Piñera, Virgilio

▪ Cuban writer
born August 4, 1912, Cárdenas, Cuba
died October 18, 1979, Havana

      playwright, short-story writer, poet, and essayist who became famous for his work as well as for his highly bohemian lifestyle. His life was one of his most outrageous creations.

      Piñera's father was a railroad engineer, and his mother was a schoolteacher. He attended the University of Havana but refused to defend his dissertation before a “bunch of donkeys.” Thereafter, he found it difficult to find suitable employment and sometimes was forced to rely on family and friends for financial support. Piñera was not one to belong to literary groups or to associate himself with artistic and philosophical movements, and his frequent troubles with Castro's regime came as a result of his irreverence and refusal to follow a party line.

      Piñera was better known for his avant-garde theatre, such as the play Electra Garrigó (1943), than for his poetry or short stories, though his admirers recognized him as a master of the latter. His best collections are Cuentos fríos (1956; Cold Tales) and Pequeñas maniobras (1963; “Little Maneuvers”).

      In the 1950s Piñera lived in Buenos Aires, where he came to know Jorge Luis Borges (Borges, Jorge Luis), and his work was published in the prestigious journal Sur. This period in Argentina—encompassing his friendship with Borges and others in Buenos Aires, including the exiled Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz (Gombrowicz, Witold)—was an influence on his work. Piñera returned to Cuba after the triumph of the revolution in 1959. But in 1961 he was jailed for “political and moral crimes.” After his eventual release, he went on living as a marginal figure with few defenders among those in power, although in 1969 he did win Cuba's most important literary award, the Casa de las Américas Prize, for his play Dos viejos pánicos (“Two Ancient Panics”).

      Piñera's stories blend the fantastic with the grotesque, with touches of paranoia, and even with madness. The world seems to collapse on his protagonists, who resort to drastic measures, such as that taken by the main character in "Carne" ( "Meat" ) who progressively eats himself to avoid starvation.

Roberto González Echevarría

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Pinera — Piñera ist der Familienname von José Piñera, ein chilenischer Ökonom und Minister unter Pinochet Sebastián Piñera, ein chilenischer Unternehmer und konservativer Politiker, Bruder von José Piñera Virgilio Piñera, ein kubanischer Schriftsteller …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Piñera — El término Piñera o La Piñera puede referirse a: Contenido 1 Divisiones administrativas 1.1 En Asturias (España) 2 Localidades 2.1 Apellido …   Wikipedia Español

  • Virgilio Piñera — Llera (Cárdenas, Matanzas, 4 de agosto de 1912 La Habana, 18 de octubre de 1979) fue un poeta, narrador y dramaturgo cubano. Contenido 1 Vida 2 Obras 2.1 Poesía …   Wikipedia Español

  • Virgilio Piñera — Llera, né le 4 août 1912 à Cárdenas (Province de Matanzas) et mort le 18 octobre 1979 à La Havane, est un écrivain, poète, dramaturge et traducteur cubain du XXe siècle. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Virgilio Piñera — Llera (August 4, 1912 – October 18, 1979) was a Cuban author, playwright, poet, short story writer, and essayist.Among his most famous poems are La isla en peso (1943), and La gran puta (1960). He was a member of the Origenes literary group,… …   Wikipedia

  • Piñera — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: José Piñera (* 1948), chilenischer Ökonom und Minister unter Pinochet Sebastián Piñera (* 1949), chilenischer Unternehmer und konservativer Politiker, seit 2010 Staatspräsident von Chile Virgilio Piñera… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Piñera — may refer to:*Sebastián Piñera a Chilean businessman and politician *José Piñera a Chilean economist *Virgilio Piñera a Cuban author …   Wikipedia

  • Piñera —   [pi ɲera], Virgilio, kubanischer Schriftsteller, * Cárdenas 4. 8. 1912, ✝ Havanna 18. 10. 1979; rezipierte früh die europäische Literatur des Absurden; zeichnete die Gesellschaft pessimistisch und paradox (Drama »Aire frío«, 1959).   Weitere… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Пока не наступит ночь (фильм) — Пока не наступит ночь Before Night Falls …   Википедия

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