Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mexico's best known writer Carlos Fuentes passes away

Jumbo Editorial Team

Carlos Fuentes, who died recently in Mexico City at the age of 83, was one of the Spanish-speaking world's best known writers, famous for his prolific output and his use of experimental language.

President Felipe Calderon announced Mexico’s best known contemporary writer's death in a message on his Twitter account. 

The National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature confirmed he had died in a Mexico City hospital. The author's doctor Arturo Ballesteros informed the reporters that Fuentes could not recover after suffering a massive hemorrhage in his digestive tract at home. 

 Fuentes, the son of a diplomat, was born in Panama City on November 11, 1928. He spent parts of his childhood in Quito, Montevideo and Rio de Janeiro, and was enrolled in a US public school when his father was transferred to Washington. 

"You have to take some time out to be able to give literature the attention it deserves -- for journalism, for speaking, for friendship. I cannot be cloistered like a monk because I would lose contact with human beings, with life," Fuentes was quoted as saying in an interview in 2003.

A leading figure in the 1960s Latin American literature boom. Fuentes befriended both Colombian leftist Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Peruvian conservative Mario Vargas Llosa, and was known for criticising both the harsh side of Capitalism and the tough realities of Communism. 

Unlike his contemporaries though, Fuentes never won a Nobel Prize in literature, although for years he said to be on the short list and collected a clutch of other prestigious awards. 

"I met him 50 years ago," Vargas Llosa said in a Twitter message upon learning of Fuentes' death, "and we were friends all that time without anything ever impoverishing that friendship." 

Fuentes published his first collection of short stories, "Masked Days," under the guidance of his father Rafael. In 1958, when he was 30, he achieved international renown with "The Most Transparent Region," a portrayal of Mexico City's explosive growth. 

The novel "The Death of Artemio Cruz" (1967) won Fuentes both critical and public acclaim and became his best known work.

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