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Ernesto Sábato Biography

Ernesto Sábato Biography
Ernesto Sabato was an 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”. Upon his death, El País dubbed him the “last classic writer in Argentine literature”.


Sabato was distinguished by his bald pâté and brush mustache and wore tinted spectacles and open-necked shirts. 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. The second is regarded as his masterpiece, though he nearly burnt it like many of his other works. Sabato’s essays cover topics as diverse as metaphysics, politics, and tango. His writings led him to receive many international prizes, including the Legion of Honour (France), the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (France) and the Miguel de Cervantes Prize (Spain).
On 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 Sábato Biography

Ernesto Sábato 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. He was the tenth of a total of eleven children. Being born after his ninth brother’s death, he carried on his name “Ernesto”.
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. 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, founding “Insurrexit Group” in 1933 – of communist ideals – together with Héctor P. Agosti, Ángel Hurtado de Mendoza, and Paulino González Alberdi, among others.
In 1933 he was elected Secretario General of the Federación Juvenil Comunista (Communist Youth Federation). While attending a lecture about Marxism he met Matilde Kusminsky Richter, aged 17, who would leave her parents’ house to live with Sabato.
Ernesto Sábato Biography
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”. 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. It was there where he wrote his first novel: La Fuente Muda, which remains unpublished. Once back in Buenos Aires, in 1936, he married Matilde Kusminsky Richter.

Ernesto Sábato Google Celebrates 108th Birthday with Doodle

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Argentine novelist, painter, and atomic physicist Ernesto Sábato, who gave himself to literature and became a standout amongst Argentina’s most regarded writers.
During his time in Europe, Ernesto Sábato’s interactions with surrealists such as Wilfredo Lam and André Bretón mixed philosophical inquiries in his mind, which in the long run led him to direct his concentrate far from science and rather give himself to literature.
Ernesto Sábato Biography

In 1984, Ernesto Sábato got the renowned Cervantes Prize in acknowledgment of his literary achievements. Beside honor winning novels, Ernesto Sábato’s articles on political issues propelled changes in his homeland, leading some to call Ernesto Sábato “la voz de la conciencia Argentina,” or “the voice of Argentina’s conscience.”
Ernesto Sabato died in Santos Lugares, on April 30, 2011, two months short of his 100th birthday.
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