RAÚL ZURITA WINS THE 2017 JOSÉ DONOSO LATIN AMERICAN LITERATURE PRIZE

ALONG WITH HIGHLIGHTING THE VAST EXPERIENCE OF THE CHILEAN POET, THE INTERNATIONAL JURY APPRECIATED "THE LATER CREATIVE YEARS OF THE ONE WHO HAS BEEN ABLE TO EXPAND AND TRANSFORM HIS FIRST WRITINGS".



September 8, 2017

For his new stage of maturity reflected in his work, the Chilean poet Raúl Zurita became the winner of the XVII José Donoso Latin American Literature Prize 2017, a recognition awarded since 2001 by the University of Talca.

"How wonderful, what a surprise and joy," were the words with which the writer responded to the news that he received in Colombia, where at the time of notice was preparing to participate in a festival of poetry.

The Creator, in addition, was honored to receive a recognition that is inspired by the figure of Donoso, whose work, he noted, is deeply inspiring, after what he dedicated the award to his wife, Paulina Wendt, and to the new generations. 

"For the young writers, because this is not the best of times for poets - although it has never been, and this it is not, either, and there's a need for poets and souls," he said.

Special mention should be made by the author to receive a prize that bears the name of José Donoso. "It seems to me that it is a cornerstone of our literature and identity. He explored areas previously untouched by our writers through a work as unique as 'The Obscene Bird of Night' and, for me, is the most abysmal of the Latin American authors," he said.

The delivery of the award, which consists of a diploma, a medal and 50 thousand dollars that are delivered by the Banco Santander, sponsor of the event will be delivered to Zurita in a ceremony to be held in the month of November. 

New Maturity

The international jury responsible for choosing the winner was composed of Margarita Rojas, of the National University of Costa Rica; Francesca Denegri, of the Catholic University of Peru; Pedro Gandolfo, literary critic and writer; José Carlos Rovira, of the University of Alicante (Spain); Elmar Schmidt of the University of Bonn (Germany), and the coordinator of the Award, Javier Pinedo, of the Institute of Humanistic Studies in our university.

Along with assessing the poetry, essays and visual work of the author, the specialists highlighted above all "the last few creative years he has been able to expand and transform his first writings". 

"The author has grown in his last years his Latin American and international presence with translations and activities in which the poetic recital becomes mass communication about the poetry to young people. In his most recent performance in Kochi, India (2016-2017), based on the poem 'The sea of pain', on the tragedy of migration in the Mediterranean, the poet gives a continuous drama to an activity in which also the hope remains as a possibility of salvation in the desolation," stressed the members of the instance. 

In this context, the jury rescued "the stage of maturity of Raúl Zurita an aesthetic marked by excess and a desire for wholeness that is tensioned with the rigor of his writing, as well as the work of a memory of the pain that his POETRY UNIVERSALIZES". 

Turn

The Coordinator of the Award, Javier Pinedo, pointed out that while the verdict by the jury represents a shift in their resistance to rewarding "consecrated" as Zurita, who in the year 2000 was awarded with the National Prize of Literature, the renewal of his work is difficult to ignore.

"Has not changed the fact that we are not going to reward a Nobel Prize, it is not the purpose, but if people like him have had a work recognized. The jury found is that there is a first Zurita, the National Award, and other current, which is, in some way, the personal existential problems, first, that individual, deep anguish, that discomfort against the private world, of his own self, in this current Zurita has been universalized and see it, for example, in the performance of Kochi, is in charge of a subject that is not Chilean, how are immigrants and children who die in the Mediterranean," he explained. 

It should be recalled that, to date,  this recognition has fallen in; José Emilio Pacheco (2001), Beatriz Sarlo (2002), Isabel Allende (2003), Antonio Cisneros (2004), Ricardo Piglia (2005), Antonio Lobo Antunes (2006), Miguel Barnet (2007), Javier Marías (2008), Jorge Volpi (2009), Diamela Eltit (2010), Sergio Ramírez (2011), Juan Villoro (2012), Pedro Lemebel (2013), Silviano Santiago (2014), Rodrigo Rey Rosa (2015) and Pablo Montoya (2016).



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