.
Its findings and recommendations that the “Dirty War” soldiers should be tried and punished were published in 1984 in a book called Nunca Mas (Never Again).
Sabato seemed ill at ease in the limelight even as he was idolized by many young people and students in Argentina. Lionized by the political left, Sabato nevertheless rejected any party affiliation.
“I don’t belong to any party, I just support anything I think is good for this sickly country and denounce anything I find false, despicable, dirty, corrupt and hypocritical,” he said.
He railed against the tendency to seek technological solutions to human suffering, a painful admission for a man who studied science in Argentina, France and the United States.
He embraced surrealism and abandoned science for writing. His first novel, The Tunnel, was hailed after its release in 1948 as an existentialist classic and won him fans including Thomas Mann and Albert Camus.
Ernesto Sabato; acclaimed Argentine author led inquiry into dictatorship’s crimes
May 01, 2011|By Debora Rey and Daniel Zadunaisky, Associated Press
Ernesto Sabato (left) presented his report on crimes committed by Argentinas…
(Eduardo Di Baia/Associated Press)
BUENOS AIRES — Writer Ernesto Sabato, who led the government’s probe of crimes committed by Argentina’s dictatorship, has died at 99.
The writer died of complications of bronchitis, his friend and collaborator Elvira Gonzalez Fraga told Radio Mitre.
Mr. Sabato was a widely admired 73-year-old intellectual, author of works such as “On Heroes and Tombs,’’ when President Raul Alfonsin asked him to lead an investigation into crimes committed under the soldiers who led Argentina from 1976 to 1983.
He called his work of helping to document the murders, tortures, and illegal arrests committed by a regime he had initially supported a “descent into hell.’’ The commission’s report, “Never Again,’’ served as the basis for prosecuting key figures in the dictatorship after the return to civilian rule.
Official and independent agencies estimate that 12,000 to 30,000 were killed by government forces seeking to wipe out leftists.
Like many Argentines, Mr. Sabato initially welcomed the coup that overthrew President Isabel Peron following mounting economic problems, social turmoil, and clashes with leftist guerrillas who carried out kidnappings and killings.
He joined other writers in a meeting with dictator Jorge Rafael Videla shortly after the takeover and described him as “a cultured man, modest, and intelligent.’’
Even as government repression reached its height in 1978, Mr. Sabato said in an interview that “many things have improved: the armed terrorist bands have been put, in large part, under control.’’ He grew critical by 1979, denouncing censorship.
Mr. Sabato was born in Rojas near Buenos Aires.
While studying physics, he joined the Communist Party’s youth wing and rose to become its secretary in the early 1930s, but broke with the party in 1934 over purges by Soviet leader Josef Stalin. It was the first of “the three fundamental crises of my life,’’ he said.
Returning to his studies, he earned a doctorate in physics and went to Paris to work on atomic radiation at the Joliot-Curie laboratories, where he said he suffered a second personal crisis.
“In Paris, I assisted in breaking the uranium atom, which was being disputed by three laboratories: the ‘race’ was won by a German,’’ he said.
The third crisis emerged from his friendship with surrealist artists such as Roberto Matta, Wilfredo Lam, and Andre Breton, and his growing disenchantment with what he saw as the misuse of science. He turned instead to writing.
Mr. Sabato published his first book, “One and the Universe,’’ in 1945 and his first, brief novel, “The Tunnel,’’ which was praised by Thomas Mann and also by Albert Camus, who had it translated into French.
“The Angel of Darkness’’ — “Abaddon el Exterminador’’ in the original Spanish — was honored as the best foreign book of the year by the French book industry in 1976.
He received the French Legion of Honor, the Medici Prize of Italy, and Spain’s Cervantes Prize, the most respected award in Spanish letters.
He was also a painter, and his works were displayed at the Pompidou Center in Paris.
He was married for more than 60 years to Matilde Kuminsky-Richter, who died in 1998, and they had two sons: politician Jorge Federico, who died in 1995, and Mario, a documentary filmmaker.
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